Something Borrowed (2011) -vs- He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

May 8, 2011 Mark Sanchez

Given that most single guys would be thrilled to have Ginnifer Goodwin as their girlfriend, you have to wonder why Hollywood keeps casting her as the woman who has a hard time finding a decent relationship. She got famous as the immature “sister-wife” Margene in the creepy HBO polygamy series, Big Love. Then she played the girl who can’t find love no matter how desperately she dates around in 2009’s He’s Just Not That Into You. And now she’s back in Something Borrowed as the third corner in a romantic triangle. I have no idea what her personal life is like but we can only hope it’s better than the parts she plays.

Both our films are ensemble rom-coms, chock-full of familiar character traits: earnest, self-absorbed, scoundrel, ironic, clueless, and so on. Some of these are main characters and some are the obligatory wacky friends. There are enough people running around in both films coupling and uncoupling that there seems to be a lot going on even when there isn’t. The idea is to cut from one storyline to another, keep the pace up, get some laughs, find some sympathetic moments, get a few more laughs, and tie up things more or less neatly before they run the credits. Everybody seems to have jobs that don’t really interfere with their pursuit of love and sex. Ah, paradise… […]

Chloe (2010) -vs- Fatal Attraction (1987)

March 23, 2010 Bryce Zabel

If you’ve ever been loved by somebody too tightly, then you know how scary it could be to let someone in your life and then not know how to extricate yourself from their smothering grasp. The trick in erotic thrillers like “Chloe” and “Fatal Attraction” is execution. Too far on one side of the spectrum, they become cerebral. Too far on the other side, they become unintentionally comedic.

Although “Fatal Attraction” defined this genre back in the late 80s, it’s been re-visited over the years in films like “The Hand That Rocked the Cradle” and “Single White Female,” and now it gets brought to life again in “Chloe.” All I can say before we begin is that seeing these two back-to-back is enough to drive the average person to mandatory background checks on all potential lovers. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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An Education (2009) -vs- Say Anything (1989)

February 16, 2010 Bryce Zabel

Listen up, ‘rents. Being a father is never easy, but being the father of a teenage girl, and trying to get that one right is a true challenge. Both of these films — two decades apart in production dates and period settings — show fathers who, with the best of intentions, get it all wrong, but they get it wrong in exactly opposite ways.

You can care too little and you can care too much. When you’re in the middle of things, it’s not always so easy to see which is which. Believe me, as a father of girl who has just left her teenage years behind, these are matters I’ve thought a little bit about. I keep thinking of the famous Kenny Rogers’ song (“The Gambler,” written by Don Schlitz) that you gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. Like that’s easy. Still, what we have here to consider are a couple of fathers who don’t know best, not by a long shot… […]

Valentine’s Day: It’s As Bad As They Say It Is

February 14, 2010 Bryce Zabel

What a waste of film stock.

That thought kept running through my brain over-and-over while watching all 117 excruciating minutes of this god-awful film that will end up earning $66-million over the four-day holiday. I don’t care. It could make $66-billion and it would still be one of the biggest disappointments that’s hit the theaters in the last 25 years. If you haven’t seen it, please don’t. It will only encourage them to do this to us again.

It’s just tone-deaf. Even though Katherine Fugate gets the screenwriting credit and must share the blame, watching the film’s directing choices leads to the strong conclusion that director Garry Marshall is mostly responsible. I’m betting he came up with or forced Fugate to put in some of the film’s most hideous moments. It’s his out-of-touch sensibility that infuses every frame with such a stunning lack of authenticity. Some people say the structure and even some of the details try to rip off “Love Actually” but this film should be so lucky as to have stolen something from Richard Curtis’s masterpiece. […]

VOTE NOW: Rom-Com Smackdown in Time for Valentine’s Day

February 1, 2010 Sherry Coben

Our personal memories mingle seamlessly with our movie memories; classic romantic comedies make the sweetest and most thoughtful gift, longer lasting than any box of chocolates or long-stemmed roses.
Celebrate with us to find our readers’ all-time favorite Romantic Comedy. Many of our favorite films didn’t make the poll; we apologize most heartily if we’ve neglected to include yours.
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The Young Victoria (2009) -vs- Sherlock Holmes (2009)

December 27, 2009 Sherry Coben

Calling all Anglophiles! England’s longest reigning monarch takes on the cleverest subject of her (fictional) realm in this All-Union-Jack Smackdown. Both repackaged and reimagined for the new millennium’s theatergoing audience — the usually buttoned-up Victoria gets unstuffed and sexed up in a lush period romance/political drama, and Sherlock gets the no-holds-barred no-punches-pulled Guy Ritchie/Joel Silver treatment. Both title characters make formidable contenders for the Smackdown crown; there’s nothing I appreciate more than a really good makeover.
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The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) -vs- Twilight (2008)

November 25, 2009 Rodney Twelftree

In the battle of the varied mythological creations, Vampires have for centuries captured the imagination of people around the world. Novels, films, theatrical productions and poorly-decorated costume shops have enjoyed success based upon their existence, proven or not. Likewise the Werewolf, natural enemy of the Vampire, whose moonlit howl still sends a tremor down the back of even the most hardened myth-lover. Bringing these two epic creatures together in one film franchise has most of the female population of our planet all in a tizz. Why? Are the men they encounter in the real world really that bad?
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