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A Lot Like Your Average Romcom
A Lot Like Love (DVD)
Member Name: silverbird44
A Lot Like Love (DVD)
Advantages: Cheerful, inconsequential fun
Disadvantages: Cliches, sketchy characters, jumpy plotting
[Film Only Review]
I don't know about other people, but I always wish that I could sit down and watch proper good films - classic films like Citizen Kane, the Pianist, Shawshank Redemption. Sadly, when your shoes are soaked from the Sheffield rain and you're too skint for a Friday night and nothing seems to be going right, all you really want to do is curl up in front of a tacky Romcom. We had one of these bad Friday's the other day - and A Lot Like Love is the film that we ended up watching.
- The Story -
A Lot Like Love is the story of Emily (Amanda Peet) and Oliver (Ashton Kutcher), two young people who begin their relationship by joining the mile high club on a connecting flight between San Francisco and New York. Despite this unpromising start, a second meeting on the streets of the Big Apple confirms that they have a connection. Despite this, Oliver's firm plans for his future and Emily's desire for freedom persuade them they should not become a couple. At this point, two real people (if they had ever got to this point!) would go their separate ways and never meet again, but this being cinema, a casual bet at a bar leads to Emily promising to call Oliver in six years to see if all his future plans have come to fruition.
The plot of the film then continues to chase the pair through a series of accidental meetings and partings, their failed relationships and dashed dreams punctuated by their own charged interactions. Like most Romcoms, the relationship is the most important part of the story: but there is also consideration of the stumbling path that both main characters take into adulthood.
- My Opinion -
Firstly, the story. Let's face it, it takes a lot to produce an original romcom, and the plot does not fit into that category. Boy meets girl, boy loves girl...you know the way it goes, although this film does at least not progress entirely as expected. The use of the occasional meeting device also leads to a very fragmented feeling, which means you have to concentrate quite carefully to keep a track on everything that's going on.
Then there're the characters - if they can exactly be called that. Emily is suffering from some kind of inner turmoil, although the reason behind this is never fully explained, and is of course a beautiful artistic soul who demonstrates her individuality by changing into party clothes behind skips and eventually finds her voice in photography. Oliver is the naive boy in shorts and sandals with the big plans for life, and tries to make it in big business by selling diapers (slight malfunction by script writers!). This pair is surrounded by such complex secondary characters as the deaf brother who dispenses words of wisdom, the bitchy best friend, the nice-but-dim other best friend and a few spare boyfriends/girl friends. Very few are people you would recognise from reality.
But despite the poor characterisation and the limp plot, I actually quite enjoyed this film. This is mainly because the central pair, although barely believable, were likeable - almost charming. Even when Emily and Oliver were doing or saying ridiculous things, you couldn't help but root for them. The look of the film also had a lovely, bubbly summer-and-pimms feeling which was really lovely to see, and even the clichés scenes of starry nights were done very neatly. Then there were more minor contributing facts, such as a lovely fluffy soundtrack which suited the bright and breezy tone of the film.
- Recommendation -
A Lot Like Love is never going to win many awards. You probably won't want to watch it again - you'll probably barely remember it. It is a light, airy, inconsequential little film. But its saving grace is that it has that rarest of things. A Lot Like Love has charm.
If you fancy a pop corn evening with friends and this film happens to fall into your hands, I would recommend you give it a try. You may well chat through most of it, or spend your time eating sweets, or any number of such distractions, but it won't matter if you miss some of the plot. And if you do chose to engage with A Lot Like Love, I'd say that for a few minutes it will make you smile. That's all you can really ask for in a Romcom.
A Lot Like Love:
Released: June 2005
Run Time: 107 minutes
Price: £5.98 new/£2.53 on Amazon
Director: Nigel Cole
Summary: Worth a casual look