Monday, August 09, 2010

Movie Reviews - When in Rome, Bounty Hunter, Leap Year

So over the past couple of weeks, Lynette and I have had fun catching up on some of the recently released "Romantic Comedies". Here's some quick reviews of them.

When in Rome

When In RomeI like both Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel and I've always loved Italy, so I figured this would be pretty fun. I didn't know much about the story other than that she was going to Italy for a wedding where she'd meet up with him and romantic fun would ensue.

Turns out she's a work-aholic control freak kind of gal who is skeptical (to say the least) about love. He's more of a fly by the seat of your pants guy.

Where the story got interesting was by adding a magical/supernatural element. It seems that our dear heroine, in a fit of angst, takes coins out of the fountain of Love...which causes the people who originally threw the coins to magically fall desperately in love with her...and consequently to stalk her back to New York.

There was a lot of slapstick style situational comedy that made me laugh. Kristen and Josh had pretty good chemistry and the other key players were good as well. The story played out pretty well, got a little predictable but was still fun.

3 out of 5 stars

The Bounty Hunter

The Bounty HunterOn seeing the previews for this last year, I was worried that I'd seen all the "funny parts" in the trailer. While that wasn't entirely true, it was sadly close.

The story was pretty normal...ex-man-and-wife now "hate" each other completely and are forced to spend a weekend constantly together. The premise? He's a bounty hunter and she skipped her bail (charge of assaulting a police officer). Add to that the fact that she's an investigative report on a hot case involving drugs, corrupt cops, and more.

There were a few funny moments, but they felt a little too staid. The plot/mystery was largely predictable. The chemistry was there but sometimes a little forced.

Overall this was an alright show, but nothing to write home about.

2 out of 5 stars

Leap Year

Leap YearI like Amy Adams and Ireland but knew nothing more about this movie. The plot involves a custom/tradition where on Feb 29 (Leap Day) in Ireland, women can propose to men. Now, being the 21st century and all, it seems like there's less taboo about a woman proposing these days...but it's still cute to frame it in romantic tradition rather than having it happen due to "equal rights for women" or whatever.

Anyway, both Amy and her would-be-fiance are similar to Kristen's character in When in Rome. They're workaholics living the good life in a big city. The difference is that Amy's character is a romantic who would love to get married and her would-be-fiance is a pragmatist who really doesn't seem to think much about marriage (or romance/love) at all. This is keyed off early on when they're at a nice dinner and she thinks he's going to propose but instead gives her earrings and then leaves on his business trip with a quick peck on the cheek and "see you later."

Anyway, Amy chases her man to Ireland but a storm forces her plane to land in Wales. She gets a boat to Ireland and then has to travel cross-country to find her man in Dublin. She hires a "taxi driver" to take her. He's the cynic about love and romance and really isn't keen on taking her but he's in financial straits so he agrees. Well, their travel to Dublin involves tons of madcap, slapstick situational fun. There were many laugh out loud moments.

Sometimes the writing/lines seemed a little forced. And sometimes I had a hard time seeing either character as being a good "romantic lead" but they had good chemistry and played well off each other.

This was a cute, funny, endearing show. It's what romantic comedies should be.

3.5 out of 5 stars


Brian Miller said...

i think you are spot on in your ratings...bounty hunter was a major disapppointment...and leap year was fun...we almost got rome last night...will give it a second thought....

Unknown said...

Hey - So glad you reviewed these. I've been wondering about Leap Year. I love Amy Adams and now I def want to see the movie. What a big disappoinment with Bounty Hunter. I'll think about When In Rome. It sounds like it'll still be fun. Thanks!!!! =D

ps: It looks like you review books too. That's great!! I agree. I loved, loved The Hunger Games.

Anonymous said...

UGH about The Bounty Hunter! I am getting that one in soon. What a bummer, but it's what I expected.

Phoenix said...

Thanks for saving me from The Bounty Hunter. I have a mad crush on Gerard Butler but I think I'll pass on this movie after your review!

Gina said...

Too true about seeing the best of movies in the previews anymore....sometimes you see almost the whole film! I've actually seen these three movies...the 1st one was okay, not enthralling but good. The second, was fun, but yeah, there wasn't much more than in the previews. The third, I have to disagree. I mean I like the actors/actresses and such in other roles, but the chemistry for this one was awkward...never quite felt right. Thanks for sharing! ^_^

Okie said...

As to Bounty Hunter...if you're in it for Butler or Anniston, it can still be a decent eye candy piece. Just don't expect anything out of the ordinary in terms of storytelling, characters or comedy. It felt like they were trying to plug in all sorts of comedy and adventure cliches while still making sure it was a romance.

@GMR - I kind of went back and forth on the chemistry in Leap Year. In the early bits of the movie I wasn't really convinced of Amy Adams as a romantic lead. But as her character (and the male lead, whose name I forget, developed), I looked at them as "realistic" romantic characters rather than the caricatures I'd watched in the other films. I will definitely agree that I never felt like their chemistry was fully swoon-worthy in terms of other romantic comedies...but it felt more "real" in terms of the way relationships often behave...a little awkward but sweet.