Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday Five: Romantic Comedies

Following the sad death of Nora Ephron (writer; director; producer), tributes are flooding in, all of them mentioning her memorable romantic comedies such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail. These were great films in a genre I don't particularly favour, but she really made both the romance and the comedy work by providing great scripts for both male and female, which were delivered expertly by appealing actors.

I realise the blogosphere will be full of favourite romantic comedy lists, but I am not averse to joining in. Now, the definition is a bit tricky - there are comedies without romance and romances without comedy. I don't consider myself an expert in the field, but I know what I like: both the male and the female leads have to be convincing; there has to be chemistry; the dialogue has to be good, by which obviously for this category we mean funny; and it has to tug at your heartstrings a wee bit.

They are pretty standard, by definition, but I've yet to see a good same-sex romantic comedy - I'm not saying they don't exist; just that I haven't seen one. Perhaps this is because rom-coms are typically light-hearted and a bit fluffy, with a requisite happy ending. While films such as My Beautiful Laundrette or My Summer of Love are excellent, I'm not sure they fit the formula.

5 Favourite Romantic Comedies:
  1. Almost anything starring Hugh Grant. I know this is a bit of a cop out, but otherwise the entire list would be made up of films such as Four Weddings and A Funeral, Love, Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary, Music and Lyrics, About a Boy, Two Weeks Notice... See, that's the whole list right there!
  2. Pretty Woman - an absolute classic fairytale with a hooker
  3. Shakespeare in Love - I don't usually like people messing with Shakespeare, but in this case, I'm fine with it
  4. Please Don't Eat the Daisies - of all the 'old' films I saw when I was a child, this one from 1960 with Doris Day and David Niven always stuck with me; they did things differently then, and with more than a touch of class
  5. Working Girl - I'm not sure why, but my mum loves it and it always make me think of her, so that's got to be a good enough reason. Plus it has great acting, really strong roles for women, it's an ode to New York, and has a theme tune that makes me cry. You go girl!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Literally Lying

Apparently a new season of X-Factor is due in Australia. I know this because a season of The Voice has just finished. Now, rather than programmes being ruined by endless previews of 'singers' popping up to stand and scream on stage, while people twitter on about them being awesome and giving them goosebumps (it would appear this is a very pimply nation) we have to endure promotions in which presenters blather on about how great it felt in the last series of X-Factor when they made their latest discovery, which they proceeded to inflict on the general public in a frenzy of unmerited hype and hoopla.

The most recent offender is some bimbette (Natalie Bassingthwaighte apparently, who used to be in Neighbours) who prattles that when she saw someone or other perform, it was so good that her jaw literally hit the floor. At last; something that would have been worth seeing!

Unfortunately, I suspect she is merely another in a long line of 'celebrities' who think that mangled grammar and excessive use of hyperbole make them sound intelligent, or even interesting. I know that language is fluid and that words assume new meanings and connotations, but 'literally' has a pretty fixed meaning, surely. I suggest you learn what it is, or try to keep the aforementioned jaw firmly shut.