Have you grown tired of watching Harry meet Sally?
Do you secretly wish The Notebook would magically shorten into a document of humble girth, like The Pamphlet or The Brochure?
Does the thought of having an erotic pottery lesson with an apparition no longer get your blood racin’ like it used to?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you may be suffering from Romantic Movie Fatigue Syndrome.
A saturation of access to “classic” romantic movies, combined with a lackluster spree of modern, manufactured-romantic movies (Helloooo “Valentine’s Day”!) has resulted in an awful conundrum for anyone planning to spend Valentine’s Day glued to a goddamn TV:
“What the hell do I watch today while everyone else I know gets laid?”
Of course, it’s not only the lonely who must confront this harsh reality. There are thousands of other non-single individuals out there who have also forsaken the notion of romance. They too will be forced to watch something on T.V. this upcoming V-Day in order to avoid talking to their (in)significant others.
But as bleak the prospect may look, this sad scene need not come true!
Hell, how about watching a bad movie and making fun of it? That can bring people together too! Plus, it’s more interactive.
I’m not going to argue with you. The flicks I allude to earlier are classics for good reasons, but what if you’ve been there and done that? What’s left to see?
Come with me as I journey to the far reaches of…well, my DVD collection… to offer you three alternatives to watching “Sleepless in Seattle” for the 13th time on TBS. They may not necessarily be BETTER than “Sleepless…”, but there’s a good chance you haven’t seen all of them!
That being said, today’s selection is not for the faint of heart.
Because I get nerd boners for thematic consistency, all movies mentioned today (and most likely tomorrow since I may not be able to post again until late tonight) will come straight from that dreaded era made famous for popularizing both fannypacks and Ace of Base. Yes. You heard me right.
Today it’s all about romantic comedies from the 90’s.
How to explain this movie? Okay. So, I don’t think any of this is historically accurate, but for the sake of brevity just come with me for the ride.
Albert Einstein has an orphaned, super-smart niece that he cares for named Catherine Boyd. Catharine (played by Meg Ryan) thinks that if she marries stuffy university professor, James, then she will have super-smart babies. The only catch is that James is a pompous ass who has all the charm of used particle board.
Now, you might be asking yourself: Was Catherine’s desire for Wunder-Kinder a shout out to the Nazi’s eugenics program? Was this characterization really a subtle dig at her German heritage via Uncle Al? I do not know the answer to either of those questions…BUT I DO know that despite all her sexy smartness, Catharine still seemed pretty intent on seeing this ill-conceived marriage plan through. It’s the whole 18th century “Who marries for love? Scoff!” story, drizzled with 1950’s Americana sauce, topped with Cold War Politics sprinkles.
Enter Destiny, (or is it science!?). Either way, some cosmic force (Destiny’s Child?) decides to thrust Catherine into the arms of Joe Everyman: Sexy Mechanic, Ed Walters (Tim Robbins). Catherine flirts with him a bit, but doesn’t really give Ed the time of day until dear Uncle Albert and his science homeboys (who have nothing else to do apparently) decide to incite a romantic reaction between the two by transforming Ed into a physics prodigy. They rumple his hair, give him a makeover (complete with those jackets that have the patches on the elbows), hand him a piece of chalk, and teach him how to speech some science.
Lovers from different worlds? Romance via disguise and subterfuge? Yes, yes…it’s all very Shakespearean, or else something that you would find in a sequel to She’s All That or Never Been Kissed.
Of course, Catherine is skeptical of Ed’s overnight mental blossoming but also intrigued. Conflict rears it’s ugly head when Albert and friends take things to all new levels of crazy by making Ed propose a “new” theory for cold fusion which encourages skepticism from the scientific community as well as unwanted attention from the government.
Although it’s never revolutionary, the science angle and the historical setting do add some needed flavor to the movie. If you’re even remotely entertained by anything else Meg Ryan does, you should give I.Q. a shot!
At a dinner party, Catherine regales the guests with a vivid description of natural waterslides that form from cooled volcanic lava. She claims that the water is so aerated that it feels like “a thousand kisses” on your skin or else a “giant tongue” licking you.
The reactions that ensue are priceless! Some people are shocked, some people are turned on, and Catherine just looks coy and pleased to be able to shock James and his stuffy compatriots.
Blog Rewind: In honor of our birthday, this week Q.L.M. is reblogging some of our favorite posts from yesteryear!