What makes for a good romantic comedy movie? The memorable movies that are quoted and speak to relationships for many? Classics like When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Four Weddings and A Funeral all have likeable people that are also funny. There is chemistry of course where you need to feel that these people really like each other and should be together. But for me, it is the writing. Good dialog between the main characters and how they interact. A playful repartee that often has keen insight into relationships in general. Often too, there is the supporting characters that provide this insight and also more comedic relief (like in Notting Hill for example with the bizarre roommate).
On Tuesday I watched The F Word with Daniel Ratcliffe and Zoe Kazan, in IMDB and the US they are now calling it “What If”…what-ev-ah!! I enjoyed this film a great deal. It is also a really good showcase for the city of Toronto. Memorable places like the Bluffs and downtown and the parks near the DVP. The premise is simple. A guy with a broken heart meets a girl at a party and they have a good conversation. They end up walking home and she announces that she has a long term boyfriend as they say goodnight and exchange phone numbers. Then there is an exploration of whether men and women really can be friends. And can you remain friends with someone who you are romantically attracted to? Harry and Sally explored this. Now these two do as well. I liked that there wasn’t an effort like in some films (Wedding Singer comes to mind or Serendipity) to make the current boyfriend out to be a clutz or a dick or an unappealing cad. Where no one sees why the two characters would ever be together. Here it is handled better and more realistically portrayed. There isn’t a villain. There are people sorting out their lives and where they feel most comfortable. There is the supporting cast with Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis who are very good at pressing at trying to get the two principals together. In the end you enjoy this movie based upon the characters and the situations. And so I can recommend this film as light entertainment and some insight into relationships when you are looking for an evening to decompress.
I would not say that this movie is a “Classic” like those mentioned, but it was fun and I laughed more than a few times.