The Romantics Reviews
"The wedding of college friends Tom (Josh Duhamel) and Lila (Anna Paquin) brings up old memories for the maid of honor (Katie Holmes) who had a fling with the groom and is still in love with him."
Holmes used to date Duhamel, but is getting married to Paquin, but only cause it is safe. The times he has had with Holmes make him feel so good, he is basically scared to be challenged like that everyday, whereas Paquin is boring and bossy, and does all his thinking for him.
I think clearly they all want the best for Paquin, but everyone knows this marriage is a sham. Her mother, Bergin, and sister, Agron, both try to have talks to her but she clearly is just in love with the idea of being in love.
The other two couples get some fun time, and while one is married and the other is nearly there, we get the sense that their marriages are not all that great either.
The acting is what sells this film, although a big cast usually makes a few characters seem under written, and sadly, Wood is the odd man out here. We really don't get enough scenes with him to get a good development out of him.
And I loved the toasting scene: AWKWARD!
From the start of the movie to the ending you are brought into a group of friends, with all their feelings and baggage that has been created over years. Every group of friends goes through this time in their lives where they are growing up and becoming mature adults. This story shows a time before having children and the burdens of massive mortgages, private schools, and taxes, and allows us to share in the joys of love and the complexity of that love relative to your close friends and family. Throughout the film there is a feeling that this is finally the end of the friends 'aka The Romantics' as everyone is moving on and living their own lives and building their own families.
The casting in this movie was brilliant, with Katie Holmes playing a distinctly mature young woman still in love and struggling as she is brought back into the place in her heart she has hidden away and was hoping never to come back to. I had no idea Katie could play such a mature and interesting character. She doesn't try and over sell the feelings her character is dealing with, and allows the audience to interpret what is really going on in her head and heart.
Josh Duhamel is amazing in playing the cold footed groom, that is carrying more than typical wedding day jitters as he is trying to deal with complex emotions and feelings that go along with growing up and becoming a real adult. He does a great job of playing the groom that is formal and respectful to adults and involved in planning the special day, but also can revert back to his young wild days.
Anna Paquin, Candice Bergen, and Dianna Agron do an amazing job of playing the bride and brides family, who are all struggling to ensure this special day is as great as all special days they have had in their sheltered, albeit sophisticated, lives. Candice is so great as the mom who is trying to hold everything together and make sure her daughter's life is just so perfect.
From the start of the film you are brought into these relationships and can feel the love, tensions, excitement, and even resentment that have carried over from years of this group being friends and comrades as they grew-up. I really felt like I could relate and saw many of my friends in the different characters. I could see the days we would go to weddings together because so many of our friends were getting married. It gave us a time to get back together and relive the old days, but in a new dynamic that always carried over us. The film portrays this brilliantly.
The cinematography is amazing, keeping you interested in the story, but also highlighting the sub-stories and feelings that carry through-out the film. The music that was selected for this film is also an important part to telling the story. I was a little disappointed that there was no official soundtrack because the music was wonderful and uplifting.
I personally feel this movie is underrated. I am not a big fan of romantic films or coming of age movies. I never really liked wedding movies, though did find Rachel Getting Married to be interesting. This is an exception to the rule, it has all the charm and emotions that go along with a romantic drama, but brings to life a complex story of feelings and relationships that I hope everyone that watches can enjoy.
The acting in the movie was great. Everyone from Candice Bergen to Elijah Wood to Adam Brody did a great job at being an ensemble cast, rather than one actor stealing the show.
I strongly recommend this film to everyone. It is such a great film! It is a movie you could watch over and over again. Kudos to Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Levy and Jon Sadoff in creating such a great movie!
*Many spoilers ahead*
The story begins with Laura (Katie Holmes) on her way to be the Maid of Honor to her best friend Lila (Anna Paquin), even though Lila is marrying Laura‚??s ex-boyfriend, Tom (Josh Duhamel). All the friends seem to be aware of the awkwardness that this soap opera plot brings to the wedding weekend event. After many, many, many clumsy and inappropriate speeches at the rehearsal dinner, Laura finally delivers hers. Very nervously I might add. The bride storms out and pretends she needs silence and sleep, when really she is continuing her charade of not recognizing Tom & Laura‚??s love, or lust. Its hard tell at this point what they feel, just that they‚??re avoiding each other. After Lila returns to her room, the rest of the wedding party steals booze from the open bar and sets out for the shore. After much drinking and laughing, Tom disappears. Laura and the crew split up to look for him. Trip (Malin Ackerman) heads off with Jake (Adam Brody) while her husband Pete (Jeremy Strong) goes off with Jake‚??s fianc√© Weesie (Rebecca Lawrence). Laura finally finds Tom. We discover that Laura & Tom have actually been sleeping together for years. Laura, very rightfully, tells him off for treating her like shit all these years. Eventually, they end up sleeping together again. Meanwhile, Pete tells Weesie that he doesn‚??t trust his wife, and in cliche movie fashion, the two go streaking. Pete‚??s suspicions are correct because his wife, Trip does cocaine with Jake and end up making out.
The next morning, Laura awakens in the yard. Tom is nowhere in site. What kind of man leaves a woman he supposedly loves laying asleep after sex in the back yard? Anyway, all the events from last night go unacknowledged. The crew realizes Tom isn‚??t missing and the wedding is underway. Before walking down the aisle. Laura tells Lila that she slept with Tom. Lila tells her that she doesn‚??t care and she still wants to marry Tom because clearly this is Laura‚??s fault. Claiming she has won and that Laura has always been jealous of her. The movie was going well up until this point. Often in these cases women blame the other woman for their man‚??s indiscretions. Now, Laura isn‚??t innocent. She slept with her best friend‚??s fianc√©, but why doesn‚??t Lila blame Tom as well? He‚??s the one who actually made a promise to be faithful to her, not Laura. Why does she stay with him? Simple. She wants to be married. She‚??d rather be married and unhappy than deal with the idea of being alone. Then there‚??s Laura, who desperately wants to get back with a man who left her, lied to her, and used her. Why? Because she wants a man. These feelings make it hard to understand why Laura excepted the position of Maid of Honor or even why Lila asked in the first place. Whatever happened to faithfulness in not only relationships, but friendships? Chicks before dicks, ladies.
As the wedding begins, Tom stumbles on his vows, stating Lila makes him speechless. Maybe for all the good reasons, or maybe because that‚??s exactly it: he has nothing to say. Saved by Mother Nature, it begins to pour. While the entire wedding party and guests frantically run inside, Tom & Laura stay behind at the arch. They look at each other. Tom grunts with what appears to be relief. And Laura laughs. The end. And that‚??s it. As a viewer you might feel cheated. Is the wedding done? Or continuing inside? Does Tom marry Lila? Does he go with Laura? Why was Laura laughing? Was she laughing at the irony of rain being bad luck on your wedding day? I‚??m assuming, Lila and Tom won‚??t get married- clearly because he stayed outside with Laura. Words of wisdom: when a man doesn‚??t chase you, he doesn‚??t care.
Although the acting is fine with an all-star cast, I give it 2 out of 5 stars. One, because I like closure and there was none. And two, because scripts with women being idiots hurt my head.