Valentines is in the air and not only is Hallmark presenting their annual Lovuary slate (which the first one Sweeter Than Chocolate is excellent) but all the studios are embracing romance, which is so exciting after years of droughts in the genre.
So let’s talk about some romances!
Stars Fell Again
Back in January 2021 I had the pleasure of interviewing stars James Maslow and Ciara Hanna for their rom-com Stars Fell on Alabama. While I didn’t think the R-rated humor worked I overall enjoyed the chemistry between the actors and the story about friendship and taking a chance on love (friends to lovers trope.)
Now we have the sequel Stars Fell Again, and it is a definite improvement over the original film. I won’t spoil it but the ending is bonkers but most everything else is a fun frothy ride with multiple couples getting the romance this time around. We get another ‘friends to lovers’ story with Hanna’s sister Harper (Ali Faulkner) and Maslow’s Bryce is trying to find the perfect time to pop the question.
if you liked the last film you’ll certainly enjoy this follow-up, and you don’t need to have watched the original to get this one. Like I said, the ending is bonkers but if you like frothy fun romcoms you’ll enjoy this film.
6 out of 10
Moving over to Paramount Plus we have another fun rom-com called At Midnight. Borrowing from movies like Roman Holiday and Notting Hill (not on their level but the plots are similar), At Midnight is about a movie star named Sophie (Monica Barbaro) who is stuck pretending her relationship with her co-star is going great while their superhero movie shoots and then they can announce their break-up. Meanwhile she meets the friendly manager at her hotel Alejandro (Diego Boneta) and they become friends and sparks fly between them.
First of all, if you are coming to this movie for comedian Whitney Cummings you’ll be disappointed. She’s barely in the film. There are also parts mostly involving the movie shoot and keeping everything secret that dragged but the relationship between Barbaro and Boneta worked and they had electric chemistry. I particularly enjoyed the dancing scenes between the two of them. It’s not perfect but I think fans of the genre will enjoy it.
6 out of 10
With the release of Shotgun Wedding it was pointed out the very spotty career Jennifer Lopez has with wedding movies. Last year’s Marry Me, which was fine, looks like a career highlight in comparison to movies like Monster-In-Law and this clunker Shotgun Wedding. Basically this film is about a couple that has their fancy destination wedding ruined when pirates attack them and their friends.
This is supposed to be a rated-R, mature, action/romance but it ended up feeling bland and dull. The action is mediocre and the chemistry between Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Lopez is non-existent. Jennifer Coolidge fights for a couple but they are few and far between, which is a big problem in an action comedy. There’s a reason this went straight to streaming on this one because it is not good.
3 out of 10
80 for Brady
Our next film is a romance of friendship rather than lovers. 80 for Brady tells the based on a true story tale of a group of women who support each other and watch the New England Patriots together- and they particularly love quarterback Tom Brady. In 2017 they decide to go to the Super Bowl to cheer on their team and all kinds of shenanigans occur.
The reason why this movie works is because of the winning personas and chemistry of our 4 leading ladies (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Rita Moreno). I love a story about friendship and these women feel like friends, which makes them easy to root for.
Unfortunately the plot could use some work. It feels like they had this basic concept and then began grasping at straws for what could go around it. The humor isn’t great and Tom Brady is no thespian.
80 for Brady can probably wait for a rental to watch with friends but the ladies are pleasant enough that it’s a harmless watch
6 out of 10
So there you have it. What of these romances are you looking forward to? Would love to read in the comments section
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