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October 7, 2015

On The Lot: Contestant Films (Romantic Comedy)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 25th 2007 7:42PM

The only romantic comedies my palette can tolerate are of the British variety. This may or may not make me a complete tool. I haven't quite decided.

These comedies usually star Hugh Grant playing Hugh Grant and are full of witty banter, unlikely but enjoyable scenarios, and slightly tolerable romance.

Going with that criteria, none of tonight's films came close for me and that's pretty sad considering I've set a pretty low bar for the genre. For the most part, the judges disagreed with me.

Carrie, Brad, and Garry seemed to like all the films I hated and hate the only film I really liked. Read on to check out there comments, than take the poll at the end for my own personal pleasure.

Tonight's guest judge was Brad Silberling, director of City of Angels and Lemony Snicket, neither of which are romantic comedies. Go figure.

Also, this week, Kenny and Mateen got the boot.

#1 - Zach - The Bonus Feature

Synopsis: Guy tries to impress a girl with his new car and entertainment system.

Carrie - Felt this was more a ride than a film. Incredible visuals, but I want more for you in terms of story.
Brad - You are a tremendous skill set in search of your inner storyteller. You need a good writer.
Garry - You always surprise me Zach. Not quite comedy, not exactly romantic. I wasn't sure if you were just sucking up to Spielberg. I like you and hope you stick around.

There were a load of classic movie references, such as Rebel Without a Cause, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and From Here to Eternity. Overall, it was okay, but Zach needs to get his own story. We all know he's great at the special effects, but what's a movie without a good story and characters?

#2 - Adam - Girl Trouble

Synopsis: Comedy about a very bizarre one night stand.

Carrie - I liked that very much. I thought it was silly and funny.
Brad - Some of the choices were a little over the top, but it was a great effort.
Garry - I thought it was an interesting take on romance, but it seemed more like an SNL skit. Didn't want the homage. I'd rather have an Adam film.

Wow, Carrie sucks. I'm no genius, but I totally knew where this was going the entire way. At first, I thought the gag might have worked better if the guys really did look like women, but I think the hairy, flabby dudes work better in the end. Way too predictable.

#3 - Will - Unplugged

Synopsis: A love story unfolds between two desk lamps.

Carrie - Again, it's lovely and charming. Who can make you care about lamps the way you do? We're back at silent films again, but I'm still hoping for some dialogue.
Brad - I love that you're trying to put Pixar out of business. You did great with inanimate objects. Beautiful work.
Garry - You made me feel for the lamps. It was original. I thought this film was charming.

This was pretty original, and I did feel a smile emerge on my face when the female lamp dropped a rescue cord to pull up the male lamp. Kind of sad how I felt more for two lamps than pretty much all of the human characters I've seen on this show so tonight. I still wasn't that crazy about it, but it was all shot rather nicely.

#4 - Andrew - Keep Off Grass

Synopsis: A guy who is meticulous about his grass has a problem when two super heroes arrive.

Carrie - I thought this was a really great, ambitious idea. Maybe at the end of the day it was too ambitious. I had some trouble with the execution, but I loved the idea.
Brad - As an original idea it was good, but you were too tight with the camera during the arguing. It was a very smart piece of imagination.
Garry - It had a couple of little problems, but I loved the argument. I think the ending with the gnome needed work. Funny and romantic.

Not impressed. I agree with Garry that something bigger needed to happen. This is just further proof that decent acting can't save a lame story.

#5 - Sam - American Hoe

Synopsis: A soon to be married couple argues over the stamps that will go on their wedding invitations.

Carrie - I thought it was cute but I wish the guy would have done it deliberately. Anyways, you've got to dial it up a little bit more to make it to next week.
Brad - I felt more uncomfortable with the characters.
Garry - I can't give you my stamp of approval on this. Idiot is not a good thing to say to a husband. I think you can do better than that.

It's official. The judges are smoking crack and not sharing with me. Maybe if they did, I could agree with them at least part of the time. Although, begrudgingly, I did agree with Carrie about the ending showing the husband's actions as deliberate. I think a better ending would have been if he said, "Hey, dude, hold the tee time. (Pause) Yeah, it totally worked. (Big smile)" Quality the entire way, mainly because I could relate to the male character so well since my wife was the same way about our invitation stamps. "So what if they're Elvis stamps, honey? He's the King."

#6 - Jason - Old Home Boyz

Synopsis: A fifty-year school reunion spurs an old man to have a dance off for his honey.

Carrie - I thought it was really, really good and it left me wanting more.
Brad - You put your love of the hip hop culture up in this film. It was love, it was beautiful.
Garry - I thought it was delightful. Very romantic and shot beautifully.

Jason's movies are pretty hit or miss, and this one didn't even come close to the target for me. I don't think starring in his film helped Jason either. It would take an amazing actor to match the banjo twang in his accent.

Favorite movies of the night:

Carrie - Girl Trouble
Brad - Old Home Boyz
Garry - Unplugged or Keep Off the Grass
JJ - American Hoe

Just a few more weeks to go people. We can do it.

Who takes more prescription medication?
Carrie Fisher40 (66.7%)
Garry Marshall20 (33.3%)

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If you check their site, there was a contest to submit Log Lines for the show. Two of the Top 20 Log Lines were (1) a man confronts a bully at his high school reunion and (2) an aerobics class gets sidetracked when two rivals for the instructor's affections clear the floor for a dance-off. As far as I'm concerned, there's not much doubt where Jason got his ideas for "Old Home Boyz."

July 27 2007 at 6:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D Colin

I haven't been really impressed the last few weeks, maybe since the horror night. I just don't know -- I'll keep watching because I wanna know who wins. American Hoe was the best I thought, even then it was just okay.
Unplugged was cute but had two problems with it. First he hardly ever has talking in his movies and I'm over that. Second I just felt the movie was lit too dark. A movie about lights and I couldn't see the middle section cause it was so dark


July 26 2007 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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