Summary: An uptight man stuck in the “friend zone” switches another man’s semen for his own when his “friend” decides to get pregnant via artificial insemination. Upon meeting his child, the man becomes less uptight, his “friend” finally falls in love with him, and they live happily ever after despite his huge violation of her trust.
Verdict: In the friend zone. There were some cute moments between the main guy and the kid, but there was too much crap about how awful it is to be in the friend zone. Also, the big plot point (the semen switch) was a major violation played off as something the main female could just get over through the power of love. She’s also an annoying character, so there’s that, too.
Full Recap: The Switch begins by introducing Michael Bluth in the lead role as Wally, who is basically the same character but with hypochondria. Seriously, Wally even has daddy issues like Michael Bluth.
Wally is narrating images of happy couples and depressed single people (like there’s any other type of single person, amirite?) with advice about love not being like a pop song and how sometimes it happens in a completely unexpected way.
Summary: A woman runs away from a dangerous situation and settles down in a small town. There she meets a handsome convenience store owner and father of two, and they fall in love with a lot of loooooong looks and sloooooow sex. Then her past catches up with her in the last few minutes and is quickly resolved.
Verdict: YAAAAAWN. The main twist was easy to spot, none of the “peril” felt actually dangerous, and all the romantic scenes felt forced and clichéd. There was one twist that A didn’t expect, but that was only because she has never seen any other Nicholas Sparks movie or read any of his books.
Full Recap: Safe Haven begins with a young brunette woman running away from a house in her bare feet while carrying a small plastic bag. She goes to an old lady’s house first, then to a bus station. There, an Evil Cop is following close behind. He stops several buses but manages to miss the one that has the girl on it. We know he is evil because he’s chasing the protagonist.
Summary: Little Black Book tells the story of an insecure woman (played by Brittany Murphy) snooping on her long-term boyfriend by investigating his exes. She discovers that her boyfriend is a lying liar, her “best friend” is a lying liar, and basically everyone she works with is a lying lying liar. This makes them all perfect for her since she, herself, is a lying liar. Then she meets Carly Simon.
Verdict: It’s complicated. On one hand, see above re: lying liars. There’s also the intense frustration that accompanies the main character’s insistence on talking to everyone in the world except her boyfriend, the painful and highly inaccurate climax, and a grown woman’s confusion at a routine gynecological exam.
On the other hand, the end is better than we expected from any romcom. We’re not sure that overcomes the other things, but it at least changes the overall message the movie sends, which is a really, really good thing.
Full Recap: Our main character is Stacy Holt, but we begin with a quote from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest: “Hell is empty. All the devils are here.” Really puts you in the mood for a romantic comedy, right?
We then learn about Stacy Holt’s mother. She raised our intrepid Stacy to believe two things: you must be certain about everything (especially relationships with men) and Carly Simon fixes everything.
Summary: Maid in Manhattan is the story of a working class, single mom falling in love with a rich senatorial candidate and being lifted out of her desperate situation. But first, she must dress up in fancy, stolen clothes and pretend to be a rich person. Oh, and there’s a dog.
Verdict: Rage and Frustration. Between JLo going along with this sure-to-fail ruse (while also being monumentally stupid about it at the same time) and Voldemort’s refusal to take the hint or take no for an answer, we were banging our heads against a wall by the end of this garbage.
Full Recap: In the first few minutes of this movie, we learn a lot about the main character, Marisa, played by Jennifer Lopez. She’s a single mom with a son named Ty. She works as a maid in a fancy hotel. Her kid’s dad is absentee. She has crappy self-esteem, but she’s beloved among her coworkers and good at her job. Among her skills: wound bandaging, lavender placing, pantyhose buying, and grade A sass.
Summary: In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner stars as a 13 year old girl who makes a wish to become 30 and discovers that her true love was right in front of her all along. We discover that the sparkly “Wish Powder” that came at the bottom of cracker jack boxes had ACTUAL magic in the 80s! Damn you child safety laws.
Verdict: Meh. It’s not nearly as bad as some other romcoms, but it’s hurt by the wedding day love confession plus the unrealistic portrayal of an insecure 13 year old succeeding in a thoroughly adult world.
Full Recap: Our movie opens with 13 year old Jenna. We immediately see that she is insecure, a little awkward, and desperate to be in the “popular crowd.” Her opportunity comes when she throws a birthday party and invites the most popular girls in school.
We don’t like romantic comedies as a rule. There are some that are less objectionable than others, but for the most part they’re all pretty awful. Nevertheless, we really enjoy writing about them. So, in the interest of having more material for you, our readers, and giving as many romantic comedies as possible a chance at impressing us, we have composed a list of romantic comedies for us to watch and review. As we finish our reviews, we’ll post the link here as well.