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The Romantics

2012-07-18 12:49
The Romantics
What it's about:

Over the course of one raucous night at a seaside wedding seven close friends, all members of a tight, eclectic college clique, reconvene to watch two of their own tie the knot. Laura (Katie Holmes) is maid of honour to Lila (Anna Paquin), her golden girl best friend. The two have long rivaled over the groom, Tom (Josh Duhamel). Friendships and alliances are tested and the love triangle comes to a head the night before the wedding, when the drunken friends frolic in the nearby surf and return to shore... without the groom.
What we thought:

The Romantics hides a particularly insipid and meandering little tale behind its star-studded cast and appealing pretence of prettiness.

What we have here is a poorly reimagined The Big Chill for the Y2K generation, featuring an attractive cast who soldier on meekly with a weak script that deals with a group of college friends who have all at one point or another slept with each other and have that deep understanding of one another that comes with this. Only problem is that writer-director Galt Niederhoffer (adapting from her own novel) is so fascinated by the guileless prattle of her characters she leaves little to no room for her audience to engage.

The sappy dialogue is particularly grating and sounds like the musings of a lost and bored mind.

Especially problematic is that the loose script focuses heavily on Katie Holmes' Laura, a too-smart-for-her-own-good singelton who takes out her frustrations with the loss of her ex Tom to ex-best friend Lila by taking it out on everyone within sight.

Like an aged and sadder version of Holmes' Dawson's Creek character, Laura's plan to show her irritation with the upcoming nuptials (at a stunning upstate New York location owned by Lila's old money parents) by simply talking everyone into submission, using her literately studious mind to woo Tom back and find her place as the odd one out in a group that's stuck in arrested development.

Anna Paquin's turn as bride-to-be Lila makes the least sense, playing a girl-child so determined to get married that she is willing to sacrifice her happiness for her dream society wedding. Adam Brody, Malin Akerman and Elijah Wood - who at least look the part of the uppercrust intelligentsia - sound like over-educated hipsters who struggle constantly to relate the real world to the poetic metres running through their own heads.

Ultimately The Romantics has as little lasting impact as one can expect from a movie about rich people's problems. Little care has been put into making these characters relatable or even likeable and makes a waste of its cast - an impressive one for such a small, independent film.

Irritating, immature and self-obsessed, the group of friends who call themselves The Romantics (because they like poetry, like, a lot) might be of the opinion that they're the cool kids, but there's no discernable reason for anyone else to care.

That the movie was originally released in 2010 to little fanfare suggests that The Romantics didn't feel especially inviting to many.

Katie Holmes is the odd one out in a insipid and meandering love story that has as little lasting impact as one can expect from a movie about rich people's problems.

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