November 30, 2015

Romantic Comedy

Currently, I can’t watch the news. Or read it. Or have it read to me. Most of it makes me want to slit my wrists. However, because I’m not suicidal, I feel instead compelled to slit someone else’s wrists. Never having had a desire to experience prison for the purpose of research or to add glamour to my resume as a novelist, I instead decided to stop reading and watching the news for a while, and instead to use that time to watch old movies, specifically old romantic comedies in which no one is ever beheaded (unless Quentin Tarantino has made a romantic comedy that I missed) or seeking nuclear weapons for the purpose of genocide. And I’ve seen two good ones that you might enjoy.

If you really like watching current news, with all its beheadings and mass shootings and sports idols beating up their girlfriends, then ignore my advice to spend your time in a healthier pursuit: watching romantic-comedy movies instead. But it has worked for me. I no longer lie awake all night, fearing that Mike Huckabee will acquire a nuclear weapon or that the planet will be hit by the unexpected threat of Global Tepid.

Two movies I’ve seen before, but not for years, proved no less watchable the second time. Return to Me is charming and funny. It reminds you of how fresh Minnie Driver was when she came on the scene, and it raises again the mystifying question of why David Duchovny didn’t move from being a big TV star to being a big movie star. He certainly had the charisma.

While You Were Sleeping is a gold standard of romantic comedies. Sandra Bullock is lovely, touching, funny, adorable, delivering a subtle and heartfelt performance. (I have a thing for Sandra Bullock.) Bill Pullman proves he should always have been a bigger star than he became. And the supporting cast, from Peter Boyle to Glynis Johns to Michael Rispoli are very funny. And did I say, Sandra Bullock is just really, totally wonderful?

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