These days romance tends not to be a genre unto itself in movies, but rather gets blended in with other staples such as comedy. Most romantic comedies tend to be “chick flicks” and generally formulized. However, in seeking to make a short list for the Best Romantic Movies Of 2008, I sought romance throughout the spectrum of genres, and the results are below.
5. JUMPER/ HANCOCK – The number five spot is going to be a tie between two superhero movies. Truly I could have added a third with The Hulk, but The Hulk poured even more into the mindless action, tipping the scales less into the romantic areas, where these two tried to emphasize things. Both Jumper and Hancock were “different” types of superhero movies, with heroes not all too warm to the idea of actually being heroic.
Jumper starred Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson, along with Samuel L. Jackson. It was the onscreen relationship of Christensen and Bilson, however, that earns this one the romantic kudos. The strongest aspect of entertainment in Jumper for me was the climax in which the anti-hero decides he must step it up and risk his life for the one he loves. Hayden Christensen cannot be accused of overacting in Jumper, with his emotional performance being a bit low-key, however, when the heart matter it worked very well.
Hancock on the other hand, (like Jumper not a perfect movie), had Will Smith and Charlize Theron paired up. I guess certain aspects of their relationship are part of a secret twist not to be given away, however, in the third act of the movie is when things really got interesting for me. Will Smith is a grand actor and brought his talent into the violent and beautiful notions within the conclusion.
4. LEATHERHEADS – George Clooney seems to have a love for old time feeling movies, and this sporty comedy only further proves that, as he directed and starred in it. Along with the funny shenanigans is a romance between his character and the one played by Renee Zellweger. John Kransinski comes in to almost make it a love triangle, but it is the chemistry between George Clooney and Renee Zellweger that really drives the movie. I had my doubts about the flick before watching it, but it really won me over and was fun.
3. BANGKOK DANGEROUS – Nicholas Cage starred in this remake of an Asian movie. Bangkok Dangerous is indeed a violent story about a hitman, however, at the core of it is a romance between Nicholas Cage’s character and a deaf woman. The romance in this movie goes from sweet to tragic, with strength and passion.
2. ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO – It may have been disguised as a raunchy comedy, but anyone who has seen this knows it is ultimately a sappy love story. The moment in Zack And Miri Make A Prono where Kevin Smith had his actors truly find and feel love, was a wonderful moment. Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks play the romantic duo.
1. WALL-E – This Disney movie may have been light on dialog, but it was heavy with the heart. You cannot help but root for Wall-E who falls head over wheels for another robot named EVE. This animated feature had many adults in tears and should be considered a romantic classic years from now.