Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Romantics (2010) [PG-13] ***-

It's their wedding weekend, and Lila (Anna Paquin) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) are getting married at Lila's family's East Coast waterfront estate. The wedding party includes Laura (Katie Holmes) who is Lila's best friend, Harvard roommate, and maid of honor, as well as a half-dozen of their college friends, collectively named The Romantics.

There's an undercurrent of tension between Lila and Laura, who were so close, before Tom came between them, that their friends named them Lala. For his part, Tom, is experiencing pre-wedding anxiety. He loves Lila, but doesn't know why and cannot express his feelings for her, although he's an English Ph.D. candidate. Curiously, however, he is able to eloquently express his feelings for Laura, whom he dated for several years prior to dating Lila, and for whom he still lusts. Laura, for her part, is in love with Tom, and cannot understand why he picked Lila instead of her. She's a published writer, and she's a perfect match for Tom, intellectually, emotionally and sexually. Why doesn't Tom recognize this, and what can Laura do about it?

Written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer based on her own novel, this independently-produced film is a talky, character-driven romantic comedy drama with glacial pacing, little character development, little tension between the main characters until the very end of the film, and insufficient material to support a 90 minute running time. While The Romantics may have aspired to be an ensemble romantic drama, like The Big Chill or St. Elmo's Fire, it falls far short of the mark. Don't waste your time on The Romantics

Labels: comedy, drama, romance 
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 43/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=42, viewers=50)

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