The Romantics (Les romantiques) (Bilingual)
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The Romantics sets up a delicious premise, a reunion for a wedding of two of a group of college friends, now making their way in their late 20s. In the vein of movies like The Big Chill, Peter's Friends, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Romantics has friends who may not exactly be friends, marriages that may not exactly be happy, and longing passions that may not exactly be secret. The all-star cast includes Katie Holmes (who gives a real leading-actress performance here, behind her sleek glamour), Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Dianna Agron, and Candice Bergen. Paquin is the blushing (and insecure) bride, Holmes her maid of honor, and Duhamel the groom-to-be who had a long romantic past with Holmes's character. Is that passion truly behind them? The groom's wedding weekend might not be the best time to find out, but that's what makes The Romantics compulsively watchable.
Indie writer and director Galt Niederhoffer wrote the book The Romantics and then adapted it for the screen and directed. The acting is natural, and the setting--a sumptuous estate on beachy Long Island--inviting and real. The Romantics asks age-old questions of what does it mean to be a couple, what do words like "connection" and "commitment" mean, and is our first love really love--or does our memory play tricks on us? The DVD includes a making-of featurette that is almost as entertaining as The Romantics itself. If it looks like a grand old time was being had by the cast at the mansion, the cast members happily insist that was true. A toast to the bride and groom! --A.T. Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
While some elements of the plot seemed somewhat improbable, the acting and characterization more than compensated.
This movie is very entertaining -- if you're interested in observing people and understanding how convoluted some female friendships can be.
but about 2 minutes shortly after the beginning of the movie/disc, the video stopped (faulty grooves?).
i had to fast forward it to get past this.
just so the seller knows. but i won't bother to return/request refund for this dvd disc as i want to avoid paying
postage for that.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Katie Holmes arrives as the maid of honor for her friend's wedding. The problem is that Katie's character dated the groom for nearly five years, and those feelings between the two are still there. As the groom gets cold feet, quite literally by throwing himself in the nighttime ocean for a swim, the rest of the wedding party sets out to find him, but they are all such self-indulgent characters that they can do nothing but drink, do drugs, flirt adulterously, and--in Katie's case--actually betray her friend by sleeping with the groom. In a laughably bad line, she later tells the bride-to-be: "He cheated on you," taking no responsibility for her own part in the betrayal.
I wanted to care. I sat through the whole depressing, cliched, dysfunctional mess, and in the final minutes I couldn't think of one outcome that would be satisfying. None of them deserved each other, and in that way, they all deserved each other. When lightning shows up to disrupt the nuptials, I dreamed for a moment that everyone would be struck by it to end the movie. The actual ending wasn't much better.
This is, without a doubt, a well-intentioned but horribly derailed wreck of a film. The attempt to explore romanticism has been much better done in other movies, such as "The Mirror has Two Faces." Here, every single character is looking into a cracked mirror, unable to face the truth about themselves or their choices. I'll admit my bad choice: sitting through this entire thing.
1) High Expectations - seems like many viewers had very high expectations for this film. They were likely holding it up to a high standard of another "coming of age" film, and when it failed to conform (however the individual expected or wanted it to conform), the user was displeased. The result is a poor rating not because the film was bad, but because it did not match what the viewer expected; thus the viewer was in fact rating their viewing experience, not the quality of the film.
2) Complex Characters - this is the type of film where it requires the viewer to read in between the lines. The characters often express their emotions and feelings based on their actions, facial expressions and body movements -- not their words. Viewers expecting the characters to guide them along by the dialogue will be disappointed. Several poor reviews that I read described weak character development and poor acting; I think that the film Director intended the actors to express much of the plot and depth of characters without literally "speaking the audience" through it.
3) Unspoken and Complex Plot - this film never clearly stated the plot. The viewer was expected to decipher the plot based on the acting of the characters. The viewer is required to sum up the parts in order to understand the whole - in each scene, characters offer more clues to guide the viewer along, but the viewer must be keen enough to pick up on them. Again, many clues are unspoken and communicated through non-verbal means such as emotional expression and body language.
Overall, I liked the film. I may be biased, since my expectation were not particularly high based on the reviews I read, but I enjoy these types of films and I thought this was one of the better ones. I would recommend this film to anyone who initially seems interested in it - ignore the other reviewers on amazon and decide for yourself. Just keep in mind that this is not a mind-numbing comedy that you can watch with one eye and while half asleep and still be able to know what is going on.