Always Be My Maybe (2019)

A new Netflix film, and straight away, I was intrigued to watch. A film of childhood sweethearts who never could find the right time to actually be together, 16 years later and their paths finally cross once again. I do love a romcom and this one had all it needed for it to be a fun, heart-warming film to just watch and feel good.

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Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) has made a name for herself – she’s become the chef she always wanted to be. Flying all around of America to open restaurants, she has become a powerful career woman who’s worked hard to get where she is. She is a fabulous main character. I love everything that she stands for, and she worked great as the centre of the film. Funny, classy, cool. Would love to own her wardrobe, but that’s not going to happen… She really was a fab protagonist to love. Then there’s Marcus (Randall Park), who’s on a different career path to his long-lost friend’s. Marcus lives at home with his father, grounded in his routes in San Francisco. He has his own band – an element I did love as it was so different and fun! Just another part of the movie to be lost into.

The last encounter of these two childhood friends was at the age of 18 and was at least very awkward… Words were said then 16 years goes by, no word said between them since. Of course, they happen to meet again with Sasha’s new restaurant opening in her hometown. This is where we delve into a lot of awkward moments, some a bit too cringey for me to watch. ‘Always Be My Maybe’ somehow has this feel to it that feels real, it feels honest, truthful somehow. It’s a great little escapism for an hour and three-quarters.

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I really enjoyed this film; the whole movie has a feel of wholesomeness and freshness to it. I love all the inclusive elements and it feels so modern. It’s really enjoyable and got me giggling. I just feel so happy and fuzzy after the whole thing has ended, aren’t they the best kind of films? A stereotypical romance comedy? Maybe. But ‘Always Be My Maybe’ is different with a fresh twist and still entertaining to watch.

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Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

A reunited 2019 film of Fat Amy and Bumper from ‘Pitch Perfect’. Then with Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine, throw in Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra. ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ tells the story of a romance comedy hater, but soon she finds herself unconscious, waking up in her own romantic comedy movie. With all the clichés and the whole plot line exposed by the main character at the start of the film, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) sings in her own musical number, has her own personal inner-narration, and lives in a beautiful city which only smells of lavender. These are all the styles of a classic romcom, although at the centre is a woman trapped in desperate need to find her way out of this parallel universe, however the only way to do that is to play out the movie the way it must entail.

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All the actors and actresses of this ironic film are brilliant, they are fun and creative, in the same way as predictable and common as all romcoms. Nevertheless, its own twist is enjoyable and can’t not put a smile on your face. It’s a mix of cheesiness and cringyness, but adorable scenes with hilarity as well. Everything classic romcoms have.

Natalie has a pessimistic view on the world, she’s bossed around in her job and walked all over by the people around her. But when her friend, Whitney (Betty Gilpin), states she must be more open, the next guy that smiles at Natalie, instead wants to rob her. In a mugging, Natalie ends up running into a wall and wakes up in a bright pink hospital room. This is where she ends up in a parallel universe that is only a nightmare for our main protagonist. She finds that her neighbour hilariously shows up anywhere in need; her best friend Josh (Adam Devine) finds a love interest of his own; and men in the street are telling her how beautiful she is, no matter her screaming and detest to it all, this including one man in particular, Blake (Liam Hemsworth), the extremely handsome billionaire. Natalie is now in her own romcom, which she believed to never have come true – even though she doesn’t want it.

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This is just a feel-good movie! There is a lot of cheesy scenes, but isn’t that what makes this classic romcom? It’s simple, easy-going film which is fun to watch for the hour and a half that it is. Rebel Wilson is brilliant as the main protagonist, hilarious as usual! The dance numbers, even if surprising to begin with, are cleverly enjoyable in a mix of ‘what am I watching’ and ‘why is this song now stuck in my head’. Natalie’s version of ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ is an excellent example in this film, epically musical and fun, but cringey from start to finish, but why not just smile and enjoy? If you hate a romcom, you’ll hate this, because it’s romcom turned up to volume 100 with overexaggerated uses in irony and comedy. If you are a fan, then watch for the sheer joy of a romcom using all clichés they possibly can! Will Natalie ever return to her old life, or will the romcom ending just be too good to leave?

27 Dresses (2008)

‘27 Dresses’ is a film about “the perfect bridesmaid”. One woman who has grown up loving weddings, understanding they are the best days of brides’ lives; therefore, she would do anything to make that perfect day come true for any of her friends. Whether that’s riding a horse or wearing some of the ugliest dresses, she will always be that “perfect bridesmaid”.

First of all, I have to admit, this is one of the films I immediately go to when I want an easy-watching yet great film. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve actually seen it. It is my number one classic romcom, one of my favourite films. So you might be able to guess from that, that this review won’t hold many faults.

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As one of the romcom stars, Katherine Heigl plays Jane. The “perfect bridesmaid” of the film. She will do anything to please everyone; including her boss, George (Edward Burns) who she is completely infatuated with, and her sister, Tess (Malin Akerman) – see where this is going? Yes, Jane is put in the worst situation when she ends up planning the wedding of the man she’s in love with and her sister. Along the way, Jane ends up with a new follower, curious about her wedding-full life, reporter, Kevin (James Marsden) becomes desperate in discovering who she is. A wedding-cynic and a wedding-lover, Kevin and Jane have some hilarious scenes together as they bounce off each other in opposition.

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Finally, it’s time for Jane to put herself first in this brilliant movie. I truly believe this is one the best romcoms of the 2000s. It’s got comedy, romance, cringe-worthy moments but soppy ones too. The whole film just puts a smile on my face, every time. Jane is a great character too, obviously as played by Katherine Heigl! But Kevin has to be my favourite character, everything he does just makes me smile or giggle. If you’re a fan of the classic romcoms, this one should have already been watched! 27 dresses for 27 weddings.

The Big Wedding (2013)

Now ‘The Big Wedding’ has a great cast! Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Topher Grace (‘That 70s Show’), Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), Susan Sarandon! They are all so brilliant. ‘The Big Wedding’ is a weekend of chaos, of secrets and lies. A wedding where everything goes wrong and all secrets come out, mistakes are made. But all revolving the family, not actually any issues with the bride and groom. It’s the wedding of Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried), and the gathering of their both crazy families. It’s brilliantly hilarious.

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Each character is completely different to the other, this gives a refreshing feel to the film. Most of the characters seem flawed and it makes the film seem cleverly more realistic. No character is perfect. Although saying this, I don’t think there is a character to hate as such, but there are many to love and appreciate. Adopted son, Alejandro, after realising his birth mother will be flying from Columbia to go to his wedding, asks his divorced parents a big favour – to pretend to be married. One lie. As you can probably guess this creates issues from the beginning. A divorced couple must act in love, while the father, Don (Robert De Niro) has already another woman, Bebe, in his life. So where does Bebe (Susan Sarandon) fit in? Bebe angry at Don, but determined to do anything for Alejandro’s wedding, comically acts out in the subtlest ways she can. As the family starts to join up we realise that everyone has things going on, and chaos starts to erupt when they are all brought together. Angry at her father, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) brings chaos with her as she tries to keep secrets. The final son, Jared (Topher Grace), is tested with the one thing he’s managed to keep safe his whole life – his virginity.

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It’s not the best romcom out there, far from it! But it’s enjoyable and a little bit of fun escapism. ‘The Big Wedding’ is full of a great cast, with some classic comical moments. It is a film for older ages with swearing and sex – a 15 for good reason. It revolves around one event where one lie deepens and deepens: family crisis just gets worse and worse. I just think this film is so enjoyable because of the cast. It’s realistic in its faulted characters, with many relatable issues arising. Many stories going on, but easy to follow. Why not follow on with this chaotic weekend?

This Means War (2012)

Fantastic stardom and a fun action romantic comedy. The stunning cast of Tom Hardy, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. Beautiful, hilarious and fabulous.

A “Gentleman’s Agreement” was made, between best friends FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), when they discover they are dating the same girl, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). The deal is to “let the best man win” by letting Lauren decide. Although, rules are broken and a competition rattles off as they both fight for the girl. Oh and did I mention? Throughout all, FDR and Tuck are spies, so this turns into an extreme dating by spies, using fancy technology to ruin each other’s dates and intense research on Lauren. Meanwhile, they’re on a case and a criminal is hunting them down.

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FDR is the stereotypical girl’s man, the player as such. Tuck is a divorced father. But best friends, they would take a bullet for each other. It’s a woman that gets in the way of these two colleagues. They spy on each, while pretending not to know each other around Lauren. Persuaded by her best friend, Lauren dates these two men although it’s something she would never have done.

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This film is great, it’s hilarious, enjoyable, full of spy action and romantic dates. They would go all out to get this girl, not matter what. Whether that’s setting off the water sprinklers or firing a sleeping dart, the spies go undercover to get to know all about Lauren. It is a fun film, it’s go some action scenes which are great and comical moments. We get to know these characters pretty well and they are brilliant characters at that! Which spy will win the girl?

Bride Wars (2009)

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as Emma and Liv. Two brilliant actresses. I can’t say I’ve ever watched a bad film with either of them in. Admittedly, that statement probably stands stronger with Anne Hathaway because I’ve seen tons of those. But Kate Hudson as well is great. Come on ‘How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days’?! Classic! ‘Bride Wars’ is just a basic chickflick, funny and simple, predictable yet great, cheesy although fab. The actors are great, even the two grooms, Bryan Greenberg as Liv’s fiancé Nate and Chris Pratt as Emma’s, Fletcher. And finally, Candice Bergen (‘Miss Congeniality’) as Marion, the most sought out wedding planner.

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‘Bride Wars’ is a film of friendship, not going to lie to you, that’s the whole point, but it’s still great. An easy-watching chickflick. A competition between the best of friends when their wedding dates clash and they both want the perfect wedding – a wedding they’ve both been planning together at a young age. So when neither of them will change their wedding date, the pranks start against each other. They go to extremes you think they would never go, the stereotype horrors no bride wants on her wedding day. But they would do anything for their wedding day, even destroying their best friend’s.

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‘Bride Wars’ is a simple romance comedy, easy-watching and not a let-down. It’s not one I’ve seen hundreds of times, like ’10 Things I Hate About You’ or ’27 Dresses’ or even ‘Letters to Juliet’, but it’s still good and enjoyable for what it is. It’s great actresses with funny moments. It does make you laugh and shocked to their limits, but in the end, will they both get their perfect weddings?

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Tom Hanks. Sold? I think that’s all I need to say. More needed? Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, romantic comedy. One of those classics. What more do you need? Plus the same writer as ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ – Nora Ephron (who also directed this fabulous film).

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The plot? Two people, strangers, found one another on a chat room, so they talk through mail. This is 1998, technology isn’t smart phones, it’s not talk over messenger, it’s email, hence the name of the film. They live two separate lives and tell each other all, except they cannot break the one rule – no specifics, meaning no names, no jobs, no living situations, no specifics. These two people? Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Of course, they meet in real life, unaware to who they are actually are behind screen. They become business rivals, creating a clever comedy where they give advice to each other about themselves unknowingly, or moaning about what is happening in their lives, which is actually in relation to the other. This business rivalry revolves around both of their careers; Kathleen owns an authentic independent children’s book store, and Joe is behind the superstore opening up around the corner. We follow both Kathleen and Joe’s lives, although I always seem to feel more sympathetic towards Kathleen, don’t know whether this is done on purpose or not. However, saying this Joe is of course a lovable character, Tom Hanks is brilliant.

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The audience are definitely more in the know in this film. We know everything from the beginning, who these people are and the most important thing that they are talking to each other, we know that they know each other. Tensions rise as they suggest meeting each other, but as things get more complicated, we watch as they struggle but always result in coming back to each other over mail. The other characters that we meet are also fun and bring deeper meaning into our two main characters. Every part of this film is great!

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I love this film, I truly do. When in need of a good romcom, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ seem to be two that come straight to mind. It is a wonderful, easy watching film, with brilliant comedy and a fantastic romance. The characters are ones to fall in love with and a want to follow their lives around. If you haven’t seen this and you’re a fan of the brilliant romcoms, this is one you should never forget! Tom Hanks! That should be enough anyway. This film remembers the “you’ve got mail” technology.