Movie Mettle is a weekly column for moviegoers with weak constitutions. Wish you had the balls to sit through the goriest of horror movies? Want to build up your resistance to weepy rom-coms? Each week we’ll give you a range of five movies that will test your limits, you cinematic thrillseeker, you.
Initially I hesitated at doing another Movie Mettle on the genre of romance so soon after the columns on unrealistic movie musical numbers and food/sex scenes. I promise, next week will have nothing to do with love or lust! But because it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I couldn’t resist poking fun at love in cinema one more time. (It may also have to do with the fact that this is my first Singles’ Awareness Day in four years. Or maybe not.)
Just as male moviegoers must face the facts that they will never be as badass as Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible, the ladies have to also acknowledge that the sweet, complicated, hopelessly romantic gestures we see in rom-coms will never actually occur in our lives. Well, unless our boyfriends have dreamed up a crazy marriage proposal and have plans for it to go viral.
But for the object of your affection to simply tell you s/he loves you? Don’t hold your breath waiting for boomboxes held aloft on shoulders or people running through airport security. However, we can always live through the movies. That’s where I’m here to help: If you’re someone who rankles at big gestures, who yells at the screen at the movie’s climax, here are five movies to test just how much romantic schmaltz you can take.
Warm-Up: Sweet Home Alabama[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3oAJraQIb0&version=3&hl=en_US]
Yes, it’s disgustingly ridiculous when Patrick Dempsey brings Reese Witherspoon into Tiffany & Co after-hours, the lights snap on, and every single engagement ring is on display. But this is also a movie about a small-town girl who got the ultra-luxurious city life she always dreamed of. And we have to see just how opulent her lifestyle is to better appreciate where she comes from.
Novice: The Wedding Singer[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYKLmlMauOE&hl=en_US&version=3]
When this scene kicks off with Billy Idol listening to Adam Sandler’s tragic tale of love, you know that this scene is not going to be on the realistic end of the spectrum. Because even if you’re a wedding singer, there’s no way flight attendants would let you serenade another passenger. But then you watch this video and… well, Drew Barrymore’s expression is just perfect.
Intermediate: Never Been Kissed[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d97O5zOBwcw&hl=en_US&version=3] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDY0ih__xYg&version=3&hl=en_US]
Maybe you were able to stomach Drew Barrymore as the object of Adam Sandler’s affection, but this movie is really going to test your patience. The premise itself is so ridiculous it could’ve been included in last week’s column: Newspaper reporter Drew goes undercover at a high school, repeats her adolescent trauma including prom-night embarrassment, and then decides that she’s going to turn her exposé into an essay about how she’s never been kissed. The stunt centerpiece? Stand on the baseball mound and wait for the teacher she’s fallen in love with to kiss her.
I’ll let you watch the second video (at 1:25) to see how it goes.
Expert: Friends with Benefits[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goPvYeQwlPI&hl=en_US&version=3]
The one place where logic breaks down in this movie is that Justin Timberlake, an art director for a website, has no idea what flash mobs are. But when he messes things up with Mila Kunis — who’s a secret rom-com sap — it’s the absolutely perfect gesture. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
BAMF: All About Steve[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGpne6wPBPY&hl=en_US&version=3]
This whole movie is one ridiculous romantic gesture after another. Sandra Bullock, you are so much better than this.
Have a genre of movie, specific trope, or actor that you wish you could sit through? Leave your request in the comments and I might take it on in a future column!
3 thoughts on “Movie Mettle: 5 Over-The-Top Romantic Gestures in Film To Test Your Limits”
Ugh… I never watch romantic movies on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I loathe Valentine’s Day… it’s all gooey and mushy.
The all-time-champ of romantic gestures on film has to be Lloyd Dobler in front of Diane Court’s house. Boombox hoisted proudly…”In Your Eyes” blaring…the romantic equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.
Were it any actor other than Cusack, it’d be chalked up as creepy.