Thursday Movie Picks: Romance Tropes Edition: Friends to Lovers

a weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way? Personally, I think it's possible. That said, I still occasionally enjoy when a romantic comedy goes for that cliché and the opposite gender friends fall in love, and for this second romance-themed Thursday Movie Picks I'm going with some I enjoyed. 

What's Your Number? (2011) - Review

One of the many films I watched because of Chris Evans, it follows Ally (Anna Faris), a thirty-something-year-old woman who, after reading a Marie Claire article, makes her mission to track down her ex-boyfriends to find a husband, and becomes friends with her womanizer neighbour Colin (Chris Evans). While it's not great as it's riddled with flaws, this cheesy and predictable romance makes you root for Ally and Colin.

When Harry Met Sally... (1989) - Review

Probably today's most popular pick, it follows Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) who become friends after meeting by accident and spending 18 hours together in a car to New York and keep meeting by chance through the years. It is a very sweet and charming romantic comedy, with great chemistry between its leading actors. 

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

At last, my favourite of the three, it stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in the role of Zack and Miri respectively, two lifelong friends who have never contemplated having sex with each other who decide to make a porno because they can't make ends meet. It is quite vulgar and predictable, but it is also very sweet, and so funny, and features a terrific Justin Long cameo.

26 comments :

  1. I also expected When Harry Met Sally to be everywhere today, it was the first one that came to my mind as well but I didn't use it, but this is the first time I saw it turn up. A lovely film with some many truths tucked into a very good and funny screenplay. Crystal and Meg Ryan have an amazing connection but the rapport between Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby as their respective friends and eventual couple Marie and Jess is almost equally important to holding the picture together.

    What's Your Number? was fine. Nothing against Anna Faris but for me it was all about Chris Evans for me. His charm made the film better than it would have been without him.

    For me Zack and Miri was middling. I only watched it for Elizabeth Banks and she was as appealing as ever with Seth Rogan being the schlubby sometimes charmer he can be. But I'll never watch it again.

    I had three all lined up-Harry & Sally, Keeping the Faith and Some Kind of Wonderful-but they all seemed so in the groove I thought they'd be everywhere so I started again looking for more off center choices. I ended up with these instead.

    The Wedding Singer (1998)-Nice guy Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a wedding singer at a small hall in 80’s New Jersey who is about to marry Linda (Angela Featherstone) when he meets server Julia (Drew Barrymore) who has just started at the venue. Julia is engaged to Glenn (Matthew Glave) and they strike up a friendship over that mutual fact. But when Linda dumps Robbie on the eve of their wedding he falls apart and Julia trying to help him get back on his feet asks Robbie to help plan her upcoming nuptials. As they work on the plans Robbie realizes that not only is Glenn an enormous tool but that he's falling for Julia who subconsciously is doing the same. Will they realize their true feelings in time? Probably Sandler’s sweetest, least abrasive film packed wall to wall with fun 80’s music and fashions.

    The Full Monty (1997)-When hard times fall on an English town a group of men on the dole including Gaz (Robert Carlyle), Dave (Mark Addy), Lomper (Steve Huison) and Guy (Hugo Speer) form a male strip revue. Out of desperation to pull in crowds they promise to go “the full Monty”. Though they run into many hurdles, some comic and others serious, eventually they prevail, along the way buddies Lomper & Guy realize they’ve fallen for each other and end up a couple.

    Hands Across the Table (1935)-Manicurist Regi Allen (Carole Lombard) works at a swanky hotel hunting for a rich husband. She thinks she’s found a plum pigeon in Theodore Drew III (Fred MacMurray), since he comes from a prominent family but finds out he’s as broke as she is since the stock market crash. They become friends though and decide to help each other in their gold digging. Regi meets wealthy hotel guest Allen Macklyn (Ralph Bellamy), who falls for her while Ted is waiting for Vivian Snowden (Astrid Allwyn) the heiress he has on the hook to return from Bermuda so he can hop back on the gravy train. All seems smooth sailing but as feelings between Regi and Theodore develop, their careful plans start to change.

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    1. I completely agree with you on What's Your Number? Evans makes that film.

      I haven't seen any of your picks, but The Wedding Singer is one I wanted to see years ago. Then my hatred for Sandler's comedy grew and I lost interest.

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    2. Based on the larger part of his filmography I can understand you being hesitant but The Wedding Singer really is a very sweet film. It doesn't have most of the vulgarity that the majority of Sandler's film unfortunately lean into.

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  2. By the way, off topic I see from the sidebar you're reading The Great Gatsby. Great book, hope you're enjoying it. I have to say I've seen several screen version and never one that captures the essence of the book. All have had good things but not a single one has had a properly cast Daisy. Admittedly a tough mark to hit since she's more a conceptual ideal rather than a flesh and blood woman but in every instance I could have thought of a more appropriate actress than the one cast.

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    1. I've read it before and I loved it. This time I'm reading it in German to practise my reading. It sounds insane as I don't understand most words but since I'm already familiar with the story and characters I figured it'd be a nice place to start. Anyway, I've only seen the adaptation with Sam Waterston and I enjoyed it. But I still hadn't read the novel so I'll probably change my mind the day I decide to rewatch it. I have no intention of watching the version with DiCaprio though.

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    2. Very ambitious and an excellent way to go about it. I can read no other languages fully (a scrap of French or Spanish here and there but that's all) so I take my hat off to you for learning.

      I've seen the Gatsby version with Sam Waterson. He was a very good Nick but surprisingly Robert Redford, who seems so perfect for Gatsby visually, was only okay-he seemed disengaged and as with all versions Mia Farrow is almost completely wrong for Daisy.

      The film was a big deal before it's release (there were stories about it in the papers and magazines for at least a year before it even started filming) and the production was fraught with problems, one of the biggest the casting of Daisy. It was to be Ali MacGraw-the film was produced by Robert Evans to whom she was married at the time and he brought the rights for her but then she left him for Steve McQueen and so was obviously out (she would have been dreadful anyway). Then Liza Minnelli! (I love Liza but just no, no, no!) and Natalie Wood but having been off the screen for a period of years they wanted her to test which being who she was she refused to do so she was bypassed, again love her but she's would have been miscast. Eventually it came down to Faye Dunaway (she would have made an interesting Daisy but there's a hardness there that isn't in the book-she would have made a great Myrtle), Katharine Ross (too modern), Candice Bergen (she's the closest of the candidates to be the proper fit-though she probably would have worked better as Jordan) and Mia. For the time period had she been able to master the accent the best choice would have been Catherine Deneuve I think.

      There is a version from the 40's that starred Alan Ladd. He's the closest I've seen to being the right choice for Gatsby-he was a good physical match but more importantly he was comfortable with the language-he was able to say Gatsby's signature "old sport" and not make it sound like a line reading but organic. But it has flaws as well, both actors playing Tom and Nick are pallid and while Ruth Hussey was okay as Jordan once again Betty Field was out of place as Daisy. She was a fine actress but not Daisy, especially galling because at the time there were two actresses working who would have been ideal-Gene Tierney-who was considered and Alexis Smith who I pictured as Daisy when I read the book. They both had the one signature feature of Daisy that is always missing in the films but one that Gatsby mentions as a big representation of who Daisy is-a voice full of money.

      It's too bad they didn't attempt a version in the 50's when Grace Kelly was working. Talk about an actress born to play a part!

      You are missing NOTHING by skipping that DiCaprio atrocity. A mess in just about every way, Joel Edgerton makes a fine Tom but that's it.

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    3. If I can get my hands on it, I will check out the 1949 version as I'm interested in seeing how Ladd does as Gatsby.

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  3. I've only seen in full is Zack and Miri, which I thought was fine but didn't love. It's been so long since I've seen it though. The other two I don't think I've sat down and watched in one sitting.

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you didn't love it. I hope you'll give When Harry Met Sally a proper watch because it deserves it.

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  4. I didn't want to go with Harry Met Sally because I agree with you, it will be popular. It is a good movie with some real characters. I haven't seen the other 2 and unsure I will...maybe if they are on TV and nothing else is on.hahahaaa

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    1. I totally get you. I would have never watched my first pick if it wasn't for Evans and my huge crush on him.

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  5. What's Your Number is pretty funny. Just to see appearances from both Starlord and Falcon as a couple of Anna Faris' former boyfriends. Yet, she chooses to be with the Captain.

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  6. Hi Sonia, nice picks! We match with your third choice and I really rate when Harry Met Sally... too.

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  7. I really enjoyed What's Your Number. Plus, naked Chris Evans? Yes, please.

    WHMW is a classic and I only remember vague parts of Zack and Miri but I definitely need to watch it again.

    I also believe men and women can be friends without feelings/sex complicating things!

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    1. Being completely honest, I'm often tempted to rewatch it for him.

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  8. Nice picks! I was going to go with What's My Number too but went with a superhero theme instead. Chris and Anna are wonderful together. All of his shirtless scenes are worth it enough to watch. Also love When Harry Met Sally too.

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    1. The shirtless scenes are the reason I watched the film in the first place. And the reason I rewatch it. And probably the reason I'll end up rewatching it soon.

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  9. I've seen the first two. The first I don't remember much. As for When Harry Met Sally I've just never really like it...it was just ok.

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  10. I have not seen Harry Met Sally... not sure I will lol. Not sure why... :D

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    1. You should give it a chance though. It's really good!

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  11. I've only seen When Harry Met Sally in bits and pieces, never a proper watch. One of these days. I have seen Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I agree, it's a fun one.

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    1. You should give When Harry Met Sally a proper watch!

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