I know you guys know that I am a big rom-com lover. I realize how terrible these movies are, but I just can't help it. I just love a little romance. So, a couple weeks ago, on a rainy Saturday morning, I decided on a double feature, Morning Glory, starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, and Friends with Benefits, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. OK, seriously, I understand these are not stunning masterpieces of movies. I was not really looking for anything mind-bending. I was just looking for some entertainment on a cold, rainy Saturday morning when my husband was away at a bike race. What I got, well, ugh....just ugh.
Firstly, Morning Glory. The premise seemed cute: McAdams plays a small time producer on a morning show in NJ, and gets fired. She lands a sorta dream job at a national morning TV show that's down in the ratings. She hires a hard-hitting journalist (Ford) to revitalize the show, but the journalist refuses to do anything on the show, and just ends up being curmudgeonly and difficult to work with. All the time, McAdams is trying to up the ratings, and she's also sorta falling for this other producer (hence, the rom part). I think this movie could have been much better. Ford was not believable as a hard hitting journalist. His speech was too slow and deliberate, and he just didn't have the screen presence I would imagine that type of a journalist to have. Keaton, on the other hand, nailed it. She was an amazing co-anchor, and she really carried the film in a lot of ways. McAdams was fine. I actually like her as an actress, but her physical comedy seemed forced, and I don't think the screenplay played to her talents. And the story line? Oh, man, what an insufferable plot. It's the age old adage that a girl can have it all, but she doesn't have anything unless she has a man in her life. Some of the movie was OK. It showed McAdams bringing home her work, and not being able to disengage, something I'm all too familiar with. It even gets to the point where the guy demands her attention, doesn't get it, and then dumps her. I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous. While she seems to be working incessantly, he's just relaxing all the time, is able to take off any time of the day or night and seems to keep a fairly normal schedule. Well, I guess that part might be more true to life than I realized :) In the end, of course, she ends up staying at her job, having a lovely relationship with her boyfriend and all is fine in the world. This movie had some potential, and it just killed it. It really could have explored relationships between two hard working people, it could have shown an empowered woman decide that she didn't need a man in her lie to be successful and happy. Hell, it could have shown her, instead, having a relationship with a woman, which would have made this movie more interesting. Instead, this movie left me feeling flat and unsatisfied. And bored.
On to Friends with Benefits. I think that, in general, Hollywood is trying to figure out movies from the woman's point of view, but they just can't figure it out. Maybe they should hire more women to let them know. This movie starts off with Portman and Kutcher meeting at a frat party in college. She, somewhat oddly, brings him to her father's funeral. Several years later, they run into each other in LA (of course) and they sleep together. This goes on for a while, until they each realize they have feelings for one another, screw everything up, and end up together eventually at the end. This movie just rubbed me the wrong way. I tend to like Portman, but I think she plays the same character over and over again. I just couldn't believe she was an MD in this movie to begin with. She's the high powered character who insists on keeping things "friends with benefits" instead of anything more. You see, her Dad's death affected her more than she thought, so she just doesn't want to get close to anyone. Yeah. ANYways, this horrible, train wreck of a movie continues with Kutcher being a not-so believable nice guy. He makes her a mix CD so she can deal with her period. You see, women in positions of power have a really hard time dealing with menses, so they need a man to bring them cupcakes and make them a CD. Kutcher also manages to introduce two of his friends, who end up together. But of course, they turn out to be hot lesbians, who make out on his couch. Of course. Am I right? I think the best part of this whole movie was the end, where she's driving up the coast on the 101. Brought me back home and made me homesick. And the scenes at the The Biltmore in Montecito. I can't believe I actually lived in that vicinity for four years. Bottom line? This movie is crap. It should have never been made. I think I might just start writing screenplays in my spare time. I am pretty sure I could come up with something more interesting than this drivel.