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How Studios Put Together Valentine’s Day…

News broke last week that Julia Roberts received $500,000 a minute for her screentime in this year’s romantic ensemble comedy Valentine’s Day. Yes, for six minutes of screentime, she got $3m (which really doesn’t seem that impressive without the zeroes – so $3,000,000). However, that wasn’t the most interesting part of the coverage of the movie – well, at least for me. A bit of commentary revealed how Hollywood can attract so many big names under one matinee sign (which is, undoubtedly, a key part of the movie’s success).

Here's to you, Mrs. Roberts(on)...

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Non-Review Review: The Ugly Truth

Who says sexism is dead? To look at the bulk of the romantic comedy genre, you wouldn’t know it. The subtext of any given mainstream big budget romantic comedy is that guys are stupid and unaware dinosaurs, while women are just the tiniest bit uptight and are neurotic in a mild and endearing manner. The Ugly Truth probably isn’t the worst offender – I felt much worse coming out of 27 Dresses, to be honest – but it is the most recent one I’ve seen.

It's a familiar dance...

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Non-Review Review: It’s Complicated

The title is misleading. It isn’t actually complicated. I’d demand my money back for such a misleading title, but the movie staisfies my basic need for naked Alec Baldwin. Because everyone needs more naked Alec Baldwin. You just don’t know it yet. All joking aside, the movie works as what it is: another attempt by Meryl Streep to demonstrate that women over fifty can be just as emotionally immature and as haplessly self-centred as any romantic lead in her twenties or thirties. Who says Hollywood is ageist? Romantic comedy can be equally demeaning no matter what your age.

One of these just scored way out of their league...

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Non-Review Review: Love Happens

The screening of Up was sold out. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

"You know what the difference between you and me is? I'm not wearing any socks."

"You know what the difference between you and me is? I'm not wearing any socks."

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Non-Review Review: (500) Days of Summer

Romantic comedies generally suck. They’re predictable and formulaic. They don’t reflect the reality of relationships. They involved hackney cliché and coincidence. They never actually deal with any of the hurdles that real couples do. Sure, every once in a while there’s an exception like Chasing Amy or As Good As It Gets, but for the most part, I can’t stand the trite conventionalism of the romantic comedy genre. So, last night – as payback for dragging my girlfriend to District 9 – we saw (500) Days of Summer. Now I’m going to use four words I never saw myself using together in this combination: an innovative romantic comedy.

After the boys of Summer are gone...

After the boys of Summer are gone...

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