Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.
This time, a Valentine’s treat. Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
An exploration of memory and loss, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind imagines a world in which people can pay to have traumatic and heartbreaking memories scrubbed from their minds. The film follows Joel as he elects to undergo the procedure to erase his relationship with Clementine, but at the last minute he suffers buyer’s remorse.
At time of recording, it was ranked the 85th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.
It’s hard to find anything redeeming in McG’s This Means War, a romantic comedy that attempts to court the male demographic with promises of car chases and explosions and action sequences. However, the movie has some rather unpleasant undertones as it devolves into a competition between two male friends to see who can effectively trick a beautiful young woman into falling in love with them. Interestingly, the movie is primarily about these two guys and their relationship, with the (supposed) object of their affection serving as a glorified prop.
I’m a romantic at heart. I really am. Underneath my cold, cynical exterior beats the heart of a poet. A bad poet, no doubt, but a poet nonetheless. Which is why I find it somewhat disingenuous when my mother or my aunt feel the need to attack me for not appreciating or understanding films like My Sister’s Keeper or The Ugly Truth. It’s easy to joke that “ha, I’m a dude and dudes don’t understand the romantic or emotional drama movies!” and so on, but I think that belies the problem. And the problem is that I don’t like too many romantic comedies because… well, they aren’t good movies (or, to qualify, I don’t believe they are good movies). Read on to hear my reasoning.
The only gold standard in the traditional romantic comedy is Matthew McConaughey's fake tan...
News broke last week that Julia Roberts received $500,000 a minute for her screentime in this year’s romantic ensemble comedyValentine’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).
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.