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E.C. Henry

Billy, still have yet to seen "Stranger than Fiction" but given what I have seen, in keeping with the "spirit" of the Asta Awards here's my nominations.

Best rom/com of 2006: Click

Best Couple in rom/com in 2006: Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsdale in "Click"

Worst Couple in a rom/com in 2006: Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn in "The Break-up"

Best Male Lead in a rom/com in 2006: Jude Law in "The Holiday"

Best Female Lead in rom/com in 2006: Sarah Jessica Parker in "The Family Stone"

Best Set-piece in a rom/com in 2006: Jennifer Aniston's singing brother who bugs Vince Vaughn in "The Break-up"

Best Male Buddy/Mentor in a rom/com in 2006: Christopher Walken in "Click"

Best Female Buddy/Mentor in a rom/com in 2006: Zooey Deschanel in "Failure to Launch"

Biggest suprice hit of 2006 in the rom/com field: "The Holiday"

Biggest disappointment of 2006 in the rom/com field: "Failure to Launch"

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Wow. Put that way, it was a terrible year.

I agree about Zooey Deschanel. Quick, someone give her a leading role. I've been sold on her since her great performance in Elf.

I just saw the Holiday. Sigh. Very sad. I like some of the scenes, but didn't believe the Cameron Diaz-Jude Law romance at all. It was so poorly conceived that it almost makes me want to do a short with Barbie dolls to show what would really happen when the drunk brother shows up at the house. And the Kate Winslet plot was way too easy and cute. The whole film was... way too cute. Made me want to go watch In the Company of Men.

Overall, the best rom com for me was Stranger Than Fiction, and I only mildly liked it.

For 2007, any insight into the pipeline? I read the script for Catch and Release, which comes out in January. (I think.) And then there's something interesting that will be shown at Sundance called Broken English by Zoe Cassavetes. It stars Parker Posey. Yeah! I smell a female Tao of Steve.

Miriam Paschal

Failure to Launch did fail to launch in many ways, but I love me some Zooey Deschanel. And she was so cute in Hitchhiker's Guide.

I also liked the guy she was paired with. He was the hapless sidekick in National Treasure. This guy's going to land a leading role in the next five years.


first of all, you write really long posts. How do you do it? I get three paragraphs in and then someone turns on MTV and I walk away...

Also, one of MY favorite romantic comedies of all time is "Love Actually". does that count? I guess it's kind of a "Romantic Dramady" but it always makes me smile and feel good inside.

...and my heart is almost completely stone and ice. So that's a feat.


EC: Interesting picks. At least we agree on Zooey!

Christina: I'm looking forward to BROKEN ENGLISH as well; hear CATCH is good. My friend Adam Brooks is completing a good rom-com called DEFINITELY MAYBE (with Isla Fisher, among others in a great cast)...

I want to see that Barbie short.

Miriam: Oh, right -- that guy...
I think you're right.

Jess: I've been trying to make them shorter lately, but this one got away from me. How do I do it? By posting only twice a week.

ACTUALLY is most certainly a rom-com, and a lot of it is really great, so I'm with you there. Richard Curtis can melt a heart of stone and ice! I'm sure he'd be pleased to hear...

Ruth Yunker

What about A Wonderful Year, with Russell Crowe? I haven't seen it, but a friend of mine who's savvy about movies loved it. The critics hated it.
It sat over at my neighborhood theatre for awhile, then quietly wandered away.



first, congrats on the sale. Did you say it's a novel in the 'romantic-comedy' genre? I did not know there was such a thing -- however, i'm not the most literate person...when it comes to the divisions of novel genres...and all kinds of stuff like that.

best wishes. i look forward to reading it.

okay, re: these awards for best romcoms -- i haven't seen any of the movies you listed. not one. i just don't think comedy (especially romantic-comedy) is very funny and don't buy them on disc (i don't see movies in the theater anymore). romcoms are usually more squirmy-embarrassing. i just wonder if that was really the best the writer(s) could come up with. the situations don't feel real and the funny bits are usually tinged with sarcasm. it's not even 'feel-good' let alone heartwarming. these movies seem too much of a put-on, as if the producers know they're superficial at best.

not to derail the thread (perhaps this could be addressed in another post), but doesn't it seem that the romcom is dying a slow death? weren't the glory years for romance in film the 40s and 50s? isn't society just a bit too jaded for this genre anymore?

wait -- i did see 'the lake house', but i guess that's not really a romcom. that's a pretty good piece of work, though.


chris soth

Wow...The Lake House, yes, that was this year...ok, gotta give it some props.

I think The Break Up sweeps as best Rom-Com...which does make it a pretty bleak year, all right.

Although Borat was a love story too...

Dixon Steele

THE BREAK-UP was, for me, the Best Rom-Com of the Year, although that might not be saying much. Original, funny and very charismatic leads who clearly fell in love while shooting the movie. A big B.O., winner, but underrated by the critics.

Just saw Emily Blunt, as a gorgeous gay seductress in the British drama MY SUMMER OF LOVE. A must see for Blunt watchers!

And as much as I like Zooey D., I've got a bigger jones for older sister Emily a.k.a. BONES. Just saw her in person at the Palisades Starbucks and can say, even more beautiful in person. Be still my heart...

And who thought putting Russell Crowe in a Rom-Com (directed by Ridley Scott, no less) was a good idea?

helen metella

So true. A couple of additions:
* Most Tragically Squandered Decent Premise: The Holiday
* Thinnest Motivation for a Character to Help the Heroine: Woody Allen's magician in Scoop - "because it's my movie, dammit."
* Clearest Indication this Coupling Is Psycho from the Get-go: Vince Vaughan dazzles Dental Floss-Thin Jen with his lust by thrusting free hot dogs upon her.
* Most Niggling Question to Emerge from a Bad Rom-Com: What ideas did screenwriter reject in favour of the hot-dog scenario?


Ruth: Seems more like a rom-dramedy from what I've heard, and not a good one.

Hi Alan: There isn't a "romantic comedy" genre in contemporary lit/pop fiction, per se, but I identify my story as one.

Re: your thoughts on the rom-com (screen) as a "dying genre," that is fit for a longer post, but in brief, it's simply not true. Studios are making more romantic comedies than ever, and we've had decades full of successful and enduring rom-coms since the '30s-'40s heyday (the '80s were particularly rich in them, w/ARTHUR, TOOTSIE, ROMANCING THE STONE MOONSTRUCK, BROADCAST NEWS, SAY ANYTHING, WHEN HARRY... among others).

It may simply be that you don't respond to the more current crop, which actually -- if you look at last year's Astas -- are predominately male POV rom-coms.
At any rate, if you want more info on all this (doesn't sound like it's your thing, tho) there's a certain book I can recommend...

Chris! If you mean Borat and his fat companion (as opposed to Borat and Pamela), then I totally agree.

Hey Dixon: I loved Emily in SUMMER. Re: the Crowe-Scott imbroglio, it was purely a product of Scott wanting to shoot his buddy's book in his own vineyard turf, as a kind of film-o-holiday, and it's evidently our loss.

Welcome Helen: Very funny and so true. BREAK-UP is an oddball entry, in that while it's easy to understand why Jen and Vince hooked up, the "why" in why their on-screen characters were together remains the missing link enigma in that largely ill-conceived movie...


Poor Asta -- this was not his year.

Like Alan, I haven't seen any of these movies in the theater (although I am a fan of comedy, particularly romantic comedy), but none of these seemed worth the trouble. Oh, wait! I did see Scoop, but that struck me more as a goofy mystery than a romantic comedy. I spent a good portion of my movie watching year with classic screwball comedies and romcoms, which was SO FUN, but did have a dampening effect on my desire to see any of the current offerings. (no cary grant? no, thank you. The Holiday sounds like the antithesis to the lovely Holiday.)

(...and while I was composing this you answered the question I was going to ask, so this comment seems rather pointless -- except maybe someone will think "Holiday! I should watch that again," so I'll leave it.)

(for what it's worth, I don't think your posts are too long!)


I, too, want more Zooey Deschanel in 2007. And every other year of my life.

It's fun to dream.

To Billy, congrats on the sale, and on the sweetheart.

And good call on Science of Sleep. Brilliant, and heartbreaking.

download movies

The Science of Sleep is another Michael Gondry's excellent movie. I love very much his realistic point of view, there is so much hard but gentle work, excellent director.

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