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As always, entertaining. Thanks.


That second storyline in Crazy, Stupid, Love made me fee awful as well. I couldn't believe they thought it was ok for her to give him those pictures...eeeeeee!

That movie was a solid B - but the character development left me wishing I had only paid $8 - one for every Ryan Gosling ab.


Midnight in Paris certainly conjured the most magic, although Woody Allen used a shortcut. Still, it worked.

Isn't creating magic - which is usually that loving spark between two people (Lars and The Real Girl notwithstanding) what we're looking to experience? Shouldn't that be a line item in every movie budget? ;)

E.C. Henry

Great job as always minning the gold out of the barren fields. Billy, your Asta Awards are always well thoughtout, and definately give me something to muse over. I really look forward each year to reading who you prize atop the pack.

A couple things I'd add:

Best Act III in a Rom-com in 2011: "Something Borrowed." Really like the twist involved with the Kate Hudson character (who really failed to deliver the laughs), and the passive protagonists had a great ending as well.

Gift Every Girl Would have Like to Have Gotten under Her Tree courtesy of the 2011 Rom-com season: Ryan Gossling.
Would LOVE to go clubbing with Ryan Gossling. Might improve my chances with the ladies. Hey, it worked for Steve Carrell!

Best Buddy in a Rom-com in 2011: John Krazinski from "Something Borrowed." Pretty much the same character from his work in "The Office", but hey, that TOTALLY works for me. LOVE John Krazinski; he plays the average, everyday Joe better than anyone else who comes to mind.

Interesting you made a comment about "Young Adult." I LOVED that movie. WHY? Because I'm quite interaged by themes exlored as experienced by the ex-hot chick from high school 10 - 20 years removed from her heyday. he ex-popular chick 10 to 20 years later... Territory I've been known to frequent in many of my own spec. scripts... Besides two hours with Charlize Theron is easy on the eyes. If she ever experiences one of those cold, lonely nights, I'd like her to know that my door is ALWAYS open. Just sayin'. ;-)

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Thanks, Stephanie: Happy New Year to you and Mr. M!

JustMe: It was a mixed bag, for sure. Have a Happy, J!

Scott: All I can say is... IF ONLY. Let's look forward (ever optimistic) to 2012?

E.C. - Who can argue with your love of Charlize? My impression is that a lot of the good critical reception for YA was based on her always-interesting performance. Have a wonderful New Year, Mr. Henry (and don't work too hard)!

Rob in L.A.

I hate to sound like the genre police (yet again), but I don't think of "Bridesmaids" as a rom-com because the Annie-Nathan romance is the B plot (at best). The A plot is Annie's relationship with Lillian.

I know that rom-coms don't always market themselves as such (Exhibit A: "Wedding Crashers" sells itself as a buddy movie but ends up being a two-couple rom-com), but LTRC's criteria run the risk of turning every comedy with a romantic subplot into a rom-com, and from what I can tell, most fictional features have some kind of romantic story line, sub- or otherwise. By LTRC's standard, in all seriousness, you could argue that "Bride of Frankenstein" is a rom-com (it's got some laughs, and there's a couple of romantic story lines).

I'm not writing to split hairs or spoil anyone's fun, but I think the question needs to be asked: At what point does a romantic story line in a humorous movie rise to the level where it makes the picture a rom-com?

On another topic, here's a trivia question: Can anyone name an actor who was born with the name Richard Jenkins but changed it professionally?

Finally, while I'm at it: Happy New Year, mernitman, and thanks for your funtastic blog!


Rob: Your point is well-taken, and yes, technically Annie's romantic travails are the B-story in 'Maids. I would never say "Bridesmaids is a romantic comedy." I'm calling it a hybrid, however, because the issue of Annie being with someone or not is (to me) tied inextricably into her central character-driven conflict. The movie starts and ends with Annie's romantic issues front and center, as emblematic of "where she was" (abused by Hamm) and "where she ends up" (happy with O'Dowd) vis-a-vis the movie's central thematic question (i.e. Can Annie get over herself, grow up and get her shit together, on both girlfriend and boyfriend fronts? Add to this the wedding genre of it all (wedding comedies seem to me a tacit sub-genre of romantic comedy by virtue of their fundamental concerns), and the movie's gleeful satire of same... and on the balance, I still think I'm justified in terming it a buddy movie/rom-com hybrid.

And just to be a total academic nerd about all this, I have to differ with your "Bride of Frankenstein" gag, since "Bride" is undeniably a tragedy; I don't think LTRC will ever be so far gone as to make that sort of claim. But let's keep this "when is it a breath mint and when is it a candy mint?" debate alive (it's aLIVE!) as we lurch into 2012, since it's certainly a provocative and controversial tempest in our teapot to stir.

Rob in L.A.

But "Bride of Frankenstein" has a wedding...

Ah, never mind.

Thanks for your answer, mernitman.

Once again, Happy 2012! May the rom-com gods pleasantly surprise us in the New Year!


Really enjoyed your ASTA awards, and can't quibble much wtih any of them. I found good things in both CRAZY STUPID LOVE and FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, though was ultimately quite disappointed with both. Glad to see the love for those two adorable dogs, too!

For me, 2011 was a pretty thin year for romantic comedy, as it apparently was for you as well. I would love to see the genre revitalized in 2012.

And, to Rob - without consulting IMDB, I think I recall that Richard Burton was actually born Richard Jenkins. Am I right?

Rob in L.A.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes, Pat, you got the right answer! Richard Burton was indeed born with the name Richard Jenkins. His adopted moniker, Burton, was the name of his mentor in Wales. I'm wondering if the former Mr. Jenkins ever appeared in any rom-coms.


Pat: Yes, let's see some revitalization. Please?!

Rob: The former Mr. Jenkins did narration for a 1959 Midsummer Night's Dream pic, and had a cameo in What's New Pussycat (uncredited), so those would count for completists, I guess; he also starred in Taming of the Shrew with Liz (legitimate romantic comedy) and was in Candy (?!), a rom-com/sex farce/satire. But most importantly, who can forget his hilarious role as George in that rib-tickler of a rom-com, Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (Psych!)

Rob in L.A.

mernitman, thank you for reminding me of the OTHER Richard Jenkin's stellar work in his films of Mr. Shakespeare's primordial rom-coms. In particular, the 1959 "Midsummer Night's Dream" that he narrated was a puppet film by my favorite animator and one of my favorite directors: the Czech filmmaker Jiří Trnka (1912-1969), who is perhaps best known for his short political allegory "The Hand" ("Ruka," 1965). If anyone hasn't heard of him, I invite you to check out the info about him on the Internet.


Bitchslappin is fun, isn't it? Lolz. Check out this video from Canadian comedian Josh Rimer which I found on YouTube!


I've thought about this post a lot and the role that stands out for me in this lackluster year is Jon Hamm's from Bridesmaids. I love him in Mad Men, but after seeing that performance, I want him to be the lead of some wacky comedy or rom com some day. I actually gasped out loud when he said these lines, "This is so awkward. I really want you to leave, but I don't know how to say it without sounding like a dick." But here's the magic in that particular screenplay, he was still sort of endearing in his own messed up way. How did they do that?!

Judith Duncan

Hey Billy,
A lot to think about there as always. I haven't seen all of the films,but I agree with everything about 'Bridesmaids'.
Loved the set piece on the plane,
"There's a woman in colonial dress on the wing".And I do agree that it's the romantic problems of Annie that underpin all her problems and her journey.

I was also caught up in the wonder of,"Midnight in Paris" a romantic character in a romantic city,going on a wonderfully romantic jouney. Owen Wilson did the Woody Allen character so well that he walked off at the end with a girl not even out of her teens. Left me wondering why? Couldn't he have met the tour guide coming home? Why would a mature woman not be considered to have a romantic spirit ? Just a little thorn in my side that itches on occasion.
:) Judith


Christina: I know! And I'm upset to report that a comedy project meant to star Hamm with Melissa McCarthy that I was working on at Uni has been stalled (MM's making another movie for us first)... but there's definitely more comedy for him to come.

Judith: Yes, I'm with you there - it's clearly Allen indulging a familiar tendency, and he's not alone in that, as we all well know...

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