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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

MUST LOVE DOGS starring Diane Lane and John Cusack

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I am secretly a sucker for romantic comedies, although, come to think of it, it's really not THAT MUCH of a secret anymore these days. They are usually harmless fun, generic and cliched they may be. Of course, some good ones are really good, I still love the likes of When Harry Met Sally, Jerry Maguire, Sleepless In Seattle, My Sassy Gal (which is definitely THE ultimate Korean rom-com, EVER), the list goes on and on, which I don't want to continue sharing with you all since I still have a manly, macho reputation to protect.

So, despite its mediocre box-office performance and critical reception (hey, come on, I don't expect these rom-coms to be Oscar contenders), I went off to see 'Must Love Dogs' this afternoon after a round of guerilla filmmaking at the city (which I will elaborate in future entries, if I'm reminded). I KNEW that this won't suck like the two rom-com stinkers of the year, 'The Wedding Date' or 'A Lot Like Love' because of a more established cast. Come on, we have John Cusack and Oscar nominee Diane Lane here, not Ashton Kutcher (though he really ain't THAT bad... sometimes) and Amanda Peeler or Debra Messing (who wasn't even good in 'Will and Grace', jeez).

The plot is nothing special, generic rom-com stuff. Two divorcees hook up after the woman's sister put up a personal ad of her on the internet, and the one who answered the ad turned out to be just the perfect guy for her. However, like all romantic comedies, there would be many obstacles preventing them from being together until the last few minutes of the film.

However, yes, there are solid performances from the two leads, making them such likable characters with good chemistry that will make you root for them to be together. Also, Christopher Plummer, who plays Diane Lane's dad, is great. Especially in one scene, when you realize that the cool old bastard already had the love of his life, and he's just chillin' now with his numerous lady friends. Badass. Definitely cooler than the dad he played in The Sound of Music. (yes, to the uninitiated, Christopher Plummer is the dad in The Sound of Music)

If you are a fan of romantic comedies, you'll enjoy this, if you're not, this won't change your perception, so don't bother. Not much else for me to say except to put up the great poem quoted by Christopher Plummer's character in the film.
Brown Penny by William Butler Yeats

I whispered, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.