A note from Lindsey: I’m trying something a little different with Modern Movies this month. The post will be broken into two parts — one for releases between 1970 and 1999, and the second for 21st century films. This format will be used from now on in months when I watch at least three films from each of these categories.
It Could Happen to You (1994) – With someone other than Nicolas Cage in the male lead, this film would be a super cute rom-com. With his casting, the film is still enjoyable and at times highly amusing. His performance is too stereotypically Nicolas Cage-ish for the film to be taken seriously as a romance, but it’s a fun watch. The rest of cast is great — hilarious Rosie Perez and Wendell Pierce as Cage’s money-hungry wife and food-hungry work partner, lovable Bridget Fonda as the waitress who gets the $2,000,000 tip. This is the definition of a “feel good” film and has the charm of a classic comedy.
She’s the One (1996) – As I sometimes do, near the middle of the month I found myself in the mood for a New York-set rom-com. Luckily, this one had been waiting on my Netflix queue for only a week or two and popped up as soon as I logged in. She’s the One is the type of film that uses a realistic ensemble of characters (the wandering-eyed husband, the still-figuring-things-out newlywed couple, the outspoken/nosy parents and siblings) to provide a commentary on the state of love in the contemporary world (in this case, the mid-’90s). It succeeds in offering believable characters and relationships, the likes of which could still be found in the real world today if you glued a couple of iPhones in the characters’ hands. Solid cast, interesting dynamics and story. I enjoyed watching it overall and wouldn’t mind watching it again. Written and directed by Edward Burns, this film features music by Tom Petty (all but two of the soundtrack’s songs!) — an added bonus.
The Very Thought of You (aka Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel & Laurence) (1999) – This film tells the story of an American woman named Martha who is leaving her life in Minnesota behind to make a sudden move to London and have a great adventure. By chance, she meets three men who have been best friends for practically their entire lives — and all three of them, unbeknownst to each other, fall in love with her. I really loved this film! I put it on for background noise while doing coursework, thinking it wouldn’t be anything special, and instead found myself wrapped up in the film. A couple of quirky characters, great chemistry between Monica Potter (“Martha”) and the man she chooses (which I, of course, won’t spoil). I loved the structure of the film, told mostly in flashbacks which makes for a few surprises in the story. I will be adding this one to my circulation of re-watchable ’90s rom-coms.
Wishful Thinking (1999) – Another film selected for background noise during a particularly tedious note-taking session. Unfortunately for enjoyment’s sake, but fortunately for the sake of my schoolwork, it isn’t nearly as enjoyable as the other ’90s flicks I discovered this month. Aside from a few amusing black and white sequences, it really didn’t grab me at all. I didn’t care for any of the characters and was tempted to turn the film off in favor of Pandora ’80s Pop radio.