How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Paramount Pictures 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I thought this came out later. I seem to remember a poster for this movie being up like it was new when I was in college. Maybe I was mistaken about why it was up, or maybe a movie with a similar poster was out at the time. It’s not a very original poster design.

Anyway, there are few better ways to manufacture conflict in a romantic comedy than to have the romantic leads have opposing goals they’re hiding from each other, and this is one of the most basic forms of that. He’s made a bet that he can make her love him in 10 days, she’s trying out a relationship destruct plan for an article she intends to write. And there’s a lot of quirkiness along the way I guess.

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Someone Like You

Someone Like You. 20th Century Fox 2001.

Before watching the movie:

It is strange to recall that Hugh Jackman used to be known as a romantic lead. For one thing, that was around 20 years ago, but also I can’t remember the last time he was in a romantic role. And that’s not a genre I pay much attention to.

Romantic comedies are almost all basically the same plot, but with a few elements thrown in for flavor. The main added flavor here seems to be “she’s an advice columnist who’s about to be proven wrong.” Which I don’t really have a lot to say about, but I’m interested in seeing how it gets where it’s going.

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Spawn

Spawn. New Line Cinema 1997.

Before watching the movie:

Every time I think I understand what this movie is, I go looking for something to verify that and I come up with more confusing information. I think I can safely say that the main character is a recently deceased man recruited by demonic forces whose main internal conflict comes from coming to decide this work isn’t right. I’m not clear on much of anything else. Except this isn’t as similar to Blade as I thought. Every still I’m being presented looks like it’s from a different movie.

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The Commitments

The Commitments. Dirty Hands Productions 1991.

Before watching the movie:

I’ll be honest, a screencap with Colm Meaney was what attracted my attention, though it looks like he has a pretty minor role. And really, an Irish movie in the 90s would be remiss not to include him in some way.

The actual point of this movie seems to be a bunch of wannabe musicians being put together in a band by a wannabe manager. Which could go several different ways, and since it’s billed as a dramedy, probably goes many of them.

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Gentleman’s Agreement

Gentleman’s Agreement. 20th Century Fox 1947.

Before watching the movie:

I’m unclear whether the anti-Semitism the main character wants to expose is within a particular institution, or more broadly, within society at large, like the seminal Black Like Me, or less seminal White Chicks.

While there are people, perhaps even people who would not be considered eugenicists or race-nationalists, who consider “Jewish” a morphological race, the physical characteristics are very subtle, to the point where I’m not sure how a Gentile reporter would pose as a Jewish man other than introducing himself to people who don’t know him with a “hi, I’m Jewish, by the way!” A long game approach would probably be to get a new job somewhere and drop big hints, but that would point back to “within a single institution”. I feel like I got out of my depth three paragraphs ago and I should just let the movie tell its own story.

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Compulsion

Compulsion. 20th Century Fox 1959.

Before watching the movie:

I have no idea what to expect. This was an algorithmically generated recommendation I’ve never heard of, and all I have to go on is that it’s a courtroom drama about some amoral law students who believe they’re above the law. And Orson Welles is in it.

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Laura

Laura. 20th Century Fox 1944.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not sure if I’ve been aware of this movie before it came up in recommendations or not. I seem to be vaguely aware of “Laura” as a title, but I may just be thinking of the song (which I know because Spike Jones exploded it), that turns out to be the theme from the movie with lyrics added.

Vincent Price appears to have a small role, judging by his billing, but he’s the biggest name I can see. The only other name I even recognize on the shortlist is Clifton Webb.

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