Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A guy proposes to one girl but really still has feelings for another girl, who also still has feelings for him. Right before the wedding, all of these feelings come out and have the potential to ruin the nuptials and … oh, wait. You have heard this one before?
Maybe the problem with “The Romantics” is the familiar plot. The movie, which opened in limited locations Sept. 10, hasn’t been getting the warmest of reviews overall. Disappointing, because the film has a long list of young actors on its roster — Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Adam Brody, Malin Ackerman, Elijah Wood and Dianna Agron.
Laura (Holmes) and Tom (Duhamel) had a rocky 5-year relationship that lingered over the years. After spending the night with Laura, Tom proposes to her friend Lila (Paquin) the very next day — without telling Laura or Lila about the other one. Great guy, eh? And, of course, Lila asks Laura to be her maid of honor.
These clips show the tension between the trio leading up to the wedding. It’s very obvious that Laura and Tom have chemistry — watch them dance in the “Excited About Tomorrow” clip. Laura is barely concealing her mixed emotions, and finally tells Tom off about him not giving her any warning about him proposing to Lila. On the other hand, Tom and Lila’s relationship seems pretty stilted and awkward — check out “Why Do You Love Me” for proof.
But the clip that probably tells the most about this movie and its characters, and what is probably a pivotal moment in the film, is “Last Night.” About 10 minutes before Lila is supposed to walk down the aisle, Laura tells her she was with Tom the night before, and that Tom loves her, not Lila. Oddly enough, Lila doesn’t seem too phased by the fact that her fiance was with her maid of honor. “Why are you telling me this? This doesn’t concern me,” she says. She accuses Laura of always wanting her things. Where Laura is emotional, Lila is stoic and hard. Laura tells Lila not to marry Tom, but Lila seems pretty set on doing just that, despite the fact that he cheated on her the night before their wedding.
Holmes and Paquin both give good performances in these clips, but maybe the problem isn’t really with the actors or the plot but with the characters. It’s nice to see characters who are flawed and not good or bad but in some kind of gray area; however, the audience is still supposed to care for them. However, I can’t help but dislike Laura, Lila and Tom. What kind of a guy sleeps with his ex-girlfriend the night before he proposes to her friend? What maid of honor sleeps with the groom the night before the wedding? And what kind of friend decides to date and subsequently marry her longtime friend’s ex-boyfriend of five years? How can you care about these people who keep stabbing each other in the back?
Still feel like getting “romantic”? Catch “The Romantics” in theaters now.
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Follow Amanda Koehler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AEKoehler.