Category Archives: Romance

Always Be My Maybe (2019) | Nahnatchka Khan



The main premise is that two childhood friends, Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) and Marcus Kim (Randall Park), end up consummating their time growing up together as Asian-American teens in San Francisco with their first sexual experience, only to find their friendship has become awkward after going beyond the friend zone. These besties soon drift apart and lose connection as they progress into adulthood, with Sasha hitting the big time by becoming one of the most successful celebrity chefs in Los Angeles, while Marcus works by day in his father’s small-scale HVAC company while performing at the same dive bar frequently with the hip-hop group he’s been in since he was a teenager. When Sasha going to the opening of one of her posh restaurants in San Francisco, she ends up getting reacquainted with her old friend Marcus and finds him exactly in the same place, driving the same car, doing the same things all these years, while she’s become a jet-setting millionaire.  Neither can stand each other’s lives, but they seem to enjoy each other’s company for the time being, and with both stuck in relationships that may not lead anywhere, there’s a “maybe” that develops, even though it seems their different lifestyles can never coexist without someone giving in.  Nahnatchka Khan directs this romantic comedy in the vein of “When Harry Met Sally”. Keanu Reeves gets an inspired bit part.


Long Shot (2019) | Jonathan Levine



In this raunchy romantic comedy, schlubby Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), an established left-wing journalist whose uncompromisingly progressive Brooklyn-based online news site has found itself taken over by a right-wing corporatist that he refuses to kowtow to. Due to his deep-seated principles, Fred quits immediately, but he’s bummed out at having to start over again. His best friend, Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) takes him out to blow off some steam and forget hir troubles for a while with a performance from Boyz II Men at a swank charity fund-raising party, and while there, Flarsky ends up running into the Secretary of State of the United States, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who he just so happens to have once known, as the older girl next door who used to babysit him, and with whom he has had a crush ever since.  The two end up catching up, and it just so happens that she’s looking for a writer to punch up her speeches with wit and humor, and with him needing a job, it’s impossible to say no.  He’s a refreshing change of pace to Field, who hasn’t been able to enjoy herself for a very long time, but with presidential aspirations on her horizon, the gossipy public isn’t likely going to accept such a mismatch should she pursue Flarsky romantically.


Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019) | Joe Beringer



This biopic on Ted Bundy covers mostly the ten years between 1969 and 1979, where we find the seemingly sweet courtship of single mom Liz Kendall (Lily Collins) on the part of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron), who seems like an ideal dream man when they meet and seems to be a loving and nurturing father figure to her young daughter over the years. Things take a turn when Bundy leaves their home in Seattle to attend law school in Utah, especially when he gets tagged as a suspect in a kidnapping and murder case that he fits the description of, though the facts don’t quite align enough for him to be the definitive culprit. Elizabeth stays by his side, but Bundy continues to do things that seem to further sink him into legal troubles, making her wonder if he is the serial killer in disguise, or if all of it is the elaborate frame job by overzealous law enforcement seeking to put him away without incontrovertible evidence to nail him for good. Bundy soon becomes a bit of a media darling, with groupies across the country falling under his dreamy spell, including Carole Ann Boone (Kaya Scodelario), who becomes Bundy’s lover and source of strength at a time when Liz has decided to keep her distance.


Isn’t It Romantic (2019) | Todd Strauss-Schulson



Rebel Wilson plays Natalie, working as an architect in New York City, though often marginalized by her peers at her firm as one of the administrative assistants who make copies and fetch coffee for the others a the board meetings. To make matters worse, she ends up getting mugged and assaulted in the subway, resulting in a loss of consciousness that finds her waking up in a too-nice hospital being catered to, and flirted with, by the handsome doctor there.  Her apartment is now three times the size and meticulously furnished, her neighbor now flamboyantly gay, and the hunky, wealthy client they’ve recently taken on at the firm (Liam Hemsworth) now only has eyes for her. In short, she’s the star of her own romantic comedy, and the only person she can confide in that knowledge is her best friend at work, Josh (Adam Devine), who holds a secret crush for Natalie that she’s been too stuck in her low self esteem to see.


Destination Wedding (2018)



Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder star as bickering travelers who just so happen to be going to the same destination: a wedding of her ex, and his half-brother, who neither of them particularly hopes is happy.  Two unhappy people surrounded by mirth leads to a toxic concoction of feelings, but the two unlucky lovers find a bond in their despair that may be just as strong as that of initial attraction.  “Mad About You” producer Victor Levin directs this anti-romantic comedy.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



Constance Wu stars as Rachel Chu, who essentially serves as our best surrogate for the story, the daughter of a single Chinese immigrant mother, who rose above her station to become a professor of Economics at NYU.  Her current boyfriend is a man names Nick Young (played by Henry Golding), who, for over a year since they’ve been dating, has never divulged to her that his family back home in Singapore is insanely wealthy.  The cat has to be let out of the bag, however, when Nick asks Rachel to attend the wedding of his best friend in Singapore, where he also plans to pop a question of his own after she meets the family.  However, Nick’s stern mother, Eleanor, disapproves of trying to pursue what one wants in life independent of the family wishes, so Rachel’s pursuit of her own career, and Nick pursuit of love beyond his class, ruffles more than a few feathers among his family, friends, and the rest of the rich and famous they socialize among.  John M. Chu directs, with supporting roles for Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong


Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Dakota Johnson – Movie Review



The third and final film in the FIFTY SHADES trilogy sees the much anticipated marriage of Anastasia Steele to mega-billionaire Christian Grey, while they overcome trust issues, the question of children, and a psycho maniac hell-bent on revenge.


The Shape of Water (2017) Guillermo del Toro – Movie Review



Guillermo del Toro returns to the dark fairy tale genre in this story about an unlikely relationship that develops between a mute janitor and a strange creature that is part man and part fish.