films seen
8/21
average score
1.37*
nationality
USA - 81 years old
status
R.I.P. (1934 - 2016)
more info

Worthy but flawed

Pretty Woman

by Garry Marshall
1990 / 119m - USA
Comedy, Romance
2.5*/5.0*
Pretty Woman poster

Plain forgettable

Valentine's Day

by Garry Marshall
2010 / 125m - USA
Comedy, Romance
1.5*/5.0*
Valentine's Day poster

Another holiday-themed ensemble film. Some rather poor casting choices, an overload of barely intersecting stories (that all follow more or less the same emotional journey) and tepid direction make this a less than stellar romcom. There are way better films to watch around this time of year, but if you're really starved for choice I guess it's somewhat passable.

The Princess Diaries

by Garry Marshall
2001 / 115m - USA
Comedy
1.5*/5.0*
The Princess Diaries poster

A slightly more modern take on Disney's classic princess story. Let's be honest, I'm nowhere near the target audience of this film, so if you're looking for something suitable to watch with your kids just skip this review. That said, films for kids can still appeal to adults, this one doesn't.

Mia is a young girl raised by her single mom. On her 16th birthday, Mia's grandmother reveals that she's royalty, poised to take over the throne. Her grandmother gives Mia a crash course in etiquette, but Mia isn't too sure she actually wants to leave her life in San Francisco behind to become genuine royalty.

The performances are pretty dire, the soundtrack is hellish, and the plot is a real bore. I will say that even though the film has few positives, it's still a pretty easy watch. The pacing is decent and while predictable, it never gets excessively dull. Not my kind of movie, but in its genre it isn't the worst.

Runaway Bride

by Garry Marshall
1999 / 116m - USA
Comedy, Romance
1.5*/5.0*
Runaway Bride poster

A film built around Gere and Roberts. They were a pretty hot couple in the 90s and just having them fronting a romcom would draw audiences to the theater without them even looking at the trailer. This being a late-90s flick, it's easy to see how the complacency was starting to set it, signaling the eventual demise of the duo.

When Ike writes a damning column about Maggie, a woman known for leaving guys at the altar, he gets fired from his job for not properly investigating his article. While Ike admits to his faults, he stands behind the premise of his column and seeks out Maggie, who is about to get married once again.

Two somewhat irritating characters who can't stand each other. It's not hard to figure out how that story goes. The performances aren't great, the plot is a disaster and the payoff isn't strong enough. It's just simple fluff that will only appeal to the most hardened romcom fans out there. Not the worst in the genre, just extremely bare bones.

Overboard

by Garry Marshall
1987 / 112m - USA
Comedy, Romance
1.5*/5.0*
Overboard poster

I watched the remake not too long ago, that wasn't a great film. This earlier version with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell is worse still, but not by much. It's a sappy romcom with slightly annoying leads, a very predictable plot and no redeeming aesthetic qualities, but it's also not as bad as it could've been.

Joanna is a wealthy woman who acts like a spoiled brat. After a spat with a carpenter, she gets into an accident and loses her memory. To get back at her, the carpenter picks up her, pretending to be her husband. Joanna ends up with him, cleaning his house and taking care of his kids.

Hawn and Russell have no chemistry, most of the characters are unlikable, and a near 2-hour runtime is well excessive for a simple flick like this. The pacing is somewhat decent though and while there are no laugh-out-loud moments, the vibe is pretty light and agreeable. Overall though, very forgettable.

Big nopes

New Year's Eve

by Garry Marshall
2011 / 113m - USA
Comedy, Romance
1.0*/5.0*
New Year's Eve poster

Cheesy and cheap. A whole bunch of B-grade actors are thrown into a sappy story that tries to celebrate the "wonder" of New Year's Eve. The comedy is horrendous, the drama terrible and none of the (many) stories has anything interesting to say. At least corporate sponsors had a ball with this one (hello Nivea).

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

by Garry Marshall
2004 / 113m - USA
Comedy, Romance
1.0*/5.0*
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement poster

The first film became somewhat on an unlikely hit, so it's no surprise a follow-up would eventually materialize. Such a sequel doesn't even have to be good to make its money back, and so it's no surprise that part 2 feels like something that was penned down in a day. This is truly fan-only material.

With the first film set in America, it's only natural that the sequel sees princess Mia return to her home country. She moves in with her grandma, but she soon becomes the target of political tomfoolery. In order to inherit the throne, the princess has to be married, and so starts her quest for the perfect man.

If you like the idea of an American girl not fitting in with coquettish overseas royalty, this film might be for you, but even then you'd have to get past the poor performances, lame jokes and lazy writing. That said, I'm clearly not the target audience for a film like this, so your mileage may vary.

Irritation overload

Mother's Day

by Garry Marshall
2016 / 118m - USA
Comedy, Drama, Romance
0.5*/5.0*
Mother's Day poster