Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The perfect Rom-Com

Two and a half weeks off work! In my head that means two and a half weeks of blissful writing time but of course, on day 5 of my break writing time has yet to materialise. Christmas has got in the way. I have managed to clean the house, skirting boards and all, buy and decorate a tree, do the bulk of my Christmas shopping, watch the Muppets Christmas Carol whilst writing all my cards and actually send said cards and various parcels. Today I was going to make mince pies with home-made mincemeat and the pastry in which to put it but pulled myself back from the domestic goddess brink and agreed to make cakes with the 8yo instead. Write? Not so much.

Yesterday I took advantage of a massive ironing pile to introduce the daughter to one of my favourite Christmas films. I first saw While You Were Sleeping at a large multiplex in Hartford Connecticut the year I au-paired in the States. Rom-coms were different in the early/mid nineties. Sweeter, more heartfelt, more innocent and yet spine-tingingly romantic (Sleepless in Seattle, another Christmas favourite came out the year before and my friend and I saw it twice in two days, bawling the whole way through both times).
Why do I love it so much?
1. Sandra Bullock does lonely so well, it gets me every time (same thing in The Net)
2. The moment she is watching the loud, squabbling family & the camera zooms in on a stocking with her name on
3. The proposal (so good we rewound to watch it twice)
4. Real characters (in real clothes), not Hollywood caricatures (well maybe the family, and the ex, and Joe Jnr, okay a few caricatures but good ones!)
5. Peter Gallagher thinking he has amnesia 'a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h...'
6. All the photos of Peter in his wallet, around his flat
7. Joe Junior
8. Lucy's speech at the wedding (did I mention that she does lonely so well, I dare you not to well up)
9. The minute she decides to take action and start following her dream, a lesson for all romance heroines everywhere.
10. Bill Pullman, not an obvious choice as romantic lead but he is perfect.

And, unlike many rom-coms made in the last ten years it's mild enough to watch with an 8yo and yet still a perfect romance. Inspiration for all sweet romance writers everywhere.


Alexandra said...

I'm a big fan of Sandra Bullock - and yes, she does lonely really well. In fact, everything she does, she does really well. I think it is quite sad that a lot of the films I've watched over the years I can't watch with my kids because of the age rating. When we were kids we watched tons of films with our parents because they were suitable. There's a whole generation of kids growing up without that whole family Sunday film thing. It's a shame.

Anonymous said...

I know it's ages since you wrote this post but I've just chanced upon it - and have to leave a comment because While You Were sleeping is my favourite film ever! Sandra Bullock is a delight - and Bill Pullman may not be the obvious romantic lead choice - but still made my toes curl in the nicest possible way while doing the 'leaning' scene - you know the one! Lovely, lovely film.