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A Couple's Guide to Romance...(Cinema)

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Annie Hall...(You Cannot Separate Man from Art)

Paula and Justin watch 1977's Annie Hall on their way to rom com bliss (or misery). Annie Hall tells the story of one man's neuroses through his on again, off again relationship with a girl who was loveably off type. Understandably this review turns into a broader discussion about whether we, the viewers, can enjoy this film in light of Woody Allen's history. The answer is probably no, but maybe time will be a gentler critic?


Sweet November...(How to Lose a Guy in 30 Days)

Paula and Justin celebrate the demise of the production code by watching 1968's Sweet November. This strange, heartfelt rom com chronicles the month-long romance of Charlie, the box company exec, and Sara, a self proclaimed therapist. After Sara meets Charlie at the DMV, she is intent on fixing his hurry, hurry ding, ding problem and insists he move in with her to be cured. The plot of this film is hard to believe, but a perfect fit for the shifting culture of the late 1960s. This film makes...


The Apartment...(Knock Before Entering)

Paula and Justin move along the rom com timeline to 1960's The Apartment, an Oscar award winning film whose themes of adultery and suicide were a direct rebuke to the Hollywood Production Code. In what could be the first dark rom com, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon find themselves driven together(and apart) by their morally questionable decision making. In the end, they must choose between their ill gotten rewards and dignity. Through the genius of good writing, these dark themes somehow...


The Philadelphia Story...(Dreamy Alcoholic Ex-Husbands)

The rom coms continue as Paula and Justin study the early days of the genre by watching The Philadelphia Story. In this film, Katherine Hepburn, a wealthy socialite, is forced to choose between Cary Grant, her-ex husband, John Howard, her fiancee, and Jimmy Stewart, an intellectual reporter with a heart of gold. While the ultimate answer of who gets the girl was determined by a censor review board, this film has a lot of fun showing the difference between old love and infatuation.


Crazy Rich Asians...(Love is Not a Zero-Sum-Game)

Surprise - Paula and Justin watch Crazy Rich Asians, the film that's (no surprise) dominating the box office, proving that Americans are as hungry for representation as they are for rom coms. Long live the rom com! Crazy, Rich, Asians is 100% formulaic, but what's old feels new again as we watch secret identities, parental disapproval, makeovers, a clash of cultures, hilarious sidekicks, and gay fixers play out among Singapore's wealthy elite. The casting is superb and the settings are lush....


Once...(The Disagreement: Our Minds Are Made Up)

Paula and Justin review Once, a film that captured Paula's heart and that Justin watched ten years too late. Once is a low-budget sleeper hit starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (The Swell Season)where beautiful, intense music tells the story of a sweet, but poorly timed romance between a guy and a girl. This film catapulted its leads to acclaim and musical success, leading them to live the film's love story IRL, but in reverse. If you like emotionally charged folk rock a la Mumford &...


Purple Rain...(The Sexual Revolution of 10,000 Lakes)

Paula and Justin review Purple Rain, the mostly autobiographical film about Prince's family, career, and romantic dalliances set in the music mecca that is Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although more an elongated music video than movie, Purple Rain reminds us of why the world was and continues to be captivated by Prince. His acting is terrible. His taste in women is questionable. His artistry is unparalleled.


Waiting to Exhale...(Sex and the Southwest)

Paula and Justin review Waiting to Exhale, the third film in the We Need to Talk About Kevin and Whitney Series, best known for its strong cast of dynamic leading ladies and for Whitney's Shoop, Shoop song (not to be confused with Salt-N-Pepa). Set in Phoenix, Waiting to Exhale follows the lives of four friends struggling to find real love and good men. Like their dating lives, their character arcs are bumpy at best and while this is a film for women, there isn't much substance here that's...


Dances with Wolves...(Translation: Terrible White People)

Paula and Justin review Dances with Wolves, the second film in the We Need to Talk About Kevin and Whitney Series, the critically acclaimed western that reimagined the genre. Dances with Wolves was Kevin Costner's passion project and its themes, characterizations, and 3 plus hour run time could have made this a huge flop. Instead, the world got an extremely well done film with a clear, compelling story (including a romance) and semi-accurate depictions of the end of the frontier. This one...


The Bodyguard...(The Movie that Launched a Soundtrack)

Paula and Justin review The Bodyguard, the first feature in the We Need to Talk About Kevin series, which, over the course of this episode, becomes the We Need to Talk About Kevin and Whitney series. The Bodyguard launched Whitney Houston's film career and while the film wasn't critically acclaimed, its soundtrack is one of the best selling of all time. We should be thankful for this Whitney/Kevin collaboration if only because it produced Whitney Houston's iconic cover of Dolly Parton's I...


50 Shades of Grey...(Grabbing Face & Horsing Around)

In this special double date episode, Paula and Justin review 50 Shades of Grey with good friends and fellow romance fanatics Susan and Ben. 50 Shades is the much anticipated film version of E.L. James' poorly written, BDSM laden Twilight fan fiction. While this movie is meant to be erotic, the absolute lack of chemistry between the leads and shoddy dialogue meant that belly laughs outnumbered embarrassed looks 5,000,000 to none.


Jerry Maguire...(Adventures in Accounting)

Paula and Justin review Jerry Maguire, the film that introduced us all to the phrases "Show me the money," "You complete me," "You had me at hello," and, if Cameron Crowe got his way, "Some dudes may have the coin, but they will never have the quan." These memorable lines of dialogue are pretty much the sum total of what most people remember about Jerry Maguire, and, after our review, we think that might be a good thing.


Dirty Dancing…(Jerry Orbach’s Shitty Vacation)

Paula and Justin review Dirty Dancing, a classic romantic dance film that spawned major careers, tv shows, and musicals and made couples everywhere try to clumsily pick each other up for fun. In this special episode featuring guest stars Andrew and Abbie, we get to hear a before and after to see whether Justin’s perceptions of Dirty Dancing, the cultural phenomenon, align with the reality of Dirty Dancing, the film.


In the Mood for Love... (Whispering Secrets into Bill Murray)

Paula and Justin get that fuzzy feeling in their tummies as they dive into Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, "In the Mood for Love".


Yentl...(Crossdressing for POPPA)

Paula and Justin review Yentl, a film about a young Jewish woman in Eastern Europe who trades her home, identity, and first love for knowledge. Barbara Streisand dominates the screen as the star, writer, and director of this quasi musical that ultimately proves what women are capable of if they are given the chance.


Big Night…(Let’s Make Timpano & an Instagram Account)

Paula and Justin review Big Night, a story about two brothers and one very memorable last meal. On their big night, food takes center stage, entwining the brothers’ past, present, and future lives and loves.


Mouthsounds Minisode…(Eat, Pray, Love)

Paula and Justin present Uncomfortable Mouthsounds and introduce their next theme.


Il Postino...(Dewy Bosoms & Bad Metaphors)

Paula and Justin review Il Postino (The Postman), a story about how one man finds himself and true love through metaphor and friendship with famed poet Pablo Neruda. One part romance, one part tragedy, Il Postino teaches us about the power of poetry to unlock appreciation for ordinary life.


Under the Tuscan Sun... (How Stella Got Olive Oil Hair)

Paula and Justin review Under the Tuscan Sun, one woman's journey to rebuild her life, find inspiration and true love in Tuscany. Ridiculous, but heartwarming, Under the Tuscan Sun's Italian stereotypes, animal cameos and rag tag group of Polish construction workers may win you over in the end.


Call Me By Your Name... (Italian Teenage Slowjams)

Paula and Justin review this year's Oscar darling, Call Me By Your Name, a story of love's awakening set in Northern Italy during summer's long, slow days. From casual looks to shared bathrooms, Call Me By Your Name is luscious, visually stunning and blunt. It's hyper intimacy is romantic, but also a bit weird.