Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Recap

Jamie

Connor Mead is a world famous photographer/womanizer who does not believe in marriage. One problem, he has to attend his brother’s wedding this weekend! Uh oh! When he ruins everything, Connor is visited by three ghosts who try to show him the error of his ways. Can he save the day (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

How?! Truly a classic rom com storyline. We have our wildly wealthy man about town, Connor Mead, who does NOT believe in love (gross! That’s for sissies!). He slays the ladies but we get the feeling that he really only sleeps around because he can’t face that he’s still hung up on the one that got away, his (also wildly successful) childhood friend Jenny. Connor heads off to his brother’s wedding and almost immediately begins to ruin everything. After one too many drinks he is taken on a journey of discovery to cure him of his wild ways by the ghost of his long dead womanizing uncle and three ghosts of girlfriends past (who hasn’t, right? College). First he is shown his past where we see a young Connor in love with Jenny but fated to screw it up. Then he is shown how his womanizing is hurting everyone that comes in contact with him in the present. Finally he is shown how if he doesn’t stop he’ll end up dying a sad and lonely man. While all this is happening he also manages to get the wedding cancelled… so not doing so hot on picking up what the spooky ghosts are putting down. After realizing that love is real he madly dashes to save the wedding and get the girl… which he does. The End.

Why?! The motivation in rom coms are just as straightforward as in horror films. Except instead of death, hate, and mayhem the motivation is love (awww). Someone is searching for love but can’t find it, only to figure out that it was right in front of them the entire time (awww). Pretty much the case here as while Connor isn’t actively searching for love he learns through the film that love is what he needs and Jenny has been there the whole time (awww).

What?! Connor is as much a scrooge about love as Scrooge was about Christmas spirit. Bah humbug on the whole thing. So when he has to suffer through his brother’s wedding he does the only thing he apparently likes to do more than have sex with any woman who passes his way: drink. And not just any drink, it’s Johnnie Walker Blue all day and all night. Expensive habit.

Who?! Double dose here as we have musician Christina Milian appearing unbilled as the subject of a Connor Mead photograph in the opening scenes. This completes a BMT trilogy for Milian with Be Cool (gross) and Torque (less gross). Don’t worry though, she has plenty more.

Where?! While the movie was filmed at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, which I stayed at on my wedding night, it surprisingly wasn’t set in MA. In the opener, which takes place at Connor’s studio in NYC, he mentions that he has to travel to Newport for the wedding. This is an obvious reference to Newport, RI which is famous for its mansions. Pretty rare state. Rare enough that we used a film called Evening to hit it for mapl.de.map. What a disgrace. C-.

When?! A little debate at BMTHQ as to whether this is a holiday film. It’s certainly an adaptation on The Christmas Carol and at one point Connor even directly quotes the classic tale by asking a kid whether it’s Christmas yet (but he might just be joshing). It’s never directly acknowledged so can’t really count it, but diving deep into the uncredited roles listed on IMDb there are no less than three actors credited as “Unemployed Santa.” I think I’d remember a few jobless Santas in the film if they actually appeared, but that just might make this a super secret holiday film. D-.

Much like the recently BMT’d Made of Honor this film is almost pleasant in its genericness. Just plods along a plot that we’ve watched a million time. Unfortunately it totally botches the one thing that allowed Made of Honor to stand out from the crowd: an endearing main character and a realistic relationship to root for. In this case Connor Mead may just be the most unpleasant protagonist we’ve had to suffer through (not counting everyone Gerard Butler has played). He’s just an obnoxious, rich asshole who suffers no consequence for his years of being an obnoxious, rich asshole. All that being said, Emma Stone was fun. As for our foreign flick, Asterix at the Olympic Games, that shit was the Frenchest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not totally sure why it was that French audiences rejected it so thoroughly (I thought it was silly but amusing). I presumed that it was the fact that our heroes Asterix and Obelix are somewhat minor characters in the film, but according to reviews I read that wasn’t the problem. Apparently this film was guilty of one too many French pop/athlete references and cameos… I didn’t notice because I didn’t get many of those references. The moral of the story? Bad movies are not a universal language. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Your boss is a hotshot producer and wants a fresh spin on an old classic. Well it’s coming onto Christmas, and you know what that means … you’ve forgotten to buy gifts and you need to smash out this spec in like ten minutes before hitting the mall! Oh, and obviously your idea is just a rehash of A Christmas Carol. But then you remember that Bill got fired for pulling the same trick last year … whatever, let’s have it star a horribly smarmy womanizer and release it in May. Bing bang boom, let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – The main players do a fine job with what they are provided, and the movie looks good as well. Oh, the bumping 80s tunes were a definite A+. But, there is very little else good about this, which we will obviously get into. But let’s make a Remake! About time we got this right. First, make it an adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, Michael Douglas isn’t the warning miser, he’s the angel who wants his wings! He took in his nephews as his own, and for all he tried he couldn’t put Connor on the right track. And before he’s allowed his place in heaven, he needs to change the course of the young man’s life before it is too late! Going through the past he shows all the good he did, and where he went wrong, and the love he missed out on, and in the end the angel gets his wings. Yeah, also don’t fill the entire movie up with cliches.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Let’s just get the Sklognalogy out of the way: this movie is basically identical to Made of Honor. The beats are all the same: The womanizer who realizes the one that got away is the one, but before he can get the girl he has to convince her (and himself) that he’s changed! The main difference: Made of Honor was half-way filled up with cliches. This guy had the smarmy lead, the psychoanalyzing ex, the honorable brother, the bridezilla, the bridesmaid who wants to bone him, the groomsmen who wants to be him, the sultry future mother-in-law and scary military father-in-law … sigh, it is just incredible. Not to mention that this entire movie reads as rich-white-people-problems put to film (like Made of Honor …). Anywho, long story short: turns out making a movie that is one-hundred percent rom-com cliches makes for innocuous by ultimately unsatisfying results. Go figure.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The one-two combination of this and Made of Honor is actually quite tantalizing for a footnote of 2017. It could come up there. I love McConaughey (Foooool’s Gold, it’s not that bad, it’s not that bad), so perhaps as the pinnacle romantic comedy lead … I could see it. CNN has it fifth worst for 2009, but it doesn’t get much play elsewhere for what is a truly impressive bad movie year. Two 2009 movies in a row! And plenty to go it would seem.

Along with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past we watched a Foreign Film this week for the Bring a Friend requirement: Asterix and the Olympic Games. This basically proved to me why we don’t do foreign films: I’m missing context. I thought it was actually rather funny (especially Brutus), I laughed more than I did during Ghosts of Girlfriends Past for example. But I feel like there was something missing. Were these actors good? Were they playing with or against type? If Will Smith was sitting there mugging it on screen I would possibly think a movie was great fun … but Disaster Movie has nobodies mugging constantly and is merely sad and tragic. It had two prequels (I didn’t watch them), and is based off of a beloved comic / cartoon … so there is possibly a level of offense as well with hurting the source material. I’m adrift. I thought it was fine (its bad-movieness saved by hilarious back-to-back-to-back French sports figure cameos to end the film), but people really seem to hate this thing, so I can merely defer to their opinion.

Some foreign films I think we could maybe gain context over time (Hong Kong cinema in particular, and possibly French comedy), but it would be difficult. I have a similar problem with films prior to 1980. That issue though I think is remedied easily: watch a ton of good movies from that era to get a feel for a typical 1970s film, for example. Same goes for martial arts and westerns actually. We just did it with slashers, a genre I had almost no knowledge of prior to this year! So there are opportunities. BMT brings opportunities, truly one of the greatest things ever to be invented ever.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Preview

Originally it seemed obvious that when we hit the “foreign film” entry in the Bring a Friend that we would watch our beloved Nic Cage in Outcast, the Chinese film he did with our less beloved Hayden Christensen. However as we did more research it was clear that the film was an American production looking to break into the Chinese market and probably would have gotten an American release if, you know, it wasn’t so terrible. Seemed to fit better as a straight-to-DVD. So instead we went all in and chose a film that was a 100% foreign release with no American audience in mind and linked it up with a very traditional American rom com release. That’s right! We’re watch Ghosts of Girlfriends PAsterix at the Olympic Games. We all know Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: stars Matthew McConaughey, he plays a giant doucher with a heart of gold, and got solidly terrible reviews. Classic. As for Asterix at the Olympic Games, it’s unlikely anyone has heard of it. I read some articles about it back when it was released because it was a shock to the French cinema. It was the third in a series of films in which the second entry, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a historically gigantic box office smash and critical darling. So obviously the third film was hotly anticipated… and landed with a thud. Everyone hated this film in France and it went on to win the French equivalent to the Razzie award for worst picture. Seemed like a perfect test to see if the language of bad film is universal. Let’s go!

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) – BMeTric: 39.4

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(Huh … Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I feel like I haven’t noticed movies’ IMDb votes tailing off as time goes by. I actually kind of assumed as new users replaced old the number of new votes for a film would kind of just, paradoxically, rise. But apparently it does tail off. Or … maybe this movie is of a certain breed. A movie slowly being forgotten. One of those forgotten films of the 00s that young BMTers will be marvelling over in 2037 … one can dream.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tepid reimagining of A Christmas Carol as a romantic comedy, with McConaughey typecast as a roguish lothario who’s encouraged to change his charming-wastrel ways while visited by various apparitions – including his late playboy uncle (scene stealer Douglas) – the night before his brother’s wedding. Game actors aren’t helped by flat cinematography (even Garner, as McConaughey’s once and future sweetie, looks drab) and predictable writing.

(Sounds boring. But I’m liking the shots at the cinematography. Niche. I think as long as you go in not expecting much you can probably get out untraumatized. At least, that’s how it sounds to me.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqlxWZNeWNk

(Emma Stone looks like fun there. Always loving Breckin Meyer. I guess this is what Leonard Maltin meant by “game cast”. Also it seems like it plays right into a bunch of romantic comedy tropes, like the last 30 minutes of Made of Honor, so that could be fun to stare aghast at.)

Directors – Mark Waters – (Known For: Mean Girls; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; Head Over Heels; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Brother of the screenwriter Daniel Waters for Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Heathers, and Hudson Hawk! Also married to an actress (Dina Spybey-Waters) who seems fairly accomplished in television.)

Writers – Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (written by) – (Known For: Bad Moms; The Hangover; Office Christmas Party; Future BMT: Rebound; Four Christmases; The Hangover Part III; 21 & Over; The Change-Up; Full of It; The Hangover Part II; Flypaper; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: They created and wrote for the show Mixology which at one point became quite famous for being terrible! Notably have provided many uncredited rewrites, including for the BMT film Mr. Woodcock.)

Actors – Matthew McConaughey – (Known For: Sing; Interstellar; Gold; The Wolf of Wall Street; Dazed and Confused; Tropic Thunder; Kubo and the Two Strings; Dallas Buyers Club; Magic Mike; Mud; Free State of Jones; Contact; A Time to Kill; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Reign of Fire; The Lincoln Lawyer; Frailty; Amistad; Bernie; We Are Marshall; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Wedding Planner; Surfer, Dude; Sahara; Paparazzi; The Dark Tower; Larger Than Life; My Boyfriend’s Back; Angels in the Outfield; The Sea of Trees; Two for the Money; BMT: Failure to Launch; Fool’s Gold; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Tiptoes; Notes: Enjoying continued late-career success dubbed The McConaissance. He broke onto the scene with Dazed and Confused (which is was subsequently type-cast for, and later embraced), and is an ardent supporter of the Texas Longhorns football team.)

Jennifer Garner – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Juno; Dallas Buyers Club; Daredevil; Wakefield; 13 Going on 30; Miracles from Heaven; The Invention of Lying; Draft Day; Danny Collins; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Kingdom; Deconstructing Harry; Washington Square; Future BMT: Mr. Magoo; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Arthur; Pearl Harbor; Catch and Release; Butter; The Odd Life of Timothy Green; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Elektra; Nine Lives; Valentine’s Day; Mother’s Day; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Recently separated from her husband of over ten years, Ben Affleck. Born in Texas she was raised in West Virginia, a fact that occasionally comes up in her acting roles (her call sign in Alias was The Mountaineer at one point, for example).)

Emma Stone – (Known For: Battle of the Sexes; La La Land; The Help; Superbad; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Amazing Spider-Man; The House Bunny; Zombieland; Easy A; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; The Interview; Friends with Benefits; Irrational Man; The Croods; The Rocker; Magic in the Moonlight; Future BMT: Marmaduke; Aloha; Gangster Squad; Unlikely Hero; BMT: Movie 43; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Broke out after her role in Superbad she has become one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood as well as winning the Oscar for Best Actress for La La Land last year.)

Budget/Gross – $37.5 million / Domestic: $55,250,026 (Worldwide: $102,223,269)

(Rough domestic total. Would have expected at least a bit more, 75-100 million if it were a success. Probably not really room for a sequel anyways. Thinking about it, I wonder how many romantic comedies leave room for a sequel … they all kind of end the same way right?)

#3 for the Romantic Comedy – Fantasy genre

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(What a very strange (and consistently created) genre. Her was the last one listed, so … again, either dead or forgotten by the Box Office Mojo staff.)

#16 for the Romantic Fantasy genre

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(Combined with the previous plot the romantic fantasy really did peak in 2009! I wonder if it is because it is cheap, or because they are light hearted fun … either way it does seem interesting that it would crest right after the financial collapse. Both make sense. These are still killing it though, with Beauty and the Beast and certainly other live-action Disney adaptations to come.)

#10 for the Womanizer / Cad / Player genre

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(This genre booming in the early 2000s is just … exactly what you would expect. The genre certainly has gone out of style … can’t say I miss it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (37/140): A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.

(I don’t believe you. It is impossible for a film starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas to not be incredibly charming. Originality and humor on the other hand I can totally believe.)

Poster – Ghosts of Sklogfriends Past (C-)

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(Certainly tells a story and has a central color to focus everything around, but busy and has terrible font. Slightly underwhelming mixed bag.)

Tagline(s) – You can’t always run from your past (D+)

(I always thought that the phrase “running from your past” implied that you can’t actually do it… it’s not something that you can get away from… because it’s your past… an abstraction that cannot be changed or erase and will eventually “catch up with you.” Anyway, what I’m saying is I don’t understand this tagline as it seems meaningless. Besides, it sounds weird that they’re repeating the word “past” in the title and tagline.)

Keyword(s) – wedding; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 80.8 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 79.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000); 76.5 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 70.3 Devil’s Due (2014); 68.4 Supergirl (1984); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 67.8 Double Team (1997);

(Ha! I think Sex and the City 2 is the big one there (although … is there a wedding? I can’t remember. There is in the first one). Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was once proposed as a Nevada based movie for the Mapl.d.map … we nixed that, but the thought still kind of tickles me. Suggesting Rock Vegas is in fact in Nevada.)

Notes – This is the second time that Christa B. Allen has played the younger version of a character played by Jennifer Garner. The first was in 13 Going on 30 (2004).

Originally set up at Walt Disney Pictures with Ben Affleck attached to play the lead character, and Kevin Smith to direct. Production was to begin in the fall of 2003, but budgetary concerns and the failure of Gigli (2003) forced the studio to cancel the film one month prior to shooting. Ironically, when the film did get made years later, Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner appeared in it. And the role Affleck was supposed to play, was instead played by his Dazed and Confused (1993) co-star, Matthew McConaughey. (Doesn’t feeeeel like irony. More of just a fun coincidence. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t expect Jennifer Garner to get attached to a movie her now ex-husband was set to star in from years prior.)

When Ben Affleck was attached to the project, offers went out to Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson for the part of Uncle Wayne.

Based on the novel A Christmas Carol in Prose, 1843, by Charles Dickens. (You don’t say)

When going back to his late teens, Connor winds up in Kripke’s basement. Kripke’s basement is where, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), John Connor said he first made out with Kate Brewster only a few days before the T-2 arrived, both Connor’s name and the locale being homage to the Terminator series.

Released in Germany as “Night of the Ex-Girlfriends”

Director Mark Waters installed a ping-pong table at both Crane Estate and Elm Bank Reservation, where the present-day wedding scenes were filmed, and would regularly challenge Micah Sherman, Albert M. Chan, and Michael Anastasia, who play the groomsmen. (Fun facts)

The first of two films to feature Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughey. The second was Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

Anne Archer and Michael Douglas have also been in Fatal Attraction (1987) together, although they do not have scenes together in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009).

In the movie they play the song nothing but a good time by Poison a song that was later sung in the movie Rock of Ages (2012) a movie that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones wife of Michael Douglas who co-starred in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). (Wait … and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has 23 letters, the number 23!!!!!!!!!)

Made of Honor Recap

Jamie

Thomas and Hannah are a couple of platonic besties. When Hannah returns from a business trip with a surprise fiancé and asks Thomas to be her maid of honor, he realizes that he’s in love with her. Can he stop the wedding and get the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Made of Honor.

How?! Thomas is a ridiculously rich playboy living it up in New York City. While he beds a new girl each day, he has a strict regimen to avoid commitments. His only commitment is his long-time best friend Hannah. When Hannah leaves for a six week business trip in Scotland it tears Thomas apart and he soon realizes that he’s in love with her. Planning to admit this love to her, he’s surprised when she returns with an engagement ring on her finger and a beau in tow. Oh no! When she asks him to be her maid of honor he plans to use the position to prove to her that he’s the one. Cracks in the engagement start to show when they arrive in Scotland for the wedding, but a misunderstanding threatens to send Thomas packing back to the States. On the drive to the airport he realizes that he shouldn’t have given up so easily and races (literally… on a horse) to the wedding to break it up at the last moment. Thomas and Hannah get together and live happily ever. Duh.

Why?! Love, obviously. Seriously, we kind of plop into the film in the middle of Thomas and Hannah’s story. They’ve been best friends for ten years and haven’t fallen in love because Thomas is a stunted man-child who loves to bone any and all beautiful women without committing to anything. So when he realizes he’s in love with her that becomes the entire focus of the film. Everyone else is just a pawn in their game of love, especially Hannah’s poor, perfect fiancé Colin. He can do no wrong and yet still is left standing like a dope at the altar.

What?! The source of Thomas’ fortune is probably the most cliche thing in a film that is built painstakingly from years of cliches cultivated from the rom com forest of love. He is purported to be the inventor of the coffee cup sleeve and gets 10 cents each time a cup of coffee is sold. Ha! So he is made to be so rich that he just bums around NYC slaying ladies. This is our hero, everyone! A side effect of this totally ludicrous aspect of the plot is that Starbucks is sipped aplenty on screen.

Who?! In a perfect demonstration of Poe’s Law, the writers of Made of Honor attempted to make a spoof of a maid of honor instructional video starring Survivor/The View/Fox & Friends’ own Elisabeth Hasselbeck. While it may have seemed extreme enough on paper I actually couldn’t tell whether the video was real or not. I had to go online to find out whether it should go under the What category as a super odd product placement for a real video or under the Who category for a super odd cameo. It was the latter. Either way it wasn’t funny.

Where?! We get the first half of the film set in NYC hard. We get shots of the Met, Central Park, etc. The glorious sights and sounds of the city. Then the action moves to Scotland even harder. Beautiful. I like it enough to give it an A-.

When?! Exact date alert! When Hannah heads to Scotland we see a text from Thomas dated May 27th. The trip is 6 weeks and the wedding is planned 2 weeks after that. So apparently the wedding is set for the end of July. Cell phones really revolutionized our settings game. B-

Despite the incredible genericness of this film, I thought the first half was pretty pleasant. The main character was a nice guy and didn’t stoop to being bad to try to win the girl. But when the action moved to Scotland it got ridiculous real fast. Went right off the rails. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Made of Honor? More like It’s a Goner! Amirite. McDreamy goes to his native home of Scotland (I assume that is where the McDreamys are from) to win his best friend’s hand from a true blue baxter (the name for the dope left at the altar in rom coms). As long as I can stare at Patrick Dempsey all day I should be good … right? Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I think Patrick Dempsey is very charming, it is interesting how he kind of reinvented himself years after losing relevancy as a young actor. The first thirty minutes of this film are also pretty refreshing: you have what appears to be a genuine friendship between a man and a woman, it is believable, and how Dempsey decides to give a relationship a go rings true. The lead up to him becoming the Maid of Honor is actually quite good. Spoiler alert: he gets the girl in the end. So naturally you have to do a Sequel in which we explore the nasty divorce proceedings several years later. Think Kramer vs. Kramer, but more dramatic. At the same time Tom’s Cup Caddy business is floundering because his brand is banned in Europe (probably a retaliatory act by Colin, the baxter in the original film), and he is dealing with his father’s death. It is a tear jerker, exposing the limits of human will. Can Tom save his business, reconcile with his wife, and handle his father’s estate? “Wait, is this a sequel to that lightweight romantic comedy from a few years back … I mean, all of the characters have the same names so I guess it must be. Divorce of Honor is a very weird name too.” says Leonard Maltin.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – The instant Patrick Dempsey becomes the titular Maid of Honor things get rolling into what is one of the most ridiculous romantic comedies you’ll ever see. You have a crazy basketball slam dunk sequence, they all go out to Scotland and stay in a big castle, they all participate in a Highland Games scenario, they kiss during a weird Scottish Hen Do celebration, there is the misunderstanding non-sex scene, and a horseback ride to stop the wedding. The last thirty minutes is just nuts, every cliche you can think of rolled into one movie. I should also mention that the three leads in the film are all incredibly wealthy and just have no care in the world, like tens of millions of dollars wealthy, making the entire situation even harder to parse. For the Sklognalogy I think I’ll stick to Rom Coms and go with What to Expect When you’re Expecting, just because it is kind of just a mashup of every cliche in each’s respective subgenres. WtEWYE for ensemble-cast rom coms, and Made of Honor for stop-the-wedding! rom coms.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think this guy has decent legs. If someone asked me for a recommendation of a stop-the-wedding! romantic comedy, this is officially the one I would point to. It’s just got the perfect rich-people-problems, crazy setting, and baxter combo (the guy is the perfect baxter, straight up a perfect man by design). From the critics it is impressively named on the top 15 worst of 2008 by critics according to The Guardian. Maybe not a surprise there though, it could have been on the Brit’s radar because of its aggressive use of the Scottish setting. And 2008 was a crazy good year for bad movies, that honor is nothing to scoff at.

I’m going to do a short Sklognanlysis for the the 10 cent per coffee sleeve thing Jamie mentioned … those things probably come in a pack of 1000 for a dollar. He would get something like 0.01 cents per sleeve. Still a lot, even that low-ball would probably make him something like $200K a year (based on US statistics alone, so millions worldwide isn’t out of the realm of possibility). They should have said he used his invention money to buy a large early stake in Starbucks and that’s why he is rich, would have made more sense. And maybe that is what they meant … but 10 cents per cup? He’d be a billionaire. There is something like five million cups of coffee sold per day in the US.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Made of Honor Preview

Double weeks of double duty here at BMTHQ. Looking to get away from franchises we picked the worst reviewed Rom Com available on the calendar that wasn’t Sex and the City 2. That’s right! We’re watching Made of Honor, the Patrick Dempsey Rom Com vehicle cashing in on his Grey’s Anatomy return to stardom. I remember this coming out because I thought it looked ridiculously generic. Let’s see if the years have aged this into a fine wine. Let’s go!

Made of Honor (2008) – BMeTric: 35.5

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(I’m pretty shocked at how high the rating of this film on IMDb is. It kind of makes no sense. I guess if it was only super fans of McDreamy … but are there 60K people who just love Patrick Dempsey enough to vote on this film? It is flabbergasting. It is a modestly below average popular film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Dempsey is a serial womanizer but loves spending time with best friend Monaghan. Only when she announces that she’s getting married (to a Scotsman she’s just met) does he realize he’s going to lose her. As her “maid of honor” he determines to undo her wedding plans. Slick romantic comedy covers familiar ground, but does it with brio – and great Scottish scenery. Dempsey’s first star vehicle since his reemergence on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy.

(McDreamy a serial womanizer? Looks like this is a secret prequel to Valentine’s Day (he played the douchebag boyfriend (but he’s married!) of Jennifer Garner). I could look at Scottish things though. I hope they go to Edinburgh. There is a lot of distinctive cool stuff in Edinburgh and I can say to myself “I’ve been there” a bunch.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVpvkMmjK4

(Gay Panic: The Movie. I’m excited. I like Dempsey actually, and as long as he lays on that Grey’s Anatomy charm I’ll probably buy into it. I can see it now: me sitting in my living room typing “It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!” … one can hope.)

Directors – Paul Weiland – (Known For: Sixty Six; Future BMT: City Slickers: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Leonard Part 6; Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Leonard Part 6 in 1988; Notes: Hilarious filmography. Awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his creative work. He describes Leonard Part 6 as a terrible mistake in which Cosby wasn’t funny and wouldn’t take direction concerning how slowly paced the movie felt.)

Writers – Adam Sztykiel (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Due Date; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul; BMT: Made of Honor; Notes: Writing We’re the Millers 2 at the moment, and has done a few tv movies as well. Can’t find much else … married to Ellie Knaus if you know who that is.)

Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (screenplay) – (Known For: Josie and the Pussycats; Can’t Hardly Wait; A Very Brady Sequel; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Surviving Christmas; Leap Year; BMT: Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Surviving Christmas in 2005; Notes: Kaplan and Elfont actually directed Can’t Hardly Wait and have been writing partners since the mid-90s. Kaplan is married to Breckin Meyer of (gulp) Pinocchio fame.)

Actors – Patrick Dempsey – (Known For: Bridget Jones’s Baby; Can’t Buy Me Love; Enchanted; Freedom Writers; Outbreak; Loverboy; The Stuff; Heaven Help Us; The Emperor’s Club; Some Girls; In the Mood; Future BMT: Scream 3; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Mobsters; Hugo Pool; Flypaper; With Honors; BMT: Valentine’s Day; Made of Honor; Sweet Home Alabama; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2012; Notes: McDreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeamy. Clearly the better of the McDreamy vs. McSteamy debate that raged across America when Grey’s Anatomy was still on the air (oh it still is on the air, that’s embarrassing). Probably most famous as the production manager (and occasional voice work) of the Super Mario Bros. television show. He is also a professional endurance race car driver, which is a thing a lot of actors do for whatever reason.)

Michelle Monaghan – (Known For: Patriots Day; Gone Baby Gone; Source Code; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Constantine; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Unfaithful; Mission: Impossible III; Due Date; The Bourne Supremacy; Somewhere; North Country; Fort Bliss; Trucker; Winter Solstice; Future BMT: The Heartbreak Kid; Sleepless; Playing It Cool; Tomorrow You’re Gone; It Runs in the Family; Better Living Through Chemistry; Perfume; Eagle Eye; Gus; The Best of Me; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Pixels; Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Pixels in 2016; Notes: She won several blue ribbons as a hog wrestler at the age of 13.)

Kevin McKidd – (Known For: Trainspotting; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Brave; Nicholas Nickleby; Dog Soldiers; De-Lovely; Max; The Acid House; Topsy-Turvy; Hideous Kinky; The Leading Man; Bedrooms and Hallways; Small Faces; 16 Years of Alcohol; Future BMT: The Last Legion; Home Sweet Hell; Hannibal Rising; Bunraku; BMT: Made of Honor; Notes: He is also in Grey’s Anatomy (was? I don’t know). He became an American citizen in 2015, and initially pursued an engineering degree before auditioning for drama school.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / $46,012,734 ($105,962,760 Worldwide)

(That … is kind of a hit. Where was Made of Honor 2: Divorce Court? I mean … I can only assume Kevin McKidd gets kicked in the nuts Baxter-style, and Monaghan and Dempsey get married. That isn’t going to last. That’s almost certain. So why not show us the hard drama that follows?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (16/116): Sharp performances by Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan can’t save this forgettable, formulaic chick flick from its comic failings.

(Uh oh … that sounds really boring. The trailer did make it seem light and enjoyable. Probably heavy on the light and light on the enjoyable if you get my drift.)

Poster – Made of Sklognor (C+)

made_of_honor

(Focus, guys. Come on. What color is this poster? No one knows. Can we spoof the font? Yah, duh. The only good thing is that you can stare into Patrick Dempsey’s dreamy eyes for hours.)

Tagline(s) – It takes a real man to become a maid of honor. (B+)

An unbridaled comedy. (F)

(Gonna go on record and say that this is one of the all time worst titles that Hollywood has produced. Why the pun? And then make a tagline that doesn’t use the pun? Whatever. The first one is actually pretty good. Not sure why it’s “become a maid of honor” and not just “be,” but that’s nitpicking. The second one is the worst thing that’s happened to me today. Ruined my day. Shockingly bad.)

Keyword(s) – friend; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.8 The Hottie & the Nottie (2008); 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 86.4 The Room (2003); 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.2 Troll 2 (1990); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 82.2 You Got Served (2004); 81.5 Prom Night (I) (2008); 77.3 Ouija (II) (2014); 76.9 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002);

(Friend! Football friend! This is, as usual with these things, just a list of very bad movies and mostly useless. As a matter of fact this entire preview seems fairly generic … there is a theme emerging. And overwhelming feeling of pure averageness wafting off of this film.)

Notes – Patrick Dempsey learned how to juggle plates while working as a street performer. (Something he put into good use as a child actor is my understanding, although I don’t think I ever saw his early work. Actually that isn’t true, I’ve seen quite of bit of Loverboy on cable growing up. He is basically a prostitute delivering pizzas if I recall correctly.)

To give Patrick Dempsey a youthful appearance for his scenes as a college student, CGI was used. (Thanks IMDb. In order to make a middle-aged man not-passable as a college student we made him look creepy fake instead.)

Sydney Pollack’s final acting role. (oof)

In an interview with Newsweek, Patrick Dempsey mentioned shooting a nude locker-room scene, which was cut to preserve the PG-13 rating.

Patrick Dempsey (Tom), and Kevin McKidd (Colin), are co-stars on the show Greys Anatomy. (Yeah … I know)

While filming at London’s Park Lane Hotel, about 30 extras had to be used on short notice when the production team noticed red double-decker buses passing by frequently. That’s common in London, but not New York, where the scene is set. The extras were used outside the hotel, to block the buses. (A travesty. Why not just CGI them out like you CGIed Dempsey’s wrinkles and grey hairs out in that other scene)

The company filmed at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye for five days. Dunvegan Castle is said to be the oldest inhabited castle in northern Scotland. It has been occupied continuously by the chiefs of MacLeod for over seven centuries, and it is still the MacLeod ancestral home. Though there are only at most 12,000 people on Skye at any one time, the film production rolled in with a crew of 250, a cast of 25, and 300 extras.

The punning title only works in English. The Spanish title is “Quiero Robarme la Novia,” which translates to “I Want to Steal the Bride”. (Whoa, they get right to the point in Spain.)

The song Colin sings to Hannah is “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns.

At Starbucks, Tom orders a grande drip and a decaf triple grande non-fat extra hot stirred no-foam caramel macchiato with whipped cream extra caramel filled 70%. (… I hope there is one guy who is meticulously recording this information. This is like in I Know What You Did Last Summer when I thought to myself “I should write down Julie James’ license plate … seems like good trivia”. But then I thought better of it)

License to Wed Recap

Jamie

Ahhh. Nothing like the relaxing week of a single, simple 80 minute film with bloopies at the end. Really trying to stretch that lack of a story to feature length. Gives us something light to snack on before getting back to the g-g-g-g-garbage. Let’s go!

What?! Sadie and Ben are getting married! But before they can have their dream wedding at Sadie’s childhood church they must go through pre-wedding counseling with Reverend Frank. Can they pass the course and walk the aisle before… uh… it’s too late!? Find out in… License to Wed!

How?! The story focuses around Ben and Sadie who met and fell in love while ordering a delicious coffee from Starbucks. Ben proceeds to pop the question and Sadie says yes. Hooray! They find out that the church that Sadie wants to get married in is booked solid except for a date only three weeks away. Uh oh! Artificial plot constraint alert! This means that they have to plan the wedding and pass a pre-wedding counseling course all in a matter of days. When it turns out that the head of the church, Reverend Frank, is a monster that uses illegal surveillance and mind games to manipulate his victims into incredibly high stress situations, Bed and Sadie’s love are no match and they call off the wedding. Once separated, they both realize that Reverend Frank was right… or something… and that they belong together. Ben jets off to join Sadie at the beautiful and luxurious Sandals resort in Jamaica where they are married by the monster who almost ruined their lives. Gah!… He illegally surveilled you and almost destroyed your relationship! Everyone acts like he’s totally normal and not a crazy person! It’s infuriating.

Why?! Also infuriating. Ben and Sadie simply want to get married and literally nothing stands in their way. There isn’t some other person who wants to get married on the same day. There isn’t some crazy family drama throwing a monkey wrench in the celebration. There isn’t an unexpected ex or second thoughts giving someone cold feet. In fact they breeze through planning a wedding in three weeks as if it’s nothing. The only conflict is the garbageman himself, Frank. He is the conflict. Why? Because he is so dismayed by the divorce rate in the United States that he insists that everyone experience the ultimate levels of stress to see if their relationship can survive it. If they can then they deserve to be married, if they can’t then they don’t. What?! You are bonkers insane, Frank.

Who?! We got double decker uncredited action on this one. Both Bob Balaban and Wanda Sykes make cameo appearances as people who appear normal but, I assure you, they are crazy. It’s impossible to know why they ended up appearing uncredited. Maybe they were doing a favor to the director or a producer. Or maybe they didn’t think it was worth the credit. I certainly wouldn’t have if I appeared in the same scene as Balaban did.

Where?! Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. Everywhere you look there is a Cubs hat or a Northwestern shirt or an establishing shot of the Chicago River. It’s pretty prominent, but not ridiculously so. B.

When?! What’s that sounds? That’s right! An exact date alert! When Ben and Sadie are ordering their wedding rings we get a brief glimpse of the paperwork. Right at the top shines a beautiful “5/17” for the date. Since the proposal and wedding all take place within three weeks we know that May 17th is approximately correct for the entire film. Magnifique. B as it’s exact but not vital to the plot and hard to determine.

If you couldn’t tell I really didn’t like this film. I found it infinitely frustrating. But perhaps it just cut to my core. Perhaps the situations were just too real. I’ll have to ask an objective observer about this. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! License to Wed? More like License Revoked! A true blue NY Post headline! I’ve been informed that my rhyme game has become a little more like a half-rhyme game recently and is wizzzzzeak as shit (his words not mine). I’ll do better though, I promise. Perhaps … I just need to be put under intense pressure and stress for weeks on end until I go crazy, punch Jamie in the face, quit BMT, and am left a wreck picking up the pieces of my shattered life … but what’s that? I learn that BMT is what I need, it is what I love, and from me blossoms the most beautiful full rhymes the world has ever seen! To achieve these dizzying heights I needed to know me and BMT could go through anything together!!! Or maybe that’s bonkers and so are the writers of this movie, let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – How can I recover when we’ve already revealed that one of the protagonists of the movie is a raging psychopath? Well if there was one thing that kind of redeems the film it is that if you squint enough you can kind of see the point: If you can make it through the toughest time together you’ll make it through anything. Let’s extend that harsh truth into a “hilarious” sequel. This time following Reverend Frank’s young protege played by Josh Flitter. Now in seminary school the young man, billed curiously as simply Choir Boy in the original (he was like … the fifth biggest character), has started to doubt his path to God. Did Reverend Frank teach him good or evil? If his place in the world is not to commune with the Lord, what is it? A movie that explores a lost soul sinking unyieldingly into a deep spiritual depression. The New York Times called it “a huge downer. Why they would call it License to Wed: Legacy is beyond the entire editorial staff”. Sorry, harsh truths and all, if he can’t get through the toughest times how is he to know his relationship with the Lord is going to last? Gross.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – The acting by the television crew of the Office was spotty at best. This is a one laugh movie, and is otherwise just frustrating. The evil that is Reverend Frank in this film must have come about in a very complex fashion because very early on he plants a bug in Ben and Sadie’s house and from there it is hard to imagine the character recovering. Yeah, they’re going to find it. So how does everyone not immediately see Frank exposed for the garbage monster that he is? Well, a solid 20 minutes of this 80 minute long film relies on Frank’s surveillance of Ben and Sadie so you can’t write it out, so naturally they make Ben break into Frank’s house and make him look like a crazy person as well. This is a trend in this film: it exists in a world where up is down, black is white, and people act like lunacy is normal. It is the only way this film operates, and is rather common in poorly written comedies, and basically comes from sloth, too lazy to actually write normal human beings until the film is a frustrating mess. Weirdly common.

The BMT: Legacy – What I wrote in the previous paragraph is interesting: that MO, the storyline that can’t be extracted as it is somehow (and inexplicably) woven throughout the messy tapestry of a movie, is indeed quite common in bad comedies. This could ultimately be a singular example of such a storyline. That I think could be this film’s legacy for BMT. Otherwise it is bad, but it also isn’t even the worst wedding based film we’ve seen in the last couple of months so ….

And finally a quick StreetCreditReport.com: This film came out in 2007, but doesn’t get a lot of love on the worst of lists. It was number three on the MTV worst of list, and top three on CNN’s list, but otherwise doesn’t even make the top 15 on the AV Club, and is general trounced by Norbit. I think this is ultimately lost to time as it’s not even the third worst comedy of 2007, let alone anything special from an impressive decade light the 00s.

I’ll leave it there. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

License to Wed Preview

Phew, we need a little respite. We’ve been watching some pretty horrid films for the <10% RT cycle and there are a few more on the horizon. So for Girls Night Out we’re not going to subject ourselves to something like Bolero or Return to the Blue Lagoon. Nope. We’re just going to do a nice and simple recent rom com. A little palate cleanser and momentary return to BMT normalcy. That’s right! We’re watching the Robin Williams vehicle License to Wed! The consensus for this film seems to be that it is broad and formulaic… now that sounds like BMT. Let’s go!

License to Wed (2007) – BMeTric: 53.5

LicensetoWed_BMeT

LicensetoWed_RV

(Popular and Below Average. There is a modest regression to the mean, but it looks like it is probably around where it will stay. No rethinking this one, this movie is just not very good … is what it seems to be saying. The BMeTric is higher than I would have expected maybe? These plots aren’t actually that interesting.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Embarrassing comedy wastes a talented cast in a laughless story about a reverend who puts an unsuspecting engaged couple through a series of “tests” to determine if they are ready to be married. Gag after gag falls hopelessly flat, with one involving mechanical babies hitting a new low, even for this kind of lame-braining affair. A comic misfire for Williams, who is basically straitjacketed here.

(Wow, didn’t expect to see a bomb here. I feel like Maltin is far less forgiving to a boring lame comedy than he is to a boring lame action film, although perhaps that is because he likes classic comedy more? … Maybe. This movie doesn’t seem very exciting, but I’m guessing Old Dogs would be described roughly the same way and it is amazing, so I’ll hold out hope.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmyfIOp30aI

(Hmmmm. On the face of it the premise is ludicrous. Imagine yourself in such a situation. Any normal person would say that Robin Williams is (being generous) harsh, but more people would call him a lunatic. To then rest the entire movie on multiple people not only finding this person a normal human being, but also they must consider his opinion to be of the utmost importance and consider Krasinski unreasonable for inevitably becoming upset with him. It … doesn’t seem pleasant. It is going to be unfunny, and frustrating, and will wholly depend on Williams to carry the movie. Based on the reviews I’m thinking he wasn’t up to carrying such a heavy load.)

Directors – Ken Kwapis – (Known For: He’s Just Not That Into You; The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants; A Walk in the Woods; Big Miracle; Follow That Bird; Future BMT: Dunston Checks In; The Beautician and the Beast; He Said, She Said; Vibes; BMT: License to Wed; Notes: He directed He Said, She Said with his wife Marisa Silver. His career has spanned nearly four decades now, although these days he mostly directs television. For a guy I’ve never really heard of his career is really impressive.)

Writers – Kim Barker (screenplay & story) – (BMT: All About Steve; License to Wed; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for All About Steve in 2010; Notes: It does not help that she shares the name with the journalist who inspired the film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I can’t find anything else about her … besides vitriolic rebukes of what might be called a … subpar filmography thus far.)

Vince Di Meglio and Tim Rasmussen (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Marmaduke; Smother; BMT: License to Wed; Notes: They are writing partners, although Vince Di Meglio had a career as a visual effects artist prior to an extended writing career with Rasmussen. They haven’t written a feature since 2010, but do a ton of different things within the studio system though.)

Wayne Lloyd (story) – (BMT: License to Wed; Notes: Was miscellaneous crew on The Fog … again, not much else there … where did this script come from? I would guess Kim Barker, but there is little about any of these people online, so it is quite confusing.)

Actors – Mandy Moore – (Known For: Tangled; The Princess Diaries; Saved!; Romance & Cigarettes; Dr. Dolittle 2; Dedication; American Dreamz; Future BMT: Racing Stripes; Southland Tales; Love, Wedding, Marriage; How to Deal; Swinging with the Finkels; Chasing Liberty; Try Seventeen; Hotel Noir; BMT: License to Wed; Because I Said So; Notes: Made her first album at 15 and first toured with the Backstreet Boys. Somehow a staple of my childhood, and developed an extensive filmography along the way. This movie predates her own wedding in 2009 (although she has since sadly gotten a divorce))

John Krasinski – (Known For: 13 Hours; The Hollars; The Holiday; Monsters University; Jarhead; It’s Complicated; Monsters vs. Aliens; Dreamgirls; Shrek the Third; Away We Go; Kaze tachinu; The Muppets; Promised Land; Smiley Face; Kinsey; Leatherheads; The Prophet; Big Miracle; Nobody Walks; State and Main; Future BMT: Aloha; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men; BMT: Taxi; License to Wed; Doogal; Something Borrowed; Notes: Married to Emily Blunt. Fun facts: He’s brother-in-law to The Tucc, Stanley Tucci who is married to Felicity Blunt [Editor’s Note: We talking about The Tucc?]. Also went to highschool with his Office co-star B.J. Novak)

Robin Williams – (Known For: Aladdin; Good Will Hunting; Happy Feet; Dead Poets Society; Mrs. Doubtfire; Jumanji; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Insomnia; What Dreams May Come; The Butler; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Robots; Awakenings; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Fisher King; Popeye; The Birdcage; Hamlet; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Future BMT: Toys; Flubber; Nine Months; Fathers’ Day; RV: Runaway Vacation; Club Paradise; Jack; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; A Merry Christmas Miracle; Absolutely Anything; Man of the Year; The Final Cut; Shakes the Clown; The Best of Times; The Survivors; The Big White; Noel; Hook; Jakob the Liar; Patch Adams; Bicentennial Man; Shrink; BMT: License to Wed; Old Dogs; The Big Wedding; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Obviously a legend and sadly recently took his own life. He was a staple of my childhood and also a brilliant and classically trained actor. There isn’t much more to say. I’ll add a small note about her daughter Zelda here though: she apparently voiced a character in the newest King’s Quest which I have been meaning to play.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $43,799,818 (Worldwide: $69,307,224)

(Yeah, not great. You’d hope to at least get close to $100 million for a comedy, especially with that is a pretty large budget for a romantic comedy at $35 million. Not surprised License to Wed 2: The Honeymoon never happened … yeah, I might write that in the recap next week, sounds fun.)

#96 for the Romantic Comedy genre

licensetowed_romanticcomedy

(Right around the recent BMT Rumor Has It … which is at #99. The genre of the Golden age. Slowly rising during the 90s (although it made a ton of money in the 80s there were clearly less of them) and then plateauing from 2000-2010. The genre has all but collapsed, probably because of VOD. We’ll have to get them while they’re hot.)

#21 for the Wedding genre

licensetowed_wedding

(Around Bride Wars and seen more recently with That’s My Boy. Feels right doesn’t it? Getting warm outside, feels like the right time for some BMT wedding movies. I pointed out previously that there is basically one wedding movie a year. This was the wedding movie for 2007.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (9/125): Featuring one of Robin Williams’ most shtick-heavy performances, the broad and formulaic License to Wed wrings little out of its slightly creepy, unappealing premise.

(Ha, “broad” is a very funny word to use here. Dirty word in comedy to an extent. I’m digging the slightly creepy premise though, sounds like something you can squeeze a little joy out of, purely rejecting of the fundamental premise of the movie.)

Poster – License to Sklog (C)

license_to_wed

(This has a lot going against it. Hard to make a good looking poster with so much white on the page. No dominant color can overtake it, so it’s screwed from the get go. The generic font doesn’t help. On the other hand the spacing, symmetry and humor to the poster are pluses. Kind of just evens out to a meh.)

Tagline(s) – First came love… then came Reverend Frank. (B+)

(Huh… this is almost a tagline you would expect for a sequel. When we know who Reverend Frank is. Still, it’s got everything you expect from a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – church; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.0 Date Movie (2006); 86.8 BloodRayne (2005); 84.7 Left Behind (I) (2014); 83.8 RoboCop 3 (1993); 81.7 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991); 78.5 The Devil Inside (2012); 76.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 75.5 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 72.6 Jonah Hex (2010); 70.2 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013);

(What a list! A march through time, some pretty sneaky BMTs in there too (like Robocop 3, a church plays a huge role in that film weirdly). PSA: If you are going to watch Highlander II remember to try and get the non-renegade version on VHS. Much more highlanders-are-aliens goodness in that one.)

Notes – Ben Murphy’s parents are played by John Krasinski (Ben)’s real life parents. (fun fact)

‘The Office’ (US) stars John Krasinski, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner and Mindy Kaling all featured in this movie. (fun fact)

Ken Kwapis, director of this movie, also directed many episodes of The Office (US). (fun fact)

Brian Braumgartner’s character’s name is Jim, the same name as John Krasinski (Ben) character’s name on The Office. (fun fact … just a few fun facts, nothing super interesting in these notes even! This movie can go either way)

Rumor Has It … Recap

Jamie

What?! Sarah is in the middle of a crisis regarding her career, relationship, and alienation from her family. When it’s inadvertently revealed that her mother may have briefly run off with another man prior to her marrying her father, Sarah seeks out this man, Beau, for some answers. Will she find the answers she seeks? Find out in… Rumor Has It…!

Why?! Sarah is seeking answers, plain and simple. She doesn’t connect with her tennis-playing, slow-driving, Pasadena-living family and this alienation drives a deep dissatisfaction with her job and relationship with her fiance Jeff (played by Mark Ruffalo, who was actually great). It seems like answering a simple question will solve all these problems: how does she fit in with her family?… and you know what? It does. Once she figures it out she basically does a 180 and loves everything (even though her job does sound like shit).

How?! Now to the meat of the whole thing. While the basic synopsis and motivation of Sarah stand on their own as the basis of a film, the plot relies heavily on the idea that the characters are the inspiration for the 1963 book The Graduate. Sarah’s grandmother is supposed to be Mrs. Robinson and her mother, like in the book, ran off with a aimless young man prior to her wedding (but unlike the book, ran back and married Sarah’s father). It is bizarre. Anyway, when Sarah finds this out while attending her sister’s wedding she thinks that perhaps Beau is her real father. It would explain the alienation she had from her family and perhaps give her a path in life that she didn’t have before. That turns out to not be true as Beau can’t have children of his own. Oh well, better have sex with the guy I thought was my father a second ago! This, of course, also doesn’t solve her existential crisis and she runs back to her family in Pasadena. Only there, amongst those she thought she was so different from, does she realize what she needs most in life: her fiance Jeff. The one person who seems to be able to put up with her bullshit. Racing back to NYC she MonoSklogs her way to his heart and wins the day.

Who?! Not a huge amount going on in the Who category. In fact if you watch the film it’s pretty interesting how many scenes are just the two main actors dialoguing in isolation. We do get a cameo in the film by none other than BMT regular Kathy Bates. She shows up as crazy “Aunt” Mitsy who helps Aniston figure out who Beau is. She only appears in one scene and went uncredited for the film (presumably as a favor to Rob Reiner, but that’s pure speculation). She basically just gets drunk and explains stuff to us. Classic Bates.

Where?! Pretty good settings film. Opens with Sarah and Jeff flying from New York to the primary setting in Pasadena. We get numerous sights and sounds of LA, jokes directed at Pasadena, and long discussions lamenting the loss of the Rams to St. Louis (hilarious in retrospect). Sarah then flies to San Fran, over to Napa, and back to Pasadena only the finish the film in New York. Sometimes it’s amazing just how specific they get with this shit. B+.

When?! Ah, the crown jewel of Rumor Has It… As mentioned in the preview, this film is a period piece. Presumably because of the ages of the characters in reference to the book The Graduate, they needed to set this film in 1997. This is clear by the conspicuous VHS tapes and pay/car phones being used. Fortunately, we also get an exact date. When Sarah first goes to confront Beau about her mother’s affair she does so at a tech conference in San Francisco. As she walks in we see a sign for the conference letting us know that it is January 18, 1997. A truly unexpected A-. Exact date that plays a minor role in the plot.

Those are all the details of a decidedly bizarre film, let’s find out if it was BMT weird.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Rumor Has It …? More like Bummer Isn’t It …? Zing. Making a pseudo-sequel to quite literally one of the greatest films of all time as a lightweight farce starring Jennifer Aniston? What could have gone wrong?! Let’s get into it before I type more questions marks!

  • The Good – Ruffalo and Jenkins. Some of the side actors. The settings were beautiful and you can kind of see why Reiner was a likely emergency director when the screenwriter had to drop out (or was fired …) because it looks polished as well. At times I felt like I could watch Aniston and Costner just live their fake lives for hours (kind of like This if s 40), although that feeling was hardly sustained.
  • The Bad – Make a pseudo-sequel to a beloved film is a bad idea on its face. It just begs a comparison that can never be lived up to. The legnths they go to to hammer in the timeline and make everything work is exhausting (There is about 40 different ages and dates spewed out all to make the ages of the main players make sense, it is distracting). No pay off.
  • The BMT – The legacy of this film will be that it is totally colored and overshadowed by a predecessor. And they did it intentionally! I would never watch this one again though, and I couldn’t even really recommend it. It is only fascinating as a one-two punch with The Graduate with a heavy dose of morbid curiosity. With that I deem it a in the bottom 10% of bad movies, below where we expect to be with a solid choice.

I’m going to report a bit on some Homework Sklog-signment. That’s right, I re-watched the Graduate literally hours before consuming this film. First, an amazing film. Mainly the writing, and a pretty incredible performance by Hoffman in the lead (although Nichols directing was also breathtaking as well). Second, I’m glad I did it because the movie is heavily referenced in Rumor Has It … (including pointing out the fact that it is Dreyfuss’ first film, something I missed. Look at Rumor Has It …, a regular IMDb fact page over here). Third, it makes Rumor Has It … look desperate and like a big piece of shit in comparison. Thanks The Graduate! I guess if anything Rumor Has It … might make you revisit a great film. Also, and you might have noticed over the years that I love ellipses, but this might be the most ellipses I’ve ever written in an email … thanks Rumor Has it … … thanks.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs