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Romantic Comedy

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 1987 | MICHAEL WILMINGTON
In Preston Sturges' great comedies, there was usually a hurricane glibness and wit. The movies raced along with a mad abandon that always proved to be under perfect control--full of deadly eloquence and deadpan sendups, wry little twists and cacophonous uproars, satire that lanced through the fatty tissue of wartime America like a sparkling scalpel.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Robert Abele
Countless movies are funnier, cuter, livelier and smarter than "Go With Le Flo," but few match this proudly cheapo dud's near-contemptuous lack of thoughtfulness and entertainment value. Seemingly made for a rare breed of moviegoer who's never seen a romantic comedy before, it asks us to care for a dopey, klutzy Francophile Berliner named Florian (Denis Aubert) who runs a French deli and (somehow) has a shallow, glitzy Gallic girlfriend (Leslie Dubreuil) he hopes to marry. All along though his kind, beautiful best friend Jenny from the nearby bakery pines for him, because, one can only assume, she's never met any other man. (The smiles on the sweet-faced actress playing her, Marina Senckel, look forced.)
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic
"At Middleton," the new romantic comedy starring Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia as strangers who collide during a campus tour with their college-bound kids, is like a feckless flirtation. I use the word "feckless" because it keeps popping up in the film, an ongoing joke starting with a crossword puzzle. Feckless may be a hard word to make funny, ahem, but it does come in handy in describing a slight film that mostly squanders its fine cast on frothy banter and silly escapades. Borrowed bikes and shared bongs are typical of the adults' risky business after they escape the tour.
HOME & GARDEN
April 4, 2014 | By Marion McNabb
I'd been living in Los Angeles a short time when I found myself in an improv comedy class in Hollywood. A friend who was also an actress had encouraged, well, nagged me to enroll in what is now iO West, the West Coast offshoot of Chicago's ImprovOlympic. I was intimidated, but I also was lonely and looking for a challenge, so I went. That choice, to face my fears and connect with others, forever changed my life. From the outside, the tiny theater space on a stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard looked industrial - not the beachy sort of place I, a newcomer to L.A., had imagined it would be. I was not impressed.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 1997 | JOHN ANDERSON, FOR THE TIMES
By burlesquing rap culture almost to the point of absurdity, the talented young writer-director-actor Rusty Cundieff made the mockumentary "Fear of a Black Hat" into one of the funnier movies of recent years. Cundieff again proves himself adept with the new romantic comedy "Sprung," which is genre-busting without being a pretentious pain.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1988 | MICHAEL WILMINGTON
For many people, Carole Lombard epitomizes the sexiness and savoir-faire of screwball romance. So, it's appropriate that she keeps popping up in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's romantic comedy series (at Bing Auditorium)--including twice this weekend. Lombard has the right look. A face that seems to have been peeled right off a Vogue cover: high cheekbones, frosty blond hair (dark at the roots) and flashing, hauteur-filled eyes.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 1996
Screenwriter Bob Shayne will moderate "Hollywood, Love and Laughter: The Romantic Comedy Then and Now," a 10-part UCLA Extension course that begins Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. The program will feature screenings of such romantic classics as "It Happened One Night," "His Girl Friday" and "Roman Holiday," and lectures by screenwriter-director James Brooks, critic Peter Rainer, producer-director Jerry Zucker and others. The fee for the course is $365. Information: (310) 825-9064.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1998 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Touch Me" shrewdly begins like such a standard romantic comedy that it never occurs to you that it's heading in a wholly unexpected direction. A likable, good-looking young man, Adam (Michael Vartan), running a local health club owned by his hard-driving father (Stephen Macht), starts falling for a lovely young actress, Bridgette (Amanda Peet), who pays the rent working as a yoga instructor.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 1993 | JAN BRESLAUER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"In Progress" has all the markings of the kind of romantic comedy that even intrepid theatergoers have seen thrice too often. But Shari Shattuck's smart play at the Matrix is a big cut above most this-one's-having-an-affair-with-that-one ditties. A round robin of attractions centered on a man-woman writing team, his wife and their fictional alter egos, "In Progress" is about the way most folks dog paddle around in the moral gray area of contemporary relationships.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 1997 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy" is a little movie with big truths, a work of such fierce intelligence and emotional honesty that it blows away the competition when it comes to contemporary romantic comedy. It could be a career-maker for its three stars, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee, and for key supporting player Dwight Ewell. It also marks a strong comeback for Smith, who in the end credits of the film actually apologizes for his second feature, "Mallrats."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic
"At Middleton," the new romantic comedy starring Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia as strangers who collide during a campus tour with their college-bound kids, is like a feckless flirtation. I use the word "feckless" because it keeps popping up in the film, an ongoing joke starting with a crossword puzzle. Feckless may be a hard word to make funny, ahem, but it does come in handy in describing a slight film that mostly squanders its fine cast on frothy banter and silly escapades. Borrowed bikes and shared bongs are typical of the adults' risky business after they escape the tour.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Scrooge still holds a monopoly on holiday theater, but worthwhile alternatives to "A Christmas Carol" have been cropping up of late. A few are even W.C. Fields friendly, meaning the audience is largely free of wailing, coughing, scampering little darlings. "Parfumerie," which opened Wednesday at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, is a festive entertainment expressly for adults. The play by Hungarian-born playwright Miklos Laszlo will be familiar to you even if you're not entirely sure what a parfumerie is. (It's a store that sells perfume along with fancy toiletries, and Allen Moyer's gorgeous set for this production might as well be open for business at the Wallis' fancy Beverly Hills digs.)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
Fourteen years after writer-director Malcolm D. Lee's romantic comedy "The Best Man" hit theaters, the filmmaker and his ensemble cast are back with a sequel, "The Best Man Holiday. " As is often the case when old friends reunite, it doesn't take long for past grudges and attractions to bubble back up. According to reviews, the cast, led by Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut, proves to be very pleasant company, but Lee's overstuffed script drags the movie down. The Times' Betsy Sharkey writes , "Be ready to reach for a tissue, say 'amen' and sigh more than a few times, for the film has all the chaos and clutter of a big holiday gathering.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
And I thought the manic pixie dream girl had run her course. Apparently not, for she rears her cute, perky head again in "A Case of You," star Justin Long's debut as a writer and producer. Here, Brooklynite Sam (Long) has tired of writing novelizations for movies like "Teen Vampire. " He finds inspiration in Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), the friendly barista at his neighborhood coffee shop with artsy friends. But instead of risking that she won't like the real him, he shapes himself into her dream guy based on her Facebook page, learning judo, French cooking and how to strum Joan Baez on the guitar.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey
If you haven't caught Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the delightfully out-of-her depth vice president in her Emmy-winning HBO comedy "Veep," and have only dim memories of Elaine, "Seinfeld's" yuppie princess with a pea, "Enough Said" is an excellent example of her goofy, gracious way with comedy. Writer-director Nicole Holofcener's bittersweet romantic comedy about the difficulties of middle-age relationships is right in the actress' sweet spot, where insecurities and good intentions battle it out. Both Louis-Dreyfus and costar James Gandolfini (in his final role)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2013 | By Susan King
Tony Danza and Joseph Gordon-Levitt got to know each other 20 years ago on the set of the Disney baseball fantasy "Angels in the Outfield," in which Danza played an aging pitcher and Gordon-Levitt, then 12, a foster kid. "I always had a paternal thing about him," said Danza, 62, who came to fame 35 years ago as the hapless boxer/cabbie Tony Banta on the Emmy Award-winning comedy series "Taxi. " "When he was in 'Angels in the Outfield,' you could tell he was a very talented kid," noted the former professional boxer, on the phone from New York.
NEWS
July 1, 1993 | MARK CHALON SMITH, Mark Chalon Smith is a free-lancer who regularly writes about film for The Times Orange County Edition.
Hepburn and Tracy did it right. So did Loy and Powell. Lombard and March weren't bad either. That goes for Gable and Colbert, too. But what about Hanks and Ryan? Formidable competition. Actually, it's probably unfair to bring up such names in connection with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the stars of "Sleepless in Seattle," TriStar's bid for summer box office.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 1994 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Just Like a Woman," a romantic comedy with a decidedly different twist, finds a young American (Adrian Pasdar) rushing home from the London merchant bank where he is working on a half-billion-dollar deal with a Japanese company. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time to witness his wife, who has unexpectedly returned early from a trip with their two small children, throwing a large amount of women's clothing out the master bedroom window.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2013 | Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Who would have thought one of the most amusing and oddly insightful romantic comedies would be built around the power and the potent pull of porn? Playing it straight out of New Jersey, that sweet-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the hopeless romantic of "(500) Days of Summer," has pulled off the subversive, seductive fun of "Don Jon" in fine fashion - complete with guinea tee - starring in, writing and directing his first feature film. "The Don," or "Don Jon," is one Jon Martello Jr., a proudly single guy of Italian heritage whose ability to one-night-stand the most attractive female in the bar on any given night has made him a living legend.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2013 | By Inkoo Kang
Romance and humor are famous homebodies; they never travel as much as they should. Shot mainly in Los Angeles' Koreatown, the genre elements of the romantic comedy "Wedding Palace" attempt a transpacific transit, but get lost in translation. Director Christine Yoo's ambitious debut speaks to Korean American courtship and familial relations while satirizing them, and the result is as inventive - stuffed with animated sequences, a music video and a fake commercial - as it is tonally muddled.
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