Sunday, January 9, 2011

Movie Sunday: Fun with physics romantic comedy triple feature

Streaming Netflix and I have been down a bit of a rabbit-hole lately, and I've watched several quirky little movies that involve manipulation of time and space in one way or another. While none of them are exactly Sleepless in Seattle, I think we have to classify them as romantic comedies, since they revolve around relationships and nothing much explodes.

It all started with Cashback, a likable movie with the worst title since Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane, and an even worse poster. As Biscuit said after resisting the first dozen times I suggested we watch, it looked like it was going to be a film for fifteen year old boys. Not that fifteen year old boys wouldn't like it. There is a decent amount of nudity, tastefully done of course. Also, a couple of fart jokes and a soccer game.

Image from here

Cashback is the story of a young art student who has just broken up with that girl who was the new Bionic Woman, though that has nothing to do with the story. He is so broken up that he stops sleeping, and ends up taking a job at an all-night grocery store to fill up his nighttime hours. Eventually, he figures out how to stop time. Wackiness and a touch of romance ensue. It's a bit of 500 Days of Summer meets Employee of the Month, but everyone in it is a much better actor than Jessica Simpson.

This is probably my favorite of the three films, both because of the quirky characters and because it's British, so you know it's good. Also, I believe I mentioned the nudity. I don't expect everyone to share my preference, but it did win some awards and stuff.

Image from here

Next came TiMER, which takes place in a world where science* has invented an implant that can determine exactly when you will meet your soulmate, assuming they are also wearing a timer. The story revolves around two sisters, one whose timer hasn't started, while the other's has quite a while to go. The  interest comes from pondering how you would live your life if you knew your perfect relationship was x years in the future. This show is very clever, fun to watch, and the cast is just about perfect. I have mixed feelings about the end, but all in all it's a good way to pass 99 minutes.

Image from here

The last of our trio is Happy Accidents, which of the three is probably the closest to a traditional romantic comedy. It stars Marisa Tomei as a girl who is so bad at relationships that she and her friends seem to have formed some sort of club for girls who only date losers. She meets a young fellow (Vincent D'Onofrio) from Dubuque who seems strange, even for an Iowan. As she learns more about him, his story becomes increasingly unbelievable, and the tension of whether or not we are going to believe him drives us forward through the story.  Like the other two, it's mostly light-hearted, and easy watching, though with some substance.

There were a few more in this odd little thread, but not really that notable. Except for Uncertainty, which I didn't care for. Biscuit liked it a little better, but it definitely was not on the level of these others. So the next time you're about to watch Pretty Woman again just because it's on TV, try streaming one of these instead. It will entertain you, and make you think.

* This is romantic comedy science, so think of it more as magic.


  1. I absolutely love Happy Accidents. Vincent and Marissa were so great together.

  2. Sound like they might be worthwhile -- anything to avoid JULIA's laugh and delight in herself in Pretty Woman...

  3. I just watched timer. I enjoyed it. Another one that I just watched was called Tattoo: A love story. I think I might be a little bit in love with Megan Edwards.