Directed by: Galt Niederhoffer
Written by: Galt Niederhoffer (novel), Galt Niederhoffer
Starring: Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel
Seven friends incestuously date each other like musical boy/girlfriends (relationship-style musical chairs) in their college years, infamously adopting the name “The Romantics” by their fellow classmates. Fast forward a few years and they have paired off into married partners, and engaged couples – all save for Laura (Holmes), who feels particular anxiety toward the upcoming wedding of her then college roommate, Lila (Paquin), and ex-boyfriend of five years, Tom (Duhamel). As old memories and feelings come back to awkwardly hang around Tom and Laura at the wedding rehearsal, Lila’s perfect wedding is thrown off-balance, and everyone’s trust for each of their partners are thrown into question.
Directed and adapted for the screen by the original author of the novel The Romantics, Galt Niederhoffer, this uncharismatic and rather pretentious romance is one wedding film that I will openly object to – because to forever hold your peace on this banal flick would be a sad and regrettable thing.
Despite bringing big names like Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhmel, and other well-knowns such as Adam Brody, Elijah Wood, and Malin Akerman to the altar, The Romantics fails to transfer whatever romance it may have upheld with dignity in novel form, because as a movie – just about everything sucks.With characters that are a little too snobby and smart for their own good, quoting poems and recycling their jokes with chummy camaraderie that rubs off as plain annoying, The Romantics makes it hard for us to take any of the conflicts seriously or feel for the protagonists’ plights. For one thing, unrequited love and a sham marriage on the brink of happening when true love is at stake are not exactly new to film or to real life for that matter. So when such situations are represented on the screen without the creativity or originality that make it powerful and effective to our sense of empathy, it’s almost too boring to handle.
With dialogue that can only be delivered with the most static and forced sense of emotion, The Romantics seems to think that the most predictable and generic plot in romantic drama will bring the film’s sentiments closer to real drama. Instead, The Romantics is saccharine sweet with the angst of college students who have read too much and wasted their breath too many times on philosophical discussions no one wants to hear anyway. Their love life is of no interest to us, and this movie has no claim to our attention.