No room for these guys…
We’re not going to lie, here in the luxurious Interestment offices, we are big fans of romantic comedies. We like to mix laughter with crying as much as the next man/woman, hence we decided that it was high time we compiled a list of our favourite films that throw jokes and romance into a massive bowl and mix them around with a metaphorical wooden spoon. It was a very emotional process, and popular favourites like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and anything starring Renee Zellweger were dismissed within seconds. In Zellweger’s case, it was because she always looks like she’s about to say something really mean for no apparent reason. Hugh Grant also missed out, leaving these ten giants amongst little people…
1. Groundhog Day
We’re big Bill Murray fans, we loved him in Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, and the one about trying to get off with Scarlett Johansson on holiday. But his greatest turn comes in Groundhog Day, a film that couldn’t even be ruined by the looming presence of Andie MacDowell. He plays the part of a grumpy weatherman going through the same day over and over again, slowly wooing the aforementioned MacDowell, and as romantic comedies go, it’s basically the best one, which – somewhat ironically – we could watch repeatedly.
2. Annie Hall
It was a tight call for Woody Allen, with both Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan almost barging in, but Annie Hall just nicks it. Allen plays his usual bumbling neurotic, who somehow always manages to punch well above his weight, and Diane Keaton – who, by the way, was in practically every single film released in the 1970s – is the object of his lust and affection. It’s quite bittersweet, and features a classic Christopher Walken cameo, playing a total nut-job. Eagle-eyed viewers might even catch a glimpse of a young Jeff Goldblum and Sigourney Weaver.
3. Coming to America
Whether Murphy’s depiction of an African prince is anywhere close to the reality is debatable, but you can’t argue that the film was probably the last of the great Eddie Murphy turns. The premise finds him pretending to be skint in order to snare a woman who will love him for his spellbinding personality, as opposed to his phenomenal wealth, and the barber shop scenes find the comedian playing about four different characters at once. Here at Interestment, we’re particular fans of the Soul Glo family, featuring the guy from ER.
4. Chasing Amy
He’s gone a bit rubbish in recent times, that Kevin Smith. But for a brief period in the 1990s, he was like the old Judd Apatow, churning out little diamonds like Clerks, Mallrats, and this – the story of a heterosexual man falling madly in love with a complete lesbian. Jason Lee – now a very active Scientologist– puts in a great performance as a gobby best friend called Banky, and Smith even managed the miraculous feat of making Ben Affleck come across as likable. Cracking movie, if a little bit rude.
5. The Seven Year Itch
The oldest film in the list, this one features Marilyn Monroe at the very height of her gorgeousness. It includes the famous scene where her dress blows up, and everyone can see her boxers shorts. It’s the story of a husband alone-at-home, desperately fighting the urge to have a great big affair with the sexy model renting the flat upstairs. Cue numerous fantasy sequences, and a man driven to the edge of insanity by the insatiable rumblings in his underpants. A great afternoon watch.
One of the most touching films about wine ever made, Sideways is something of a middle-aged, middle-class road movie. Two best friends go on a stag weekend, one who can’t quite let go of his former relationship, the other who fancies jumping a few more bones before entering into holy matrimony. Then they meet a couple of dreamy young women, and it all takes a rather interesting turn. Gently funny, and sometimes a little bit moving, Thomas Haden Church is particularly good as the randy groom-to-be.
7. When Harry Met Sally
The one with that scene – you know, the one where Meg Ryan fakes the orgasm, then the old woman orders whatever she just had. Which would be very upsetting for the old woman’s equally elderly and female lunch partner if she were to have to endure watching her friend of fifty years reaching a magnificent over-the-top climax right in front of her. Nitpicking aside, it’s one of the great romantic comedies, mainly thanks to sterling work from Billy Crystal, who squeezed this one in during the short period at the beginning of his career when he wasn’t unbelievably annoying and Hollywood.
8. Knocked Up
The best of the Judd Apatow movies so far, although it was run pretty close by The 40-Year-Old Virgin, this finds a stoner accidentally impregnating a successful career woman during a drunken one-night-stand. Like with all of Apatow’s movies so far, the real romance – or, as it’s now known, bromance – takes place between Seth Rogen and a whole host of male counterparts, including the guy who went out with Phoebe in Friends.
9. High Fidelity
John Cusack has been painted as thinking woman’s crumpet, and here he’s a rather bitter commitmentphobe with a humungous record collection. He has starred in other decent rom-coms, like Grosse Pointe Blank and The Sure Thing, but this one trumps both of those, mainly because it’s a little bit better. Jack Black, who tends to split the consensus as an actor, puts in the performance of his damn life – excluding School of Rock, and Nacho Libre.
It was a very close call, coming up with the final spot on the list, with The Wedding Crashers, Some Like it Hot, and even Hitch starring Will Smith all very nearly muscling their way in. But in the end, we knew we’d have to go with a Tom Hanks vehicle. After all, he was the romantic lead of choice for much of the 1990s – Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Philadelphia – but in the end we went for his 1984 classic, Splash, the story of a man with love issues going out with a mermaid. Great special effects, Daryl Hannah, and a wonderful turn by the late, great John Candy.
Midnight Train to Georgia
Hollywood funny guy Jack Black turns 40 today. That’s right, 40. Jack Black is 40. Good for Jack Black. He’s another one that splits the consensus, in that he sometimes reminds us a bit of Robbie Williams (a bad thing), but then he makes movies like School of Rock, and the seriously good Nacho Libre (good things). Hence we’ve got a bit of a love-hate-love thing going on, but we thought we’d get him a gift anyway, so we all ripped our shirts off and began screaming ideas at each other during the middle of a West Ham/Millwall football match, and it wasn’t long before things got slightly out of hand. Still, by then it had boiled down to a simple toss up between half a brick to throw at a policeman, or a funny clip featuring Gladys Knight. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Jack Black!
Stephen Stills, 4 and 20
It’s another one of those fantasy dinner party days, with Fred Savage, Kelly McGillis, O J Simpson, and Tom Hanks all scheduled to spend the evening face down in chocolate cake, perhaps crying, perhaps laughing, perhaps dead. But we’ve chosen to ignore those guys, because Jack White – never to be confused with Jack Black – turns 33 today. He’s the mean guitarist behind The White Stripes and other cool rock bands, so we thought we’d get him a gift. After putting on shades and mumbling ideas to one another for eighteen minutes, it boiled down to a toss up between some magic mushrooms, a stick, or a nice folk song from Stephen Stills. In the end we got him the lot. Happy Birthday Jack White!
Remember this handsome rasta?
First up, we are not anti-fat. In fact, being a little bit soft in the gills, some of us are actually pro-fat. Fat is good. Which is why in our piece for the excellent grown up gossip site Hecklerspray, we have wobbled an applauding stomach at some of the world’s most fantastic fatties. You can read about that here. It features the ex-Pop Idol contender Rik Waller, who once told a very high ranking member of the Interestment team that if he honestly had an addiction to anything, it wasn’t food, it was sex. There was a lot of post-traumatic air-puking that day.
Featuring this guy…
The path from pop star to the silver screen is a well-trodden one, and yet, when the opposite road is navigated, and one of film/television’s finest scamper in the direction of a well-crafted music video, we erupt with surprise and elation. It’s a joyous, explosive feeling. One that isn’t lost on our very very excellent contributor, Debs. She had this to say…
Celebrities – they’re an adaptable lot. Not only do they regularly pretend to be other people for money (which incidentally is illegal for anyone not an actor) but some sing badly, some do charity things unconvincingly and others – like this bunch – unexpectedly lark about in music videos. And here – by no coincidence whatsoever – are our four favourites!
1. Laurie and French in Experiment IV, Kate Bush
Alarming song, alarming video. But perhaps the most alarming thing about this song (making it an alarmist hat trick) is the appearance of Hugh Laurie and Dawn French – both usually so nice and British and scone-eating – playing evil, morality-free scientists. Yikes.
2. Chevy Chase in You can call me Al, Paul Simon
Rumour has it that Paul Simon portioned up the budget for this video thusly: Hiring Chevy Chase: $24, 999. 75 (+ one platter of cold meats). Set-building materials: 25 cents. But no matter, it works. A question: is Chase that tall or is Simon that short? Or is this Pre-Lord of The Rings CGI work?
3. Depp and Dunaway in Into the Great Wide Open, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Forgotten beauty Faye Dunaway plays the Rothmans-chuffing cougar in shoulder pads. Johnny Depp plays the leather-toting, rock ‘n’ roll mouthwash swilling heart throb. The Heartbreakers play The Borrowers. This video is just like a mini frat-pack Eighties movie – with extra cameo points for including Matt le Blanc and Terence Trent D’Arby. Brilliant.
Youtube wouldn’t let us have it, so you’ll have to see it here.
4. Jack Black in Low, The Foo Fighters
Jack Black as depraved hick dons tutu and fully-hammers-it camp for video-camera wielding special friend Dave Grohl. Do not watch while eating.
Again, you’ll have to see it here.