I have now progressed in my chick flick habit from watching them to reading about them. I actually found myself combining obsessions when I read some chapters in I'll Have What She's Having: Behind the Scenes of Great Romantic Comedies while I was watching the movie Definitely, Maybe, starring Ryan Reynolds.
The book first. I really enjoyed the book. It is exactly what it says it is: a series of chapters about various romantic comedies, from early classics like It Happened One Night and Some Like It Hot to later movies like When Harry Met Sally... and Love Actually, and how they came to be, as well as numerous tidbits of trivia. It's well-written and even the chapters about movies I hadn't yet seen made me want to see the movies immediately (Clark Gable in It Happened One Night? I'm going to hook that up.). And the chapters about movies I had seen made me want to re-watch them: Did you know that Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron, and Andrew Scheinman wrote the screenplay for When Harry Met Sally... over the course of years, during which Ephron "essentially interviewed the two men about their relationships and their feelings about love, sex, and women in general. Some of it was hilarious, some of it was appalling, and all of it was grist for the mill"? And that the woman in the diner who said "I'll have what she's having" after Meg Ryan's mock-orgasm was Reiner's mother? Good stuff. I'm seeing the book Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood popping up on a lot of "Best of 2008" lists, and I don't think that book was half as readable as this one. But serious trumps humorous on the "Best" lists every time.
And this week's chick flick nutshell review? Definitely, Maybe was okay. I don't mind Ryan Reynolds (I actually think he was kind of hilarious in the strange and underrated movie Just Friends) and, with the exception of Rachel Weisz, whom I CAN'T STAND, the women leads were also quite likable. But, at an hour and 52 minutes, it was 22 minutes longer than any romantic comedy really needs to be, unless it is superlative. So if you're jonesing for a chick flick, any chick flick, it'll do, but I wouldn't run right out and rent it or anything.