Last month Amy Nicholson wrote a great piece for LA Weekly titled "Who Killed the Romantic Comedy," and you should read it. She comes up with some very interesting theories to explain this trend:
In 1997, there were two romantic comedies among the top 20 box office performers. In 1998 and 1999, there were three. Each cracked $100 million in sales. Even as recently as 2005, five romantic comedies topped $100 million at the box office.
Contrast that with 2013: There's not one romantic comedy in the top 50 films. Not even in the top 100.
Well, Words and Pictures will certainly not be in the Top 100 box office performers of 2014, but it seems like a small story told well, and we have too few movies that follow that model anymore. It stars wonderful actors - Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche - and it's directed by Fred Schepisi, who's directed some very good films, including Roxanne, one of my favorite romantic comedies ever. It doesn't feature any action figures or found footage, so it's the type of movie we talk about too rarely on Badass Digest, but I miss the well-made romantic comedy. I don't want it to be killed.
Words and Pictures hits select theaters May 23.
A witty romantic drama, WORDS AND PICTURES stars the engaging duo of Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen working together on-screen for the first time. Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (OWEN) laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his spare time with drink versus the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto (BINOCHE) — an abstract painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. From the start, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish.
With a performance review looming and his teaching job on the line, Jack hatches an inspired plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn.
(And yes, I'm aware that the summary calls Words and Pictures a "romantic drama," but that's what every funny romantic movie with real emotions is called lately, particularly since the term "romantic comedy" has become so poisonous.)