Gone To The Movies: Romancing The Stone

18 January 2016

So, as you probably saw the other week, Kaja and I were meant to have two joint posts coming up… but due to Kaja’s busy schedule we have only managed to both fit in Gone To The Movies and Celebrating Cliches is going on the backburner for a little while… but that’s okay because this is the more fun feature. We’re watching films and then telling you about them, how could that not be fun?

Gone To The Movies is a joint feature Kaja and I are doing where we watch romance films and then write a review. It’ll be one film a month to happen in the middle of the month (I think we agreed the third Monday of each month… but don’t take my word for it) and is just a fun feature which gives me an excuse to watch romance films. This feature developed from my review for All I Want, the newest book in Jill Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism series, where I said that the book reminded of the classic 80s romance film Romancing the Stone. Kaja mentioned she hadn’t watched in ages and I felt a strong need to rewatch considering it was New Years and I was drinking last time I saw it and then this feature was born.


Romancing The Stone (1984)

A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister, who will be killed if a treasure map is not delivered to her captors. She is helped out by a brash mercenary, and together they search for the priceless gem located in the map. (From Google)

I didn’t know how to review this. I mean, where do you start when reviewing a film? I write little things down when watching (I know, what a geek) but they don’t exactly help me review this. They are comments like ‘Am I the only one who wants to read a Joan Wilder romance novel?’ and ‘I feel like she planned very poorly for this trip. I mean look at those shoes! And she is so gullible, do not trust a man with a dodgy moustache!’. Those thoughts are not exactly helpful when it comes to a review, it just demonstrates my thoughts throughout the film. And I have 2 pages of these thoughts. These are the things I would have tweeted if I had known where my phone was when watching the film (I was sat on it, but it was under the blankets I was wrapped in so that’s why I couldn’t feel it).

I will begin by saying I cannot recommend this film enough for fans of romance, it’s fun and hilarious and oh so very dated, but oh so very fun. It’s just a fun easy watch, a Sunday afternoon type film. Or better yet, a cold Friday night film to watch in your pyjamas (cocktails optional). I told my mom I sat watching it and she rolled her eyes and asked me why… all I could say is why not? I do not look for groundbreaking storylines when it comes to films, I want some enjoyable escapism for a couple of hours and you get this with this film.

The Story

Does this story make much sense? Well, not really. A romance writer’s sister ends up kidnapped and Joan Wilder must take the treasure map to the kidnappers in Columbia to ensure her safe return? That sounds a bit far-fetched and melodramatic (very old school romance novel) but I’ll go with it. But then she takes poor advice from a suspicious stranger and gets held at gunpoint and then rescued by aanother random stranger who is a mercenary. They then go trapising the jungle chased by the police and an incompetent kidnapper (Danny DeVito) and slowly begin falling for one another.

It’s a ridiculous plot that makes no sense. I did continually find myself having to suspend disbelief with the very obvious plot deivces used to bring the couple closer together. It was such an obvious story… but it was also insanely fun. I think the highlight of the film was when they ended up at the village of a drug lord who was all ready to shoot the couple until he discovered that it was Joan Wilder at his door, he then announced his love for her books (he reads them to his men on Satudays). I loved the idea of this stereotypical tough guy reading her books and being a fan. Also, the car chase which followed was fun as well. That was a highlight of the film for me, along with the crocodile at the end.

The Romance

This is the most obvious part of the review that I knew had to be included. Is the romance any good? Sometimes films do get it wrong, they miscast people and I just don’t believe the romance… this is not one of those cases. I did feel it was a bit rushed, but then they were in a really intense situation so emotions were heightened. That, and Jack was sort of trying to seduce Joan to get the map, but then he changed his mind.

Look, this is a ridiculous romance, but it is the most insanely fun and I loved that it happened like it would in a romance novel. One of those over the top type romance novels Joan Wilder totally writes. I didn’t get frustrated and throw my hands up in despair at the romance, I just got lost in it. This is a ver indulgent romance, not one of those intense ones, just enjoyable and fun. A great place to kick this feature off.

So… Did I Like It?

Well, duh. Of course I liked it. This was the msot ridiculous and fun film I have watched in a while. It was just plain old sugary sweet with a bit of adventure thrown in. I love a good fish out of water tale, and this most definitely describes Joan’s adventure in Columbia. She had no clue what she was doing half the time, but she managed to cope, and not just because Jack came to her rescue, but because she’s strong and can get through anything. I loved it all, I loved the characters and the crazy storyline and the general ridiculousness and I will probably watch Jewel of the Nile because I never seen that and surely it must at least partially compare to the first, right?

Please check out Kaja’s post as well and don’t forget to join us next month where we’ll be watching When Harry Met Sally because how could we not include that film in our watch list?

Have you seen Romancing the Stone? Did the cheesy ridiculous appeal to you or was it just too much? Are you a fan of romance films or they a bit too much and make you roll your eyes right out of your head?
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