Ep 31: 10 Things I Hate About You

A perfect (Jenny), near perfect (Lucy) romantic comedy with stellar characterization and music that is integral to the plot.  Also, best movie serenade EVER.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 4.5 Pops ~ A funny, sharply told love story that hits all the right notes. I especially love the divergence from the somewhat misogynistic source material; this movie is about both people breaking down the other’s defenses, and it leaves you smiling. The big flub is Allison Janney’s character, who was great but had no business being in this movie.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5

Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ I love the way this movie arcs the character with romance and the romance with the character, fusing plot and character, using brilliant music choices to move both.  Kat’s intro is musical characterization genius.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Click here for the Chat Transcript.

Movie Info:

Story: The Taming of the Shrew in a 20th century high school: Tempestuous, terrifying Kat must be lured into dating before her pretty little sister Bianca can go out; enter Patrick Verona, rumored to have eaten a live duck and therefore the man to tame the shrew.  Release Date: March 31, 1999. Writer(s): Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith, William Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew)

Ep 30: Grosse Pointe Blank

Some minor dissent among the hosts on Grosse Pointe Blank, but overall, lots of love for a great story well-told. And Joan Cusack rocks.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Listen in iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 4.5 Pops
I love this movie, and not just because of John Cusack. It deals with the darkness essential to being a hitman, without falling into the pit of brooding, guilt and redemption. While I would argue that the structure gets a bit muddy, and I have reservations about hitman love under even the best of circumstances, it’s a joy to watch, and a wonderfully written film.

Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, Romance: 4.5

Jenny says: 5 Pops
One of the few romances that gets the Hitman in Love trope right by making who Martin Blank is an integral part of the romance plot, fueling why he left the love of his life and why he came back to her while demonstrating his devotion with a hail of bullets and a cast iron frying pan.  I love this movie.

Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5

Special Guest Alastair Stephens says: 4.5 Pops
Martin Blank is a great character and ninety minutes of John Cusack is enjoyable under any circumstances — except, perhaps, Better Off Dead — but the remarkable thing about this movie is that it over-delivers in almost every way.  The script is deft and complex, the pacing is tight, the supporting cast is fantastic and this, for me, is the performance of Cusack’s career.  If only Minnie Driver had brought a little warmth to her role, and her character been a little more developed, it would be five pops all round.

Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 4

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript!

Movie Info:

Story: A hitman goes home for his tenth high school reunion and courts a past love while dealing with the chaos of his current enemies.   Release Date: April 11, 1997 Writers: Tom Jankiewicz, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, and John Cusack

Ep 28: French Kiss

Can a movie that gets great in the second half make up for a weak start with an irritating heroine? Jenny says nay, Lucy says the payoff is worth it. Both agree that Kevin Kline makes a wonderful Frenchman, and everybody loves Jean Reno. Get the podcast: Listen here at PopD | Go to iTunes

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 4 Pops ~ Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 4, Romance: 5

Jenny says: 3 Pops ~ Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 3, Romance: 3

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

PopD Community Chat Transcript

Movie Info:

Release date: May 5, 1995 Director: Lawrence Kasdan Writers: Adam Brooks. More info at IMDb.