Love and Other Disasters

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When I first watched this movie my first reaction was “meh”. Whenever a film is buttonholed as a romantic comedy you as the viewer make a few automatic assumptions about what you’re about to see. This one flew in the face of all of them and even poked fun of the standard rom-com tropes and clichés. For example, there’s a mad dash to the airport trying to stop someone from getting on a plane, only to be thwarted at the last second. “An early departure? What are the chances of that? If this was a movie, there wouldn’t be an early departure.” It was a pleasure to see Catherine Tate, whom I will always think of as Donna Noble in Doctor Who, but unfortunately her role as Tallulah Riggs-Wentworth (what a name!) is just a stock character with only the broadest strokes of a personality. I think perhaps the reason I failed to connect with this movie was I simply did not like Jacks (Brittany Murphy) as a person. She comes across as a bit of a flaky dingbat and if she could ever just shut up for one blessed minute to let someone else speak then there wouldn’t have been so many unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings.  Jacks is an American intern working at Vogue UK who shares her apartment with gay roommate Peter Simon (Matthew Rhys).  It’s her mission in life to help her friends find love while she herself simply sleeps with an ex she doesn’t love because he “fills a void.  Literally.”  When Paolo (Santiago Cabrera) appears on the scene, Jacks assumes he’s gay and tries to set him up with Peter.

I think the script stumbled a bit in trying to tell two stories, that of Jacks as well as her roommate, but it certainly had some interesting thoughts about what makes a good relationship and the nature of love. “Love isn’t always a lightning bolt, you know? Maybe sometimes it’s just a choice.” The ideas were good but the movie only scratched the surface of what could have been a deeply philosophical statement. So not just a standard rom-com but not nearly as shrewdly insightful as it thinks it is (and often annoyingly meta), this winds up with an average rating. Not great but by no means bad, enjoy it for what it is and savor the spectacular cameos of Gwyneth Paltrow and Orlando Bloom at the end. – BETHANY

For more on this so-so Brittany Murphy movie, visit:

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      “I can’t help it.  I’m naturally dramatic.” – Tallulah Riggs-Wentworth (Catherine Tate)

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   Jacks with James Wildstone (Elliot Cowan).  “What’s the point of shagging someone, ad nauseam, if you know you’re never gonna love them?”                  “It’s not so simple.”                                                                                                                   “He’s in love with you, Jacks, and you’re not in love with him. It doesn’t get more simpler than that.”  (Jacks and Peter)

“We can’t have you all alone in London on a Friday night.” – Jacks                   “You make me sound like an exchange student.” – Paolo (Santiago Cabrera)

Jacks and Peter watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  “This is your favourite film?”  “Look at me.  Can’t you tell?”

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                          Jacks channeling Holly Golightly.

               She does love her cat-eye makeup, but wears it very well.

“An affair? You’ve only been going out with him for two weeks! Who is he having an affair with?” (Peter)                                                                                             “Me! I just found out he’s married.” (Tallulah)

This movie wouldn’t be complete without a sexy tango scene.  Jacks and Paolo.

The trailer for Love and other Disasters:


Photos courtesy of EuropaCorp, Ruby Films and Skyline Films (unless otherwise noted)

Note: Quotes put with pictures that are not necessarily the moment in the movie when the line is said.



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