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COMMENTARY: Blockbuster's Valentine Blunders

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Aug 16, 2001 | 9:13am EDT

So, today's Valentine's Day, and there are many reasons to be bitter. (Being single one great reason to be bitter).

So, it didn't help that Blockbuster, that rental behemoth, last week released its Top 10 list of the most romantic films of all-time. Of all-time? Oh, really.

Consider:

10. "The Wedding Singer" (1998) 9. "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997) 8. "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968) 7. "Jerry Maguire" (1996) 6. "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) 5. "Chasing Amy" (1997) 4. "Sixteen Candles" (1984) 3. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) 2. "Pretty Woman" (1990) 1. "As Good As It Gets" (1997)

So, OK, claws are out, and it's now open season.

How the heck does any movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (Isn't her Gosh-I'm-So-Earnest-Act Old Yet? "Never Been Kissed" should've never been watched.) qualify as romance? Suppose the film's romantic if you grew up in the '80s and left your mentality level back in the era.

Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett are great. Heck, even Cameron Diaz was ditzy fun in "My Best Friend's Wedding." But how is the fact that Julia plays a controlling, neurotic, conniving mega-witch romantic? And there is no chemistry between Dermot Mulroney and her. He comes across as a frat-house clod. Julia and Rupert have the romantic chemistry in this film, but, alas, he's her boss and he's ... gay! "

Jerry Maguire" might make a Top 20 list, but was it romantic when Goose died? (Oh wait, that was "Top Gun.") Or what about when Tom Cruise's bartender hero died? (Oops, "Cocktail.") Bottom line is, "Jerry Maguire" is good, but Renee Zellweger's voice ruins any romantic notions for most. She had me at ... goodbye.

And then there's the matter of "Chasing Amy" -- a very odd choice. Presumably this movie might be romantic if, um, you were a straight guy dating a lesbian. Now, Ben Affleck looks way cute with a mustache and goatee, but Joey Lauren Adams suffers from the same annoying voice affliction that's plagued Zellweger, Melanie Griffith and Gretchen Mol.

"Sixteen Candles" romantic? It's a COMEDY -- and a dated and offensive one at that, although admittedly funny when you're drunk and feeling nostalgic for the '80s.

To show that we're not completely bitter, we accept the fact that the second Julia Roberts movie to grace this list ("Pretty Woman") at least pairs her with a guy with whom she has chemistry. (Remember Richard Gere in "American Gigolo"? Hottie.) Anyway, "Pretty Woman" isn't a bad Top 10 pick -- except that Julia plays a hooker in this Disney flick, and that's kinda odd for a romance.

Finally, in what is possibly the worst No. 1 choice on a Top 10 list in the history of the world: "As Good As It Gets" is Blockbuster's most romantic movie.

What?!

Jack Nicholson could be Helen Hunt's great-great-great-great grandfather in this film. His character also happens to be racist, sexist and homophobic. (He sounds hot. Give me his number -- not.). Helen Hunt is her same vanilla bland self, Greg Kinnear is just plain odd, and Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is wasted. How Nicholson and Hunt won Oscar acting nods for a film that is, as good as it gets, a comedy, is beyond the realm of reasoning.

Where's "Gone With The Wind"? "Casablanca"? "When Harry Met Sally"?

OK, the V-D bitterness is gone. Claws are retracted.

I better run to Blockbuster and rent "Titanic" before it closes. (OK, maybe I already own three copies of it, but so what?)

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