Iain Gray Freelance Writer

You should have seen it: Only You

Looking at my previous choices for this blog, I realised that I am quite obviously a big, hairy, uncouth, insensitive male.

Runaway Train, Memories of Murder, Hardware, Spartan: all very masculine, testosterone-fuelled movies. Even Miracle Mile, a love story, has a dark, apocalyptic edge to the plot.

So, in an attempt to balance things up, today I will look at Only You, probably the best modern romantic comedy this side of When Harry Met Sally.

The set-up is as sweet as they come at the age of 11, Faith is given the name of her soulmate by a Ouija board Damon Bradley. At 18, a carnival fortune-teller also tells her that the man of her dreams is called Damon Bradley.

Fourteen years later, we find her just about to marry a dull podiatrist, who is definitely not called Damon Bradley, when a friend of her fiancĂ© rings up to say he cannot make the wedding because he has to go to Venice. And his name is…

So it all sounds a bit predictable, but this is where Only You plays its trump card it has a plot that is as convoluted and elegantly staged as the best Hollywood thriller. Imagine Chinatown as a chick-flick.

Just when you think you have it all worked out, it cleverly and surprisingly pulls the rug from under your feet, and sends you off in a different direction.

The dialogue is witty, the characters broad and flawed and the casting exquisite - Marisa Tomei is charming, Robert Downey Jr is immensely likeable and Bonnie Hunt is pretty much a necessity if you want a world-weary best friend/sister/co-worker.

And the message it contains don’t compromise when it comes to your feelings, even if it means sacrificing your happiness is surprisingly heavy compared to more popular rom-coms such as Notting Hill (your job/lifestyle is irrelevant when it comes to affairs of the heart), Pretty Woman (pretty much the same), You’ve Got Mail (opposites attract well, duh) and Bridget Jones’s Diary (be overweight, obnoxious, unable to finish a sentence, bad at your job, talentless, socially inept, boring and a style-apocalypse to get the attention of not one, but two eligible men).

So guys, if you want to win points with your better half, give the latest Danny Dyer horror film a miss (it probably won’t be very good) and rent this instead. Chances are, you might even like it yourself.


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