I'm not sorry I watched the movie. But this is the second British "comedy" slash "romance" or something or other that has been so fucking careful and simplistic and ridiculous about its telling, I found myself doing other things to keep from falling asleep. I don't need Jim Cary style comedy or such; I just like there to be some sort of energy behind the scene.
What's sad is, I like Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. He's an amazingly attractive Englishman and she's got charisma to spare, when she lets it out. And yet...I saw nothing in the way of an honest connection between the two. Man, this is a perfect example of the importance of casting.
I remember another film I saw, years ago -- "The Counterfeit Traitor" with William holden and Lili Palmer. It's set during WW2 and he's a Swedish-American businessman who's basically blackmailed into helping gather information for the Allies. His contact is Lili Palmer, who's the wife of a German soldier. They're pretending to have an affair, but it develops into a real one. Only problem was, there was zero chemistry between them.
William Holden could burn up the screen just standing still, when he wanted to. His dance with Kim Novak in "Picnic" is a classic moment of on-screen eroticism. Plus, Lili Palmer could connect beautifully with the right actor. Her moments with John Garfield in "Body and Soul" are near poetry. So it's not the actors' abilities or whether the camera likes them or not.
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy had it through several movies. So did Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr sizzled in "From Here to Eternity" as did Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in "A Place in the Sun". And as much as I disliked "Titanic", Kate and Leo had it.
Of course, a lot of that is just chance. You never know who will connect in front of a camera, and that makes me nervous about what will happen when "The Alice '65" gets made. I can just see them casting a pretty-boy like Robert Pattison as Adam and Kristen Stewart as Casey. Uhg! I think I'd kill the casting director.
I gotta figure out some way of having input into that decision.