When did Hollywood stop making romantic dramas? I feel like that was a big part of the 80s for me. I was probably too young to be watching them but during that era, romantic dramas were regular cinematic features. And I’m not saying they had to be good, but they were available. It’s not like all movies are good now either, and so many of them are not romantic dramas. Back in the 80s though, there was Vision Quest, About Last Night, Fire With Fire was a movie that is probably terrible and very inappropriate by today’s standards but at the time, I couldn’t get enough of it. Youngblood, starring Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze is, to me, also a romantic drama.
You know what they did in romantic dramas in the 80s? Love scenes. There was a LOT of making out in addition to the angst. They were sexy – again, at least by the standards of the era. Even 15 years ago movies seemed sexier than they are now. If you rewind to the mid-2000s, for example, The Notebook, a classic romantic drama, with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling (I don’t even know why I bothered telling you who’s in that movie, as if you don’t know) is sexier than so much of what’s out there now. I just watched it for the first time in years the other day because for some reason my Netflix algorithm put it in my face and it really stood out to me how much kissing happens in The Notebook. What happened to movie kissing, like a healthy and horny amount of kissing!? What happened to movies where the story is just about romance – nothing else, no other themes, just two people falling in love and breaking up and maybe getting back together but not necessarily. And not a rom-com but a rom-DRAMA? The Notebook, after all, is NOT a rom-com.
This is what I was thinking about watching the trailer for Monday, starring Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, due out next month. That the only thing they’re doing here is telling us the story about these two people who fall in love on a Greek island and can’t get enough of each other so they smash all weekend and then Monday comes around and it’s like…what now? That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. And it’s enough. It’s enough to make me want to spend two hours with them as they kiss and f-ck their way through the highs and the inevitable lows. I mean it’s not just the love scenes, it’s also the love punch-in-the-gut. Those movie moments are just as important in a romantic drama.
Monday is directed by Argyris Papadimitropolous – here’s the synopsis:
“Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), two Americans in their mid-thirties living in Athens, meet in the heat of summer one whirlwind weekend. The chemistry between them is undeniable. When Chloe’s time in Greece is drawing to a close, she decides to give up her high-flying job back home and explore whether one weekend’s passion can blossom into something more. Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ follow up of the festival sensation 'Suntan' is a fun, sensuous romance about how love gets in the way of life, and life gets in the way of love.”
Even though the reviews out of TIFF were mixed at best, I’m still sold. And I can confidently tell you this, even if it’s not great, I know I’ll enjoy it more than I enjoyed Mank. I know I’ll be able to finish it in less time than Mank. It was my job to watch Mank and I could only do it over two and a half days. Also Tenet, which I’m not sure I ever finished, I think I may have blacked out from boredom and confusion.