ranters and ravers

A.O. Scott Is Still Grumpy About ‘Over Her Dead Body’

Photo illustration: Getty Images, iStockphoto

At least that’s the obvious explanation for the Times critic’s annoyed smackdown of the contemporary rom-com in this weekend’s “Arts and Leisure,” in which he asks Hollywood, “How did this genre fall so far, from one that reliably deployed the talents of the movie industry’s best writers, top directors and biggest stars to a source of lazy commercial fodder?”

Our parents and grandparents had Rock Hudson and Doris Day — such delicious subtext! such amazing office furniture! — or Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Or Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Or Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Or even, in “That Touch of Mink,” Cary Grant and Doris Day. But you get the point. We have Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.

“Apologies to both; it’s nothing personal,” he adds, later, although it sort of does seem personal. Now we don’t necessarily think Fool’s Gold is going to be a masterpiece. But at the very least it doesn’t seem to fit Scott’s complaints about the genre as it exists now. Based on the trailers, we get the impression that Kate Hudson’s character has plenty of “vinegar,” and that McConaughey is no “Ralph Bellamy type.” In fact, the film seems a conscious attempt at a throwback to the adventure-y rom-coms of yesteryear, with a fellow and a dame trading wisecracks in some exotic locale. A.O. Scott, open your heart to the magic of bronzed and gleaming Hollywood stars!

A Fine Romance, My Friend, This Is [NYT]
Earlier: Pity Poor A.O. Scott As the Dog Days of February Arrive

A.O. Scott Is Still Grumpy About ‘Over Her Dead Body’