Romantic films are the ultimate feel-good films, right? Who doesn’t love the pure escapism involved in losing yourself in delusions of grandeur and happy ever afters? Well, to be honest, all of the grand gestures and sweeping music can get a bit sickening after a while and you need a good healthy dose of realism. But that doesn’t mean to say that films about romance can’t be both realistic and feel-good. And Eagle vs Shark is the perfect example of such a film.
It’s one of my favourites because it’s about a couple who love each other for what others could consider to be their faults, rather than in spite of them. Nobody wants to hang out with Lily except her equally weird brother. Hell, her colleagues even managed to force her out of her job (I think that was kinda illegal but some suspension of disbelief is required here) and Jerrod’s family thinks he’s a total loser. Yet they are both exactly what the other wants and needs. All it took was a computer game tournament and some free fries for Jerrod to realise how awesome Lily is. Oh, that and her costume making skills. He’s so complex!
What’s so great about Eagle vs Shark is that it’s one of those films about a romantic relationship which appeals to both men and women. Gals can persuade their boyfriends to give it a go because its funny and stars ‘that dude from Flight of the Conchords’ and if you’re a guy wanting to impress your chick-flick-loving lady friend, it’s a great romance that’ll show your soft side without making you want to scratch your eyes out! Everyone’s a winner. I asked my boyfriend, who has excellent taste (in movies and women!), to explain why he likes the film so much. He let me transcribe his rather eloquent ramblings:
“It’s not just about a romantic relationship; it’s got a secondary storyline – about self-improvement, about a father accepting his son for who he is. The main characters improve their ability to deal with social situations, which is effectively a coming of age story, despite being in their late twenties. It’s atypical of its genre. Although the characters are clearly an act of fiction and not believable they’re still relatable. Everyone has been there, albeit at a much younger age. That’s what adds interest to the film – because they are these relatable characters, yet they’re odd, and haven’t completely grown up. Also, he nunchucks a guy in a wheelchair, so that’s cool.”
Yeah, so it has that going for it… It’s also incredibly quotable. And I love a little-seen quotable film, cos when you throw it into everyday conversation and someone else actually knows what you’re on about, it can create a beautiful moment!
Hopefully Eagle vs Shark has opened your eyes to the potential of non-traditional romantic films. If you liked this, why not try Lars and the Real Girl, a film about Ryan Gosling’s titular loner who becomes infatuated with a sex doll (seriously, give it a go!), or In Search of a Midnight Kiss, kind of a cross between Before Sunrise and Manhattan (it’s also one of the options for next week).