Paperback Romance–Before You See It

Ed. Note:  In the comment section, a reader corrected me as to when Anthony and Gia met.  They met on the set of  “The Custodian” in 1993, and this movie was made in 1994.  I apologize for the misinformation.

                                                                                                                                             6:24 p.m.      11/18/05

Ok. I just waxed poetic about the fact that I hate romantic comedies. I need to reiterate that even having one of my favorite actors in a romantic comedy doesn’t make it much more palatable. It watched two recently-well, the first ten minutes of each-the second being Paperback Romance, starring Anthony LaPaglia. By the way, he’s so much better looking now than he was when he was younger. It’s the gravitas, I think. Plus, he gained some weight. How unfair is that? He looks better with weight gain!

Anyway, the movie starts out with a voiceover of Gia Carides, who’s writing something in the library. A romantic fantasy. Well, a sexual fantasy. She’s Anthony’s wife in real life-they met on the set. That’s sweet. The movie, not so much. First of all, the sex fantasy is boring and trite with every cliché imaginable. Manhood and such shit. It’s a threesome-and it’s quite a feat that I’m not the least bit interested. To make matters worse, she’s reading out loud as she writes. By pen. I suppose this is the days before laptops so I can forgive the pen and paper part, but not the murmuring out loud part. She’s reading out loud! This is patently absurd. More so that she doesn’t notice a young man-LaPaglia-sitting down in the carrel across from hers, and he’s listening to every word she says. Ridiculous! But no movie without the stupid premise. He invites her to coffee, she rejects him. Turns out she’s on crutches-seems like she has MS, ah, no, it’s polio, according to an IMDb reviewer. Suppose I would have found that out if I actually watched the movie-which is stupid, too. Then again, no movie without the premise. If she has no reason to say no, well, then they’d have their coffee, have sex and be done with it. Even if he is engaged. Even if he is a cat-burglar. Ok. I got those bits of information from the blurb.

She finds out his name from a librarian-talk about privacy leak-and the fact that he works at an art museum. Gia sees Anthony smooching up with an icy blond and is disappointed. Now, this should be the end of it, but oh, no. She spies on them, then comes back to spy on him again. She almost gets caught one day so she’s trying to get away on crutches and falls over the banister, breaking her leg. I’m fast-forwarding by this point, trying to find more scenes with Anthony in them. By the time I watch a party scene in which both Gia and Anthony end up, I give up.

This is not Netflix Queue material-far from it. Go watch Without a Trace, instead, even though this season is uneven at best. WAT at its worse is a hundred times better than this movie. Moral of the story-no romantic comedies for me!

2 Responses to Paperback Romance–Before You See It

  1. Well, I’m a big LaPaglia fan, and I thought this movie was cute, funny, and very sexy. Sure, it’s quirky and different, but I think that’s part of its charm. I agree that ALP grew more handsome with age and more weight. By the way, he and Gia did not meet on the set. They met a couple of years earlier when he was making ‘The Custodian’ in Australia, were engaged two weeks later, but weren’t married until 1998.

  2. Diane, thanks for reading my blog and for commenting. I am glad to see some new faces, so to speak. Also, thank you for correcting me on when Anthony and Gia met. I will correct my review to reflect that.

    My actual problem with the movie is that it was trying too hard to be quirky, but it was actually quite conventional. Then again, I really don’t like romantic comedies, so I was predisposed to not liking it before I even started watching it.