The Romantics Galt Niederhoffer

The Romantics Galt Niederhoffer
In 2008, author and now director Galt Niederhoffer wrote a wholly insightful novel about the hopelessness of yearning, the loss of inspiration and the connections to people in our past we desperately try to keep, yet secretly resent, when nearing our 30s. Although none of the characters are particularly likable, all of them are relatable to anyone who was, or still is, dealing with the dreaded period of 20s angst. Being that Niederhoffer's work offered quick wit, pacing and an extremely entertaining tone throughout, it's no surprise a film adaptation was made. With the exact premise as the novel, The Romantics follows writer Laura Rosen (Katie Holmes) and a group of old college friends who come together to see Tom (Josh Duhamel) and Lila (Anna Paquin) get married. Tom happens to be Laura's ex and Laura is Lila's maid of honour, and that's all one needs to know that melodrama will ensue in this The Big Chill-inspired dramedy. Besides Katie Holmes's awkward, yet endearing, performance as the heartbroken Laura and Paquin's wicked portrayal of the jaded, controlling Lila, The Romantics strays far from its source material, which is odd considering the film was directed by the author. The amusing, yet brutally honest, cynicism that made the novel so vibrant is replaced with clichéd moments from other more popular mainstream dramas like Rachel Getting Married, taking away from its initial charm. That's not to say Niederhoffer fails with her directorial debut, as she is able to focus on the film's most precious moments with a skilful eye, and the confrontation scene between Laura and Tom is as gut wrenching to watch as it is to read. The Romantics may fall short of most viewers' expectations, but it still manages to pinch nerves in those who can relate to the bittersweet notion of karmic connections and the reality of settling in the wrong relationship. The DVD also features a behind-the-scenes featurette that showcases all the underused talent in the film. (Paramount)