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Better Than the Movies

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See, Liz’s forever crush, Michael, has just moved back to town, and—horribly, annoyingly—he’s hitting it off with Wes. A large part of this has to do with how superbly cast the film is, with Australian newcomers Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce leading across veterans like Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, and James Cromwell. But noticing that Wes isn’t the annoying “bad boy” she had always thought he was was definitely not part of her plan.

The more Liz schemes with him, the more she’s forced to examine the difference between what she thinks is good for herself and what actually is— and part of facing that means facing her past. As I said, I could see bits of myself in Liz but I was definitely in awe of how she embraced her personality. Enter Wes Bennett, the boy next door, the one Liz has fought with her whole life, that everyone but her seems to love. The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Suddenly, she’s overcome by the realisation that she’s setting her life up in a way that she thinks it’s supposed to be—pushing her friends and step-mother away, ignoring what’s right in front of her—for an “idealized” life.Ellis’ satire is all sharp edges, but Mary Harron‘s sharp directorial eye captures the black humor at the bloody heart of the story while ditching some of the book’s extreme misogyny. But these consiglieres, capos, and their mistress goomahs became the stuff of Hollywood legend after Francis Ford Coppola’s epic reimagining of Puzo’s material. After making amends with Joss and Helena and pushing Michael to finally be with Laney, Liz decides to go after Wes with a grand gesture.

As someone who enjoys Rom-coms, I was appreciative of the references to some of my favourite romantic comedies. We were probably going to be late because of our impromptu hallway meet-up with Michael, but it would totally be worth it. Sandwiches cut into adorable shapes, homemade cookies, brownies with sprinkles; it had been a treasure trove of kiddie culinary masterpieces, each one more lovingly prepared than the last.Liz is a bit of a dreamer – she lives her life in terms of romantic comedy movies, moments she shared with her mother from the time she was small.

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