I read a number of posts this week about the dearth of good romantic comedies in Hollywood these days (see, for example, Smexy Books). The near-absent of this genre from mega-plexes everywhere confuses me because they’re relatively cheap to make and they appeal to female viewers, who often feel under-served in the current market. Thankfully, there are always the romantic comedies of the past on cable. And today, I’m recommending Only You, Norman Jewison’s Italian travelogue featuring the delightful Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, and lots of terrific mid 90s fashions.
This film is a riff on The Importance of Being Earnest, except in this case, it’s the importance of being Damon Bradley. Tomei’s character got the name off a Ouija board when she was a kid. She’s given up that silly fatalism until, on the eve of her wedding, she finds Damon Bradley, chases him to Italy, and he turns out to be Robert Downey Jr. Hijinks ensue.
I couldn’t find the clip that I wanted — the late night walk across Rome — so you’ll have to settle for the trailer. But really, this movie is charming and romantic and beautiful and you should watch it with pasta and wine tonight. And then come back here and explain to me why movies set in Italy are always better.