A Fine Romance Friday: Romancing the Stone

It’s just another soggy Friday where I’m at, which requires something warm, tropical, and hilarious as a remedy. So today’s choice for a fine romance is Robert Zemeckis’ 1984 action-adventure-comedy-romance Romancing the Stone, starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

Turner is a mousy, repressed, boring romance novelist, writing about things that’s she’s never experienced. (As we romance novelists do.) She receives word that her sister was kidnapped in South America and rushes to rescue her, only to end up lost in the Columbian jungle, where she meets Douglas. For a price, he agrees to help. What ensues is a grab-bag of action and romance cliches, somehow made fresh because everyone seems to be having so much fun.

I think it’s the fun that missing from contemporary romances. I guess because there’s so much capital tied up in making a movie today everyone is so serious. Romancing the Stone is winking at you — sometimes literally in the guise of Douglas’ joyous performance — and laughing with you.

If the rain keeps up, I’ll be able to reenact the mud slide scene in my backyard, hopefully with something rummy, and suggest you do the same. (Only perhaps minus the mud.)

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