The sun is desperately trying to come out, pasty legs are already donning shorts and post work pub is becoming a must; it’s definitely starting to look like summer. As our favourite season starts to roll in, so do the flock of summer blockbusters that keep us coming back to movie theatres, looking for some feel good fun. The season of rom-com’s is here, lets celebrate!
As if we didn’t need another reason to go ahead and celebrate our amazing Mums, or Moms for our friends across the pond, seasoned romantic comedy director Garry Marshall has served another slice of appreciation pie in the form of new flick Mother’s Day. Written by Tom Hines, Lily Hollanders, Anya Romano and Matt Walker, the film boasts an all star cast including Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis.
The film focuses on the run up to Mother’s Day and tells the story of a group of seemingly unconnected people as they come to terms with their relationships with their mothers. These stories include Miranda (Roberts), a hugely successful writer who previously gave up her only child (Britt Robertson), only to have her seek her mother before her own wedding. Divorced mother of two, Sandy (Aniston), comes to terms with what motherhood means to her as her ex-husband marries a much younger woman (Shay Mitchell). While Jesse (Hudson), who has dissociated herself from her mother, has to come to terms with their relationship when her parents come to visit her.
Anyone who is familiar with Marshall’s impressive history in film will know he’s no stranger to the rom-com scene and with MOTHERS DAY hitting UK theatres this Friday we thought it imperative to take a look back at some of his very best work!
While Marshall has been directing since the late sixties, his first stand out feature has to be the hilarious and heartwarming Overboard, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
Hitting theatres in 1987, OVERBOARD told the story of beautiful but cold heiress Joanna (Hawn) who takes a tumble off of her expensive yacht only to get amnesia, leading her to forget her fortunate stature. When carpenter Dean (Russell), who Joanna previously screwed over, finds the fallen heiress he decides to get a little revenge and convinces her that she’s his downtrodden wife, whose only job is to look after him and his unruely sons.
With hilarious dialogue, brilliant chemistry between Hawn and Russell and a soft a gooey message at it’s very core, Marshall quickly proved that he was one to watch in the rom-com genre and already bagged himself some a-list starts to add to his list of contacts.
Following OVERBOARD Marshall went and got all devastating on us, directing a film known to get the tears going, the absolutely heartbreaking Beaches. In 1988 audiences all around the globe wept into their tissues and felt truly crushed when Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey played childhood best friends.
The film told the story of two very different women, one a privileged rich debutante and the other a struggling entertainer, and their over thirty year friendship. After a host of wonderful flashbacks that depict their sometimes strained but marvelous relationship, we learn that Hilary (Hershey) has been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and is in desperate need of a heart transplant but her chances of survival are crushingly slim. Learning of her illness, C.C (Midler) travels to stay with Hilary and her daughter and her beach house for the summer.
Audiences sniveled in their seats when Hilary tragically passed away and C.C goes on to look after her daughter. The film locked Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings down as a weepie classic and Marshall began to look like a serious threat to our emotions!
After the success of both OVERBOARD and BEACHES, Marshall went on to direct one of the best loved and well known romantic comedies of cinema; the incredible Pretty Woman. The film really brought us into the nineties with all things rom-com as super stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts signed on to Marshall’s next hit.
PRETTY WOMAN tells the story of Edward (Gere), a successful business man who hires prostitute Vivian (Roberts) to accompany him to a number of social events only for the impossible pair to fall in love. Roberts and Gere were a match made in rom-com heaven in the funny and provocative flick as sex appeal but girl-next-door charm oozed from every scene Roberts appeared in.
The film was originally meant to be a hard hitting and cautious tale of class and prostitution but eventually was re-written as a lighthearted and romantic fairytale- great news for all us rom-com lovers! The narrative doesn’t sound like it should work but Marshall weaved an unforgettable romance that won the hearts of audiences around the globe.
Gere and Roberts proved to me such a winning team that Marshall went on to work with them again and audiences were ecstatic! After pretty woman Marshall directed hits like FRANKIE AND JOHNNY and THE OTHER SISTER but it’s Gere and Roberts 1999 pairing Runaway Bride that stands out as one of his most loved flicks.
This time around Gere plays a cheeky reporter Ike who’s been assigned the story of infamous bride Maggie (Roberts) who’s run out on her last three fiancés but determined to make it down the aisle for her new man. Probing into every aspect of her life, Ike won’t leave her alone and is determined to get to the bottom of her commitment issues. All that snooping around leads to him falling completely in love with Maggie though, as her irresistible charm is just too much to resist.
Marshall’s next stand out romantic comedy actually followed immediately after RUNAWAY BRIDE but set to seek a much younger audience. In 2001 Marshal directed the brilliantly witty but completely magical Princess Diaries and through newcomer Ann Hathaway into Hollywood stardom.
Adapted from Meg Cabot’s novel of the same name, PRINCESS DIARIES tells the story of geeky but lovely Mia Thermopalis as her wold is turned upside down as she finds out she’s in fact a Princess and her long lost Grandmother is indeed the Queen on fictional country Genovia. Hathaway gave a spectacular performance as the endearing Mia and certainly helped to keep Marshall’s rom-com King reputation in tact.
The film also stars the timeless Julie Andrews but it’s the witty performance from Héctor Elizondo that steals the show. The film was such a hit that Marshall went on to make a sequel in 2004 with Princess Diaries: A Royal Engagement and with rumors of a third film coming out we’re desperate for Marshall to return to these brilliant characters!
Since the brilliance of PRINCESS DIARIES: A ROYAL ENGAGEMENT Marshall has gone on to direct the likes of Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve and now with MOTHERS DAY hitting theaters, it looks like he’s trying to get through every major Holiday! We’re waiting for an epic, star studded Christmas film next, Marshall!
Having a number of different writing, producing and acting credits also under his belt, there’s no doubt that Marshall has carved out a seriously impressive reputation within Hollywood and having also worked with the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Effron, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Kathy Bates, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Ashton Kutcher; the list of stars desperate to work with him seem never ending.
So if you’re a lover of all things funny and romantic, Garry Marshall seriously has your back and it looks like MOTHERS DAY isn’t going to disappoint!