Romancing the Stone (1984)

(In French, On Cable TV, September 2017) If ever you’re in the mood for an action comedy in which a romance author finds adventure and love in South America alongside a dashing rogue, then Romancing the Stone should be your first pick. It does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it relatively well thanks to the lead actors and director Robert Zemeckis’s knack (even at that early stage of his career) for executing complex projects. Here we go from New York City to Colombia, evading government forces, drug lords and criminals along the way. Michael Douglas is quite good as the dashing adventurer, reminding us of his younger leading-man days. Opposite him, Kathleen Turner is not bad as a writer thrust in a series of adventures, loosening up along the way. There is nothing particularly novel to what Romancing the Stone is trying to do, and it can occasionally be annoying in how it goes about it (most notably in presenting the bumbling criminals who are supposed to be one of the two main sets of antagonists) but it does manage to become the adventure film it wants to be, with a good helping of comedy and romance to go along with the thrills. It occasionally fells long, and some of the limitations of 1984 filmmaking do show up from time to time, but Romancing the Stone remains mildly enjoyable even today.

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