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Romancing the Stone

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by Robert Zemeckis

   Though she can spin wild tales of passionate romance, novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) has no life of her own. Then one day adventure comes her way in the form of a mysterious package. It turns out that the parcel is the ransom she'll … see full wiki

Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: January 1, 1984
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Romancing the Stone

How does one "Romance a stone?" Let's find out...

  • Sep 5, 2006
Pros: Everything going on everywhere

Cons: Nothin'

The Bottom Line: If you're a woman, go get it. If you're a man, this is one you can watch with interest (trust me, it's no English Patient!)

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

I was minding my own business, avoiding phone calls and sipping on a lovely margarita, when walla! The time was perfect for Romancing the Stone. There really wasn’t any better moment for it and I’d been thinking about the movie a while before then for some odd reason. And also oddly enough, the main character always reminds me of me, in more ways than one, and considering what I’d been surrounded by today, it worked out especially well.

Joan Wilder is a romance novelist. Her specialty always seems to involve a man named Jesse, the kind we all dream about. Strong, handsome, sweep-us-off-our-feet-after-a-daring-rescue sort of man. Too bad they’re hard to find in real life, especially for a writer who’s basically already dreamed up her dream man and now has a hard time settling for less. Wait, who are we talking about again?

Well, life is good for Joan. She’s just finished her new book and it’s fabulous. Life would be much better, though, if her sister Elaine hadn’t just been kidnapped. If Joan’s apartment hadn’t just been ransacked. If she didn’t have to fly to Columbia with a strange map sent to her by Elaine’s dead husband. Moreover, life would be fabulous if she hadn’t gotten on the wrong bus in Columbia and ended up in the middle of a jungle with some strange man pointing a gun at her. Everyone wants that map and whatever is at the end of it, and Joan just wants to save her sister. It seems like the only thing between her and her sister’s life and a messy end is a man named Jack, and that’s only if he gets paid by Joan or unless he steals the map first.

Maybe life’s not so great for Joan after all…but that Jack fellow is interesting...

In some ways I could easily say that this movie has something for everyone in it. A little romance, plenty of action, good humor, treasure hunting – what more could you ask for? But naturally, I could also just as easily say that this is indeed the quintessential romance novel gone to the big screen. But it’s the good kind – not the hokey sort of romance novel that you can get a dime a dozen. Right away you get a sense of who Joan (Kathleen Turner) is and just how out of place she is when thrown into a situation just like she might write. Not so hot. And Jack (Michael Douglas) was plenty of fun. Douglas gets into the character right away and watching their interactions with one another go from irritated to something more makes you smile. And we don’t get sex at every corner either, so no need to worry about that (though I know some of you will be disappointed to hear that).

I’m not sure what else to say other than it’s a great movie. Heck, there are plenty of great stunts to go around – when there isn’t any gunfire there’s a car chase, vine swinging, hand-to-hand fighting, alligators, dancing, and Danny DeVito as Ralph, one of Elaine’s kidnappers, getting into all sorts of trouble one way or another. He was sent to keep an eye on Joan, but that whole deal just turned out bad for him. As a whole, the movie is what it is – I’m sure they weren’t aiming for Oscar (thank God), just something like, well, what you see before you. It was made during the days when the saxophone reigned supreme (and the music is well done, I might add, goes nicely with the feel of the movie – right on Alan Silvestri). So this is one of those movies I take the way I get it and don’t rate too harshly as it wasn’t made to be.

And at the end, perhaps you may, like me, not be such a hopeless romantic after all…



Viewing Format: VHS

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