Saturday, September 27, 2014

That Burning Feeling: Movie Review

Familiar romantic comedy clichés drag down the fresh and funny start.

A romantic comedy about sexually transmitted diseases sounds off-beat enough that it just might work, and it almost does. That Burning Feeling starts off funny enough. Adam Murphy (Paulo Costanzo) is the right-hand man for an unscrupulous real estate mogul, played by John Cho. Their complete lack of ethics coupled with the belief that who they are and what they do is so important is funny. 2013

Directed by: Jason James

Screenplay by: Nick Citton

Starring: Paulo Costanzo, John Cho

Adam is also a playboy going from nameless woman to nameless woman. While it does come off overly familiar, the dialogue is still pretty good. Then we're introduced to next door neighbour Frank (Tyler Labine), and as he has a habit of doing, Labine is the life of the film making all of his scenes hilarious. Then Adam gets that burning feeling and a trip to a doctor (who is very enjoyably reminiscent of the doctor in Arrested Development) reveals that he has gonorrhoea. Thus begins the tracking down of his nameless conquests and the plot of the film.

The plot unfortunately employs a lot of usual cliches found in male-led romantic comedies. Adam meets a girl he actually likes and while re-meeting all of his one-night stands, he starts seeing these girls as interesting, caring women with actual names. His old life colliding with his new life is just too tired of a formula to keep the freshness of the film funny.

Part of the problem is the supporting girls – the formerly nameless women – that Adam now sees as interesting and caring, I do not see as interesting at all. There are a lot of montages of Adam hanging out with his new female friends, and it drags down the opening wit. This also relegates love interest number one – Liv (Ingrid Haas), to a smaller role, and she becomes less complete and interesting as she originally appeared to be.

The supporting males, on the other hand, John Cho as Adam's ethically-challenged boss and Tyler Labine as Adam's socially-challenged neighbour are hilarious. They don't have their own driving story lines but all of their scenes are very welcome additions to a film which is described as comedy first.

That Burning Feeling has a quick run-time but the uninteresting supporting girls with unnecessary montages really drags that down. It also is very funny at times, although the familiar romantic comedy plot makes the film not as fresh or funny as it should be. But then again the male romantic comedy is hardly a genre that has ever been perfected, so for fans of that type of film, it is a harmless addition. Fans of Cho and Labine might as well check them out here since they're rarely given opportunities to actually showcase their talents.

Similar Titles:

Best Man Down (2012) - Drama, comedy, a marriage, a death and brilliance all around.

That Awkward Moment (2014) - Funny moments and moments that just fall flat.