Unlike a lot of my brethen (males, although probably less than most people think), I do watch romance movies. I don't think they are as stupid as some people make them out to be, but I have a pet peeve: I don't like movies where communication (or lack there-of) causes the tension. I think it's important people be in control of themselves at all times, and not rashly act out of anger. Even more important, however, is being honest with each other, and it's surprising how many films are based on the premise of tension caused by a secret.
Let me give an example. Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember was turned into a film in 2002, starring Mandy Moore and Shane West. The Wikipedia page mentions several differences between the book and the film (as well as the fact that it got negative reviews). The most significant difference in my mind, however, was not mentioned. In the film, Jamie and Landon have a falling out after Jamie tells Landon about her leukemia, Jamie leaving because she doesn't "need a reason to be angry with God". This never happens in the book. Jamie tells Landon that she's dying, and they stay together and face everyone in town. There was sadness, definitely, but no anger. Both Landon and Jamie accept that as reality, and work to make what short time they have better. Although perhaps Jamie shouldn't have concealed her sickness, the book Landon's response is the best I've seen: understand, be calm, and face it. It agitates me when movies show people who overreact to revealed background information. The person you know is no different, and unless they were really good actors, you probably know who they really are anyway.
So, here's a list of movies which use miscommunication and dishonesty to cause tension.
- A Walk to Remember - see above.
- Mamma Mia! - Sophie should have told her fathers the truth (that she doesn't know which of them is the real one). The tension comes from all three thinking they're her father.
- Hitch - The whole journalist/"date doctor" thing
- Moulin Rouge - Satine lying to Christian to get her to leave, so she can conceal her sickness.
- The Prince and Me - Discovering he's a prince doesn't change the kind of person he is.
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - See Hitch.
I did, however, liked:
- Definitely, Maybe - April's behavior when Will told her he loved her is borderline, but I think more of the plot is driven by Will's awareness of his love.
- Stranger Than Fiction - Also self realization. I think the plot would be better if Harold died though.
Also, I want to point out that in the case of The Lake House, the plot itself was bad enough, but also there's a time paradox. Since Alex planted a message for Kate and they stay for two years until Kate sees them, they are living the same timeline. In that timeline, Alex is supposed to have died in the traffic accident; however, the Alex we follow survives. So who died? I have to say, I disliked that the movie didn't make logical sense more than anything else.
On the other hand, here's something which I always thought was a great question. If two people have the same goal, and the goals are not mutually exclusive, why is it so hard for them to understand each other and work together?