The Top 12 Movie Romances of Summer 2013
Since it's called Austenland, and since it's a romantic comedy, you probably expect it to open with "It's a truth universally acknowledged" and to wrap with one lovesick sap madly dashing after another, right up to an airport's departure gates, even though both presumably have cell phones and could just work things out like people. You wouldn't be that far off in those particulars, but as with all stories of new love, in the world and in our fictions, it's the life in the middle that counts, the hesitations and first kisses and surprise obstacles, the Ouija-like process of moving yourselves toward each other but pretending it's fate. --Alan Scherstuhl
5. The To Do List
Like first sex, writer-director Maggie Carey's debut feature, The To Do List, is quick and messy, fitfully pleasurable, full of promise but not quite adept at getting everyone off. It's an impossibly huge deal yet also a modest achievement, something we have to go through but that will no doubt be improved upon later. --Alan Scherstuhl
Read the full The To Do List movie review.
4. Much Ado About Nothing
Whedon suggests the timelessness and universality of Much Ado, and he clearly wants his audience to be as uncomfortable with it as the author intended. Because shit, son, that wedding scene is always hard to watch.
But as a comedy, the final act is about restoration and union, and the unmasking of Hero's virtue. Whedon approaches the story with a tremendous amount of joy. Reportedly filmed in a week's time in Whedon's home, the shoot was essentially a house party, the director's pleasure in the people and setting palpable in the final cut. Shakespeare is a living art, relatable and pleasure-extruding with or without pantaloons, always as fun and engaging as its participants. Whedon, whose interests in vampires and spaceships are adjacent to his feminist perspective and love of classic literature, is a lot of fun, and he has talented friends. -- Chris Packham
Read More: Joss Whedon talks blockbusters and Shakespeare.