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‘Hopeless Romantic’ review: Rom-com anthology has its heart in the right place

Too much going on.

Hopeless Romantic is proof that not all anthologies have to be horror. The movie is about a recently widowed cardiologist named Anna (Lynda Boyd). She attends a wedding where she talks to six other women. Each shares their stories of romance and rejection. In a nice change of pace, each segment is directed by a different woman.

An important part of romantic comedies is the chemistry between the potential couple. Hopeless Romantic seems to back itself into a corner by telling separate stories. There is not a chance for the audience to get to see the relationship grow. Hopeless Romantic gets around this by keeping the stories light hearted. A segment about not knowing what the word “blowjob” means ends in a hilarious payoff. It is cute, funny, and has a nice payoff.

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As with any anthology, some of the segments do not land as well as others. In this case of Hopeless Romantic, the differences stand out more. A short involving a college couple just goes on aimlessly before ending. There are also some odd changes in tone over the course of the film. These are regular occurrences throughout the movie. None of the more serious stories has a satisfying conclusion. Topics range from cute grade school crushes to sexual assault. This makes for a difficult watch.

The greatest strength of Hopeless Romantic is its willingness to keep things simple. The segues are simply women swapping stories. Each segment does not try to be overly clever. While the stories they tell can sometimes be frustrating, the point the movie is trying to make is very clear. They are just stories about love. (The story involving the graduation party is the outlier.)

A romantic comedy anthology sounds like a fun idea. Having each segment directed by a woman gives it a refreshing take. Hopeless Romantic has some strong moments. It can be incredibly funny and the segment involving kids is a highlight. Unfortunately, having different director also prevents the film from having a cohesive mood.

Hopeless Romantic is available on digital platforms February 12

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