We all know that Hollywood loves a good love story. And what could be more of a love story than that of Hollywood’s golden couple, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? The former is best known for his performances in the critically acclaimed films Water For Elephants and The Twilight Saga, the latter for her roles in Snow White and the Huntsman and Suicide Squad. The films they’ve worked on together have become box office juggernauts, earning over a hundred million dollars at the global box office.
The two were first linked together when they were both appearing in the 2012 movie On the Road; Stewart has dated several other famous faces, including socialite Paris Hilton and actor Johnny Depp. The on-again/off-again nature of their relationship was front and centre last year with the release of their highly anticipated film Sightseers. The pair were constantly tied in knots as reporters tracked their every move and fans clamoured for a glimpse of their personal lives. In the end, the wait was worth it as the film was a massive box office hit. It made over $60 million domestically and became their second movie together to pass the $100 million mark at the global box office.
All Tied Up In Cinematic Love
The success of Sightseers led to the pair working on yet another romance film together. What better way to show their love than to lock themselves away in a mansion with a bunch of cinematographers and throw lavish parties for each other. And what could be more fitting for royalty and their subjects than to film the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
The wedding of the century was a sight to behold as thousands of well-wishers gathered outside the Westminster Abbey to catch a glimpse of the couple’s big day. Cameras were forbidden, so fans had to settle for Twitter updates and Instagram posts from the event.
And what an event it was. As the newlyweds left the church and made their grand entrance, the crowd went wild. As the bride approached, the flashes went off, filling the air with bright light and creating an iconic picture.
The following day, as the newlyweds explored their new home and its many luxurious details, photos of their wedding and the Abbey itself were on every screen. It was a true event that will be celebrated for years to come.
The wedding inspired a whole collection of products. Ties, pocket squares and even soap dispensers were on sale in the run-up to the anniversary of the Queen’s big day and the pair are still the most popular royal wedding souvenirs.
Romantic Films And The ‘Spiral Staircase’
The year 2018 was another massive box office hit, with several romantic films drawing in audiences and setting box office records. And who could blame them? After years of playing supporting roles, lead actress Stewart finally got her chance to shine and she did so brightly. The films she starred in were completely unexpected, but perfectly crafted to become huge hits.
In Breakout, Stewart stars as ambitious magazine editor Lila Lanchester. When her mentor (played by Joan Collins) passes away, she steps up to the plate and accepts a position as the editor of Collins’ lifestyle magazine. She knows she doesn’t come from a privileged background and is determined to prove herself.
Under Collins’ guidance, Lila quickly rises through the ranks, showing extraordinary talent and charm. The tables are turned when it comes to romantic prospects, as Lila is suddenly faced with the daunting and often domineering task of finding a husband. But it’s not all smooth sailing, as Lila has to contend with the meddling of her ruthless sister (played by Demi Moore), who is determined to see Lila fail.
What sets Breakout apart is its authentic depiction of working-class British culture. Director John Alexander has said that it was important to him that the film stays true to his roots, which is apparent from the very first scene, as he wanted to capture the essence of The London Evening Standard newspaper.
According to the director, the film is often compared to Cabaret, but he disagrees. He sees it more as a combination of Sex and the City and Mad Men. As well as being a period piece, Breakout also features several cameos from famous faces. These include comedian Rowan Atkinson, singer/songwriter Duffy and former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Interestingly, Blair appears in the first scene of the film and doesn’t appear to feature much besides a few lines here and there. This is probably because he wasn’t allowed to make any public appearances while in office and his cameo was almost certainly added to the script at the last minute.
The year 2019 was yet another record-breaking one at the box office, with several highly anticipated films drawing in audiences, setting records and becoming instant talking points. One of the biggest films of the year was undoubtedly Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp as the infamous vampire Barnabas Collins.
Depp, who rose to fame for his performances in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, was seemingly born to play Barnabas Collins. The iconic dark baritone and commanding presence perfectly capture the charm, menace and darkness of Barnabas. In what is probably the most famous speech in the history of cinema, Depp’s Barnabas declares, “I am a vampire. And what is a vampire, but a person whose life has touched the lives of others and made them interested in what would happen to them after death?”. It’s a bold and brilliant opening line that sets the scene for an actor known for his chameleon-like ability to transform himself and become anyone.
Director Tim Burton has said that he based the character of Barnabas on Englishmen, like William Buckley or Augustus John, who were contemporaries of his. Others, however, have drawn comparisons to Orson Welles’s Mr. Hyde or L.A. Confidential’s Charlie Manson. As well as being a critical and commercial success, Dark Shadows also became the most-watched scripted TV show in history with 12.7 million viewers tuning in to watch season one.
From Prince to Pee-Wee
Now we come to the most recent romantic comedies; those crafted to give audiences a fun, light-hearted but completely relatable glimpse into the lives of a young and contemporary couple. The films are often compared to Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, but they are very different. Where the latter is a nostalgic look back at an era of jazz and swing, the former is a fresh, modern take on classic couple tropes. And what a difference that makes. Where Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday is an R-rated comedy, the most recent romances are rated PG-13 and intended for a general audience. This, in turn, has changed the way audiences and critics alike assess them. More importantly, however, it has changed the way filmmakers approach these sorts of films, realising that they have new challenges to overcome in order to make money.
Dude, Where’s My Car?
The year 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of Dude, Where’s My Car?, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. The film, which also stars Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, was an unmitigated success, netting over $120 million at the box office and popularising the movie date format known as ‘chewbaccination’.
The film follows Favreau’s hapless Jay as he sets off on a cross-country search for his bright blue Lamborghini. As he drives away, he leaves a trail of mistaken identities and bizarre meet-ups behind him. Along the way, he befriends a band of misfits, including a conman (Vaughn) and a cowboy (William H. Macy), who help him track down his car.