PG-13 for rippling pectorals, cartoonish biceps, depressing contrast between on-screen virility and one’s own sorry state of emasculation
Hollywood romances set an impossible standard. “What percentage of YOUR dates consist of witty banter beneath the Eiffel Tower?” Hollywood seems to ask. “When was the last time you gave YOUR girlfriend a 6 million-carat diamond while in a hot air balloon over New York City?”
And at first, the romance between Natalie Portman and Muscular Australian seems to break that discouraging mold. She hits him with a car? He says stilted, unfunny stuff? She gives him a ride somewhere? At last – a Hollywood romance we can attain!
But then you start to wonder: “Why are they making out? When I’ve only known someone for 36 hours, we rarely have dramatic kisses in the rain.” And then you realize: you don’t need romantic buildup if you look like Natalie Portman and Muscular Australian. You can just stand around, twiddling your thumbs and being impossibly attractive, and not only will you fall in love with each other, but innocent passerby will fall in love with you too.—Ben Orlin