Normally when you think summer movies, your mind almost certainly drifts to exploding building and flying men in tight leather outfits. You probably think high-octane car chases and yippee kai yay mother f… But not me. I know the truth about summer: It's all about lovin'. Summer 2009 was, like any other summer, all about romance. Love was in the air and Hollywood delivered lustful relationships with style, flair, and ridiculously over-inflated budgets. We loved them for it.
Now that another summer's over, we're looking back over the mega-movie season that was. In this case, it's my look back at summer's biggest romances. It was hot outside and it was even hotter inside. Whether it was silly, sweet, or heartbreaking… love was in the air!
Spock Loves Everything
Though once a being of logic and reason, in J.J. Abrams' re-imagining of Star Trek, Spock is reborn as a pointy-eared man of lusty passions. Spock was in love with pretty much everything. He loves his mommy. He loves his planet. He loves Uhura who seems to be suffering from hot for teacher syndrome. But most of all he loves James T. Kirk, and you can cut the sexual tension on the Enterprise bridge with a phaser. When he strands Kirk on that frozen planet it's the outer space equivalent of your wife forcing you out of the car in the bad part of town, during a heated interstate argument. Forget logic, Spock's love knows no bounds.
George Kirk Loves Winona Kirk
Less all-encompassing than Spock's scattershot romance with the universe, but far more touching, was Star Trek's romance between Jim Kirk's parents. They're never on screen together but George's sacrifice to save his family is by far the most memorable moment in a memorable film. In only ten minutes of footage Star Trek had us in tears, and as George dives guns blazing into certain death we know he does it not to save the lives of everyone on his ship, but for the love of his wife and newly born son. Splashy summer science fiction movies aren't supposed to be this moving, are they?
Michael Bay Loves Boobs
The infamous director's love affair with plastic explosives is no secret, but in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen we learned of a new Michael Bay obsession: Boobs. Megan Fox earned her part in Transformers by wearing skimpy clothes and washing Michael Bay's exotic car and this summer he put those driveway honed sexual assets to use by keeping his camera stuck to her cleavage. Megan's character serves no other purpose in the movie, she's just there to provide ass shots whenever Bay gets bored with blowing things up and wants to make sweet, visual love. This he does, over, and over, and over again. It must be love.
Tom Loves Summer
(500) Days of Summer is not a love story, but it is about a man in love. Tom is desperately in love with Summer, but is Summer really in love with him? Probably not. It's the ultimate one sided romance, the story of unmet expectations and the way love blinds us to the reality of what's going on around us. Tom misses all the little clues that tell him Summer isn't interested and Summer seems to be trying to talk herself into believing, against her better judgment, that Tom's the one. Tom loves Summer and in the process, even if Summer didn't, we fell in love with him.
Alan Loves Carlos
Ok so maybe Alan's affection for the baby he dubs “Carlos” in The Hangover isn't exactly of the maternal variety. Maybe it's more of the Paris Hilton and her Chihuahua variety. Whatever the nature of their relationship, Carlos soon becomes Alan's favorite accessory as the Hangover boys stumble their way through Vegas attempting to reconstruct the out of control events of last night. Maybe Alan has no idea what he's doing, but don't take that to mean he doesn't care. He'd breastfeed Carlos if he could and after all, they did crack a window for him.
Carl Loves Ellie
Carl and Ellie's life together is seen in Up only as a montage. In a few brief, wordless minutes we watch as they meet, fall in love, live a life together, and grow old. It's a beautiful and bittersweet beginning to a film driven almost entirely by love. Carl's love for Ellie pushes him to live out the dreams they never got to live together. It's his love for Ellie, whether she's there or not, which keeps him going, which defines who he is and what he does throughout the course of the film. Carl and Ellie's romance survives death and lives on, influencing the lives of everyone Carl touches.
McG Loves Himself
The real story in Terminator Salvation wasn't John Connor's fight to save the world from Skynet. It's a love story, a romance between McG and himself. The one-named director spent most of his time before the film's release publicly trumpeting his work as the best thing since sliced bread, inventing fake endorsements from the likes of James Cameron, lying about the film's plot, promising endless sequels, and positioning himself as the fan's best friend; all while turning the entire Terminator franchise into a flaccid turd. McG really thinks McG is cool, even if nobody else does.
Julia Child Loves Food
In Julie & Julia, when asked by her husband what she really likes to do, Julia Child's instant response is “Eat!” And so this lovable, Big Bird-like woman begins a new life devoted entirely to her love of food. She spends every moment immersed in it, celebrating it. Every bite is a delight to Julia and her obsession for food carries over to those around her, inspiring others to take up her cause of cooking or, as in the case of Julie Powell, to copycat her work as a means of gaining fame through blogging. Julia's passion for eating and enjoying inspired an entire generation of foodies here in America and on film as brought to life by Meryl Streep it loses none of its passion.
Tony Scott Loves Google Maps
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 was supposed to be about a face off between Denzel Washington and John Travolta, but instead director Tony Scott inexplicably fell in love with mapping. He punctuates his entire film with what can only be described as a Google Maps acid trip, every scene is followed by a jittery cut to an aerial view of the cityscape which sometimes zooms in on the current location of something unrelated to the main story between Washington and Travolta. I'm not sure what Scott was thinking. It must be love.
Hermione Loves Ron
It's the romance Potter fans have been waiting for, and it's off to a rocky start. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the kids are growing up, dealing with hormones, and getting hair where there was none before. In Ron's of the male persuasion and so that's sent him snogging his way through Hogwarts making out with whichever girls show him the most attention. But in the background there's Hermione, madly in love with Ron who remains utterly clueless as to her affections. So far it's been handled sweetly and with real emotion, leaving fans with plenty to look forward to in the next film when will Ron finally get his head out of his ass.
Me Loves Amy Adams
I've been in love with Amy Adams ever since she crawled across the table in Talladega Nights to unleash her inner wildcat. But even I've never been as in love with her as I was after A Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Her portrayal of Amelia Earhart, while not particularly accurate, is weirdly and unexpectedly sexy. Clad in ridiculously tight cargo pants which showed off one of her best er… assets she strutted around the screen shouting strange, flapper-era witticisms, and staring adventure in the eye with a wild, steely-eyed gaze. Even if you weren't already smitten with Adams, it's impossible not to fall in love with her at least a little here. Sure at midnight she'll turn back into a mannequin, but that's a mannequin I'd love to take out for dinner and a movie. Scratch that, let's just tongue kiss. Your lips taste like plastic baby.
Henry Loves Underage Girls
Every summer has at least one genuinely sappy romance movie and of the contenders this year The Time Traveler's Wife was the sappiest. It's also the strangest and if you think about it, wholly inappropriate. Henry meets Clare when she's a little kid and spend the next twenty years slowly brainwashing her to be the perfect time traveler's wife. By the time they meet as adults she's completely in love with him, saving him from having to go through all that boorish, dating crap guys so often have to put up with. He skips right over the flowers and candy to go straight to banging. Morally reprehensible? Maybe. But they are in love with each other in a weird, Big Love, sort of way. They're so in love they can't even cheat properly. Clare cheats on Henry with a younger Henry, which isn't really cheating at all, is it? Now that's love.
Chev Chelios Loves Life
Chev Chelios is the man who just won't die. Long past the point when he should be dead and lying in the ground he just keeps right on going in Crank 2: High Voltage. Partly he's driven by revenge but mostly, Chev Chelios just loves not being dead. Rip out his heart and he keeps right on living, running, jumping, and shooting people in the head. He's willing to do anything to keep right on living, from public fornication, to attaching jumper cables to his nipples, to the humping of old ladies. Chev Chelios is in love with breathing and he loves it so much there's literally nothing anyone can do to make him dead.