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These are the 6 weirdest rom-coms buried on Netflix

We need to talk about this movie on Netflix in which Katherine Heigl pretends to date her dad.

 

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BY LAUREN DUCA

We need to talk about this movie on Netflix in which Katherine Heigl pretends to date her dad, because 1) she pretends to date her dad and 2) her dad is Gérard Depardieu. My Father the Hero is one of those movies where you see the description and go, “Haha, it’s so funny this even exists,” before shamelessly watching the entire thing. Or, anyway, that’s how My Father the Hero happened to me.

There’s so much going on in this 1994 remake of the French film, including but not limited to: Katherine Heigl repeatedly referring to her dad as her “lover” and Katherine Heigl wearing a thong in front of her dad, all under the motivation of impressing a cute guy she meets at a resort. Before she manages to successfully kiss said guy, the story mounts to involve Depardieu being deathly ill and, briefly, a war hero (of course). Overall, an accurate logline might be: Boy meets girl, girl weaves intricate web of lies grounded in both incest and pedophilia.

It’s the sort of over-the-top, snowballing plot construction that could only ever exist in the universe of an ’80s or ’90s romantic comedy. Somehow, titles like My Father the Hero, buried in the more mainstream love-through-hijinx films like There’s Something About Mary, Runaway Bride, or Never Been Kissed, are even more wonderfully absurd when resuscitated through streaming services. My Father the Hero was probably always kind of gross and absurd, but it’s even more ridiculous outside of the context of films that might render “playful Electra complex” a logical premise. And so, in honor of all the rom-coms with absurd conceits you would only ever watch because Netflix, here are six more.

1) The Butcher’s Wife (1991)

The Butcher’s Wife stars Demi Moore as a clairvoyant woman who thinks she’s met her one true love, except he’s actually just a guffawing, old butcher, who is like, “OK, Demi Moore is both hot and young, so this seems fine!”

The two marry and move to New York City based on her premonition. Nearly as soon as they arrive, Demi’s mix of supernatural powers and country-girl naïveté make the good old folks of the neighborhood fall in love with her. That is, with the exception of the cynical psychologist Jeff Daniels. As a man of science, Jeff doesn’t believe any of Demi’s crap. But of course, somehow, they fall in love despite their differences. And it’s all fine, because the butcher gets to hook up with Mary Steenburgen instead.

2) Heartbreakers (2001)

Heartbreakers is about a mother-daughter con artist team who have built a life for themselves by ripping men off with elaborate schemes (the most recent of which is played by Ray Liotta). It’s all a sort of provocative, female-led twist on The Producers until daughter (Jennifer Love-Hewitt!) falls in love for real.

What will win? Love? Money? Some combination of the two?! You have to watch to find out, but the answer is obviously love.

Also important to note: At one point, Sigourney Weaver wears a long-sleeve lingerie onesie that is simultaneously sensual and scarier than anything in the 1979 classic Alien.

3) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

It is so hard to figure out what men are thinking, especially when you have never met them and they are in a coma, as is the case for Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping. Bullock plays a lonely toll worker who has to take the Christmas shift because she’s the “only one with no family.” Everything is awful and grim, because women who don’t have husbands are just so sad, but then she saves a handsome one from getting hit by a train, and suddenly her life is back on track!

The handsome man’s parents mistake Bullock’s character for his fiancée, and it becomes a classic case of “Who’s who?” and “Who never met this person before and is pretending to be engaged to them?” That is, until she realizes she is actually falling for the handsome guy’s brother and also for the love of his family. If they can get past her potential insanity, the holidays next year could be a true delight.

4) The Pallbearer (1996)

Look, chemistry is hard to nail down on screen: You need that perfect combination of personalities that spits with excitement with just a look between co-stars. Unfortunately, that is not what occurred with The Pallbearer, featuring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow, a pair so poorly matched that we fear for the safety and sanity of the person who cast them together.

It’s the premise of The Pallbearer that makes it stand out as a gem of ridiculousness. The film opens with a shot of a young man who has just committed suicide, you know, as rom-coms do. Then, through a series of confusions, Tom (Schwimmer) is mistaken for the young man’s best friend. He’s loved Gwyneth since high school, but he’s also now sleeping with the dead young man’s mom, because, wait? What? No, there’s not a reason for it. Tom’s just one of those charming sociopaths who can’t help but get himself into mixups!

5) Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwWpaAWg6MM

Today, Patrick Dempsey is known as some McHotPants character who has been on Grey’s Anatomy for several hundred years, but before that he was the shriveled, pale, unlikely male lead of Can’t Buy Me Love. Indeed, there was a time when he was decidedly not hot, and Can’t Buy Me Love is the optimal way to revel in that moment.

The plot follows young, unfortunate-looking Ronald (Dempsey) as he mows lawns and eventually earns enough money to buy a girlfriend. He offers $1,000 for the prettiest cheerleader at his school to pretend to date him. The plan is initially for him to vicariously become popular, but wait! How strange! He begins to fall for his purchase, counterintuitively enough, for reasons other than money (see: the title).

6) Bed of Roses (1996)

I am both shocked and disappointed that Bed of Roses did not end by revealing the entire thing is just an 87-minute Hallmark commercial. The film sets itself up when Lewis (Christian Slater) secretly sends his love interest—who he knows from seeing her through a window one time—a bunch of roses. He eventually reveals his identity, and then proceeds to send her more and more beds of roses. Most of the movie is a chivalrous display of nonsense that ends up filling her entire home to the very brim with flowers, like she is some kind of florist/hoarder. Then there is a little bit of basic relationship drama, though, really, most of it is just a lady being sent flowers.

You will spend the entire movie hoping Slater’s character eventually turns out to be a psychotic murderer because 1) C’mon, it’s Christian Slater, and 2) Why else is this movie even happening? That said, it’s pretty fun to watch Bed of Roses, hoping things will take that turn. They won’t—I mean, I’m telling you right now they won’t—but it’s fun to pretend.

Remix by Max Fleishman

 
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