BRINGING YOU THE BEST IN ROMANCE FICTION
I prefer to write about the movies that I enjoyed. Every once in a while, I hope I can be forgiven for giving you a list of stories to beware. It will save you time, and let you get on to the good stuff.
First, Hateship Loveship (2013) isn’t marketed as a romance, it’s an understated drama. However, the premise is straight out of the romance novel handbook. (Yes, there are handbooks out there, but they’re terrible. Don’t read those.):
Hired to look after an elderly man and his teenage granddaughter, a dowdy caretaker finds herself drawn to the girls ne’er-do-well father.
And on IMDB it says:
A wild teenage girl orchestrates a romance between her nanny and her father, who is a recovering addict.
The movie stars Kristin Wiig, who is understated as a barely educated caretaker who is ignorant and inexperienced in dealing with the world.
With her is Guy Pierce, who is convincing as a guilt-riddled, drug addicted, ex-con. He barely deals with his father-in-law, who is raising his rebellious teenage daughter. The man’s life is shattered and broken, but he still appeals to the caretaker.
She comes into his life, is tricked into thinking he wants to marry her, and goes to him in the city. This really could be a romance. She cleans up his home, and his life. She finds stability she always wanted. The problem is that it’s a little too realistic when he doesn’t quite reform, and she’s still caretaking him and questioning whether he’s really quit his drugs.
There are moments in this movie I really like. It holds a rare truthfulness about what people are and aren’t capable of that we prefer to overlook. I’d loved to have shaken the main character and told her to speak up for herself! Not every woman has to be thin, witty, and always getting her way, so it was nice to see a different sort of woman, but can’t she also be happy?
This is one of those stories that could fit into a number of genres, depending on where you decide to end it. The author chose an ambiguous ending.
Like its main character, Hateship Loveship isn’t quite enough of anything to be really loved. It remains, as Netflix put it: Understated.