Rom-Com

The Man’s Voice – Part 1

K-dramas are back as Danielle brings Sam another K-drama rom-com with the 2021 show The Man’s Voice. Mi Rim is a normal young woman working in a convenience store and pining over the handsome co-pilot who occasionally comes by to shop. Through a series of contrivances (primarily the pet hotel being closed for a day) the co-pilot, Tae Hwa, is left with no one to watch his large, fluffy white cat. Inexplicably, Tae Hwa decides leaving his cat with the virtual stranger Mi Rim is the best option. As Tae Hwa jets off to Paris, Mi Rim takes the cat home but it quickly escapes into the night. Mi Rim catches it just as a storm rolls in and she is struck with lightning and her skeleton is illuminated like a cartoon. Instead of doing the sensible thing and dying, Mi Rim wakes up the next day, the cat sitting beside her, and suddenly she is able to hear the cat’s voice in her head. The cat, in the voice of a middle aged man, proceeds to abuse Mir Rim to no end, and rather than simply exerting her authority as the human part of this relationship, she rolls just over and takes that abuse. Meanwhile, Tae Hwa calls and texts Mi Rim from the plane he is supposed to be flying, to check in on his cat which, again, he left with a complete stranger. The cat, Natsume, is dead-set against Mi Rim’s designs on Tae Hwa, and manages to outwit her several times, even though he’s a cat and she’s a human. As the first half of the series draws to a close, a new character makes an appearance: A mysterious woman who demands “Revenge on the cat!” What does any of this mean? Maybe part two will explain it. Maybe.

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

For part two of this year’s Winter Bizarre Danielle brings the third installment of the Netflix film series with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Margaret is the queen of the small European country of Montenaro who happens to have two identical doppelgängers: Former Chicago baker now princess Stacy and Fiona, her cousin and former kidnapper of Stacy. Montenaro is hosting an international Christmas festival (which is, apparently, a thing) and the Vatican has loaned them the Star of Peace, a relic belonging to St. Nicholas. Due to security that can charitably be described as “utter clown shoes” the star is immediately stolen. Under the threat of excommunication, Margaret commutes her felonious cousin’s sentence so she can tap her criminal network to track down the star. Fiona puts her large network of one person to work and identifies that the star is being held by a nefarious hotelier. Instead of informing Interpol—who are investigating—of this development, Marget, Fiona, and Stacy plan a comically amateur heist that involves flirtation, sexy laser dancing, and, of course, lots of switching. The consequences for failure are almost certainly death at the hands of the villainous hotelier, which Sam thinks is a fair bit worse than excommunication for not heisting the star back. Throughout all of this, Sam has serious questions on the state of the Montenaro monarchy, which seems rife with nepotism, incompetence, and princess switching. Despite that, Danielle and Sam come up with a pretty good pitch for The Princess Switch 4, so Netflix, if you’re listening, call us!

Joe Versus the Volcano

This week Danielle brings a movie she has an uneasy history with, it’s the 1990 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film Joe Versus the Volcano. Joe Banks is your typical work-a-day cog, unhappy with his life. Fortunately (?) he learns he has a rare disease called a brain cloud, which is asymptomatic but will kill him in six months. Joe accepts this without question, and so also agrees to help a millionaire superconductor magnate secure the mining rights on a small Polynesian island by jumping into a volcano. None of this crazy plot really matters because this movie has, just, so many Meg Ryans, you guys, so many. It seems Sam and Danielle have uncovered the truth of the Tom Hanksiverse series of movies and it will shock you (it’s Meg Ryan, the truth is it’s Meg Ryan all the way down). Despite these shocking revelations, Danielle and Sam manage to get through this movie about a man dealing with his mortality through encounters with a series of Meg Ryans, but they have one qualm with the film: It needs more Meg Ryans.

Serendipity

In the final installment of this year’s Winter Bizarre, Danielle brings out the big guns with the John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale rom-com Serendipity. A chance encounter in a New York department store brings Sara and Jonathan together. Even though they’re both happily seeing other people, Jonathan seems determined to find a way to be with Sara. Sara dodges his advances by setting up elaborate tests of fate that will tell them if they are meant to be together. Sam has exactly zero patience for Sara’s fate-based abdication of personal responsibility, Danielle, meanwhile, is mostly just amused by his frustration. Regardless, see our “heroes” eventually brutally dump their perfectly lovely partners to be with each other because apparently fate told them to. Danielle and Sam are forced by this movie to grapple with some existential questions that are, honestly, pretty stupid. Luckily, the leads have enough charisma and charm to make everyone forget the bad philosophy and enjoy their lovelorn shenanigans.