Greetings! Like much of today’s scientific research, my findings are sponsored by a specific agenda: my own! And my agenda is that we all need more laughter and joy in our lives. I believe watching this movie is one way to get that! Our topic of discussion is the movie, The Lost City, and if you haven’t heard of it, allow me to provide relevant context:
(Please note I am only sharing the teaser trailer because normal trailers nowadays give away the entire freaking movie, and I want you to experience it in real time.)
I will refrain from spoilers because I want all eyeballs to feel safe viewing my findings. So what reasons do I have to compel you watch this journey of amusement?
The Lost Characters
Sandy has been in some of my favorite movies of all time, and thus it’s hard to remain unbiased about her, so I won’t. She spends a lot of the movie wearing that purple-sequined jumpsuit you saw in the trailer, and only a utter BADASS, consummate professional would traipse around the jungle (even for a movie) wearing that. So. I believe that real-life Sandy must have a very similar dry sense of humor as mine, which attracts her to certain stories or character types that I also love. Her Loretta the romance novelist is a classic stoic Bullock character who needs to loosen up a bit, which makes for some great situational humor.
I feel like Channing gets a lot of flack sometimes as an actor, but I’ve been surprised by the varied roles he picks for himself. I like that he doesn’t take himself seriously, and regardless of how you feel about his looks (which some would say was his main reason he got famous), the man has on-screen charisma for days. If you don’t leave this movie at least a little in love with him/Alan, then you may be dead inside and will need an immediate infusion of rom-coms and hugs, STAT. Alan is a loveable himbo type, and his reactions to what was happening around him were everything. I also liked that he wasn’t this crazy macho, strong-but-silent type of hero; he was a bit doofy and out of his depth, but he was thoughtful and brave all the same.
I’ll admit I haven’t watched most of Daniel’s filmography beyond his childhood claim to fame, but the internet has informed me that he enjoys picking projects that he personally enjoys, the weirder or quirkier the better, and he also seems to have insanely good taste. So if you don’t believe me that this movie is good, believe Daniel Radcliffe! He’s grown into a really compelling actor with great comedic timing. His uber-rich Abigail, obsessed with one-upping his younger brother, is just a delight whenever he’s on-screen. Plus, he’s the kind of villain who offers his kidnapped novelists an entire buffet of CHEESE to entice them. Feel free to kidnap me anytime, Abigail!
I’m not familiar with Da’Vine, but she was extremely funny as Loretta’s beleaguered agent, Beth. She also got to act against Oscar Nuñez (and a goat. You’ll see.) in like a rom-com Easter egg (if you know you know), and now I WANT MORE OF THESE. Why should only comic book movies get all the fan shout-outs and winky-face call-backs?!
The Lost Chemistry
Aside from the individual characters/actors themselves, the cast meshed super well. You could tell they were having a blast, which, in turn, made me have fun. Did I believe the characters of Loretta and Alan had the most amazing romantic chemistry? Eh, probably not; I personally don’t see them lasting long-term as a couple (though stranger pairings have happened!), but Sandy and Channing together made me want to root for them, and their comedic chemistry and BFF energy was on POINT. Which brings me to my next argument…
The Lost Humor
I haven’t laughed that much at a movie in a long while. As soon as Channing steps on the stage in that Fabio-esque blond wig, you know you’re in for a good time. It’s hard to discuss the humor for too long without pointing out specifics, and I don’t want to spoil the movie for you because the reveals were half the appeal, but trust there was some excellent situational and absurdist comedy. Everyone in our theater was cracking up, and more than once my husband and I glanced over at each other to give The Look as we giggled.
I’m not really a Brad Pitt fan, but his character was perfectly executed, and they used him to great effect. (His line from the teaser above, “My father was a weatherman,” got a lot of laughs.) The juxtaposition of his character running around the enemy camp and Alan running along behind had me rolling. My second and third favorite moments were probably when Loretta and Alan are being chased in the jungle by guys on motorbikes and their ensuing conversation, and when Loretta has to peel the leeches off Alan’s back. (Channing was just really funny, y’all.)
Really, though, everyone had their moment to shine! I felt so energized once it was over, and this will certainly be a movie I want to see again. (Oh, and pro-tip! There is a “mid-credits” scene, so don’t turn it off before you see that!)
The Lost Rom-Com
We all know there is a real dearth of romances and romantic comedies, especially ones that treat women like fully actualized people and are actually, you know, entertaining and good. Streaming platforms are trying in their way, though the scripts aren’t always what I’d consider amazing quality. But I think the “surprising” (in quotes because WE know it’s not a surprise at all, but Hollywood is full of misogynists) popularity of those sleeper hits is what could bring back a small renaissance of rom-coms on the big screen.
The Lost City is a clear homage to rom-coms of old; in fact, it gets many of its major beats from the ‘80s Turner-Douglas classic, Romancing the Stone. (There’s even a cheeky nod to its roots seen as Loretta is leaving the book conference, “Romancing the Page”.) At one point, Alan and Loretta dance in a town square and it made me smile because it was definitely pulling from Stone, but, also, like, you have Channing Tatum there in your movie; you don’t NOT give him a moment to dance! (I so want this to be Tatum’s “thing” he requires from every role, like Brad Pitt always eating in movies: “I must be able to do at least an eight-count somewhere!”)
The movie feels modern, but it also has a lot of heart and sincerity, which I think sometimes get tossed aside in newer rom-coms in favor of subversiveness and cynicism in an effort to be more “relevant” to a post-2010s crowd. But rom-coms of all types have their place, even silly romantic adventures like The Lost City.
The Lost Conclusions
The Lost City is still in theaters if you feel comfortable going to one, but if not, it should be released on DVD sometime in June and on Amazon Digital on May 10, 2022. If you got this point and I failed to persuade you to watch this movie, then here’s my last-ditch effort; if this gif doesn’t make you smile and change your mind, then I’m sorry you hate joy.
If you’ve already seen the movie, please, please join me in the comments with your thoughts!