In fact, the film has loads of references, from the film references in the black and white movie he goes to see, to the film “The Graduate” (when he first sees her in bed) to his skinny ties (from the 60s and the 80s) to his Joy Division T shirt to her 1960s haircut to the discussion of the Beatles, music by the Smiths and even Hall and Oates, etc.There are likely lots more. There was also one I really like of a bowler hat with a green apple on it that immediately made me think of Rene Magritte. I am sure there are tons more, and the person who did the art direction should get an award.
The film also plays around nicely with visual representation. It uses split screen well (it reminded me of the 1960s, though I am not a rom com fan, and fans of the genre might say: oh no stupid, they use that all the time), especially the “expectation / reality” scene, where it takes the mundane and makes it interesting through juxtaposition. I particularly liked how there is just a touch of animation in the film from time to time. Heck there is even a fantasy dance number! And there are lots more. Again, these are things you take for granted in a Tarantino film, but in a romantic comedy, they make it all that much better/smarter.
It is an American love film, and love is seen as all redeeming and the ultimate virtue. It has the strengths of a good comedy (good characterization, great dialogue) and suffers — and I say this as not a rom com fan — of confection such as the too die for living/working environment and the fantasy wedding scene. But hey, I love a good action film, and they suffer from their own conventional excesses. (No doubt if I were to whisper such a comment in the film, the person sitting next to me would just say “shhh!”)
I like the fact that is is set in LA, yet talks about and revers architecture and the architecture of that city. LA is not seen in the same light as NYC or Chicago or even Miami when it comes to it’s buildings and spaces, but it clearly has great architecture and it is a great city in its own right, and this film appreciates that.
There’s lots more that I could say about the film. I am writing this, though, to hear what smart people I know thought about it, rather than just broadcasting my thoughts. So lemme know whatcha thought!
When I commented that I was watching this, someone on twitter (@patrick_a7) said it is not nominated for any Oscars. That is hard to believe. It’s a really good film. As you can see, I highly recommend it.