While promoting his role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street, multi-hyphenate Rob Reiner spoke to The Huffington Post about what’s going wrong with romantic comedy films.
Reiner directed one of the best rom-coms of all time in When Harry Met Sally. He tells Mike Ryan his thoughts on the genre.
You mentioned “And So It Goes,” which is an upcoming romantic comedy. I feel like the romantic comedy has been disappearing over the last few years. You directed “When Harry Met Sally,” which is one of the greatest of all time. Do you feel that they’ve been disappearing?
I agree with that — at least ones that are reality based. Most of them are kind of concocted kind of things. You know, “What if this happened, then this happened?” This one comes out of a natural place. I mean, it’s two characters who find each other later in life. It actually sprung from the press junket we did on “Bucket List,” everybody would ask, “What’s on your bucket list?” And whenever they asked Jack Nicholson, he would always say, [Reiner, with his best Nicholson impression] “One more great role, man.” I always thought, Well, that’s an interesting idea for a movie. So that gave birth to “And So It Goes.”
Reiner recently finished production on And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. He has a small part in the film, expected to be released next year.
Why do you think romantic comedies have become an endangered species as of late?
Well, they’re hard to do. If you’re going to do them in an honest way and have people really behave like they do in life, it’s very difficult. They’re the trickiest kinds of movies to pull off because they have to be funny and romantic, obviously, but then if they’re good, they have to have some kind of level of reality to them. And I think that’s what makes it difficult.
It’s very hard to find a romantic comedy that is done the right way. How many times does one have to sit through a Katherine Heigl or a Jennifer Aniston rom-com before realizing that the movies are not that great?