Underrated Movies: Forces of Nature (1999)
This is one of the best “romantic comedies” i’ve ever seen. I put that in quotes because it almost doesn’t even belong in that genre— it’s so much better than 90% of movies you can classify as romcoms. Romantic comedies typically stick to a formula: boy meets girl, they fall in love, they have a big fight that separates them, back together in the end, kissing scene, credits. This movie is nothing like that.
The plot is as follows: All around good guy Ben (Ben Affleck) is headed from New York City to Georgia for his wedding when he meets free spirit Sarah (Sandra Bullock). After their plane fails to take off, they meet a series of mishaps as they attempt to get to their destination. The more that goes wrong, the fonder they seem to grow for each other.
I love road movies with a million locations and tons of different characters, and this is one of my favorites. Not only is this movie genuinely funny, it’s real. There is no paint by numbers plot, nothing is black and white, and you really aren’t sure what Ben is going to ultimately do. There are so many scenes that felt so real and true to life, like when Ben is going on about how much he adores Sarah and she tells him that all the things that he finds so great about her now are going to be what drives him mad down the line. It’s true, but he’s fallen for her and can’t see that. She’s been through a lot more in her life than he has, and though he’s the one who makes better decisions, it’s clear that she’s the wiser one of the two, she’s just more inclined to follow her heart over her head.
It also has to be mentioned that the cinematography gets really cool and interesting at times. Pair that with the soundtrack and there are some really fantastic scenes very different than anything you usually see in a romcom star vehicle. If you’ve never seen it, please check it out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.