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VHS Video

Romantic Comedy


Much Ado About Nothing [VHS]

Much Ado About Nothing [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.97
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VHS - NO RETURNS ACCEPTED, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Kenneth Branagh's 1993 production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a vigorous and imaginative work, cheerful and accessible for everyone. Largely the story of Benedick (Branagh) and Beatrice (Emma Thompson)--adversaries who come to believe each is trying to woo the other--the film veers from arched wit to ironic romps, and the two leads don't mind looking a little silly at times. But the plot is also layered with darker matters that concern the ease with which men and women fall into mutual distrust. Branagh has rounded up a mixed cast of stage vets and Hollywood stars, among the latter Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton, the latter playing a rather seedy, Beetlejuice-like version of Dogberry, king of malapropisms. The DVD release has optional full-screen and widescreen presentations, Dolby sound, optional Spanish and French soundtracks or subtitles.--Tom Keogh

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  • VHS - NO RETURNS ACCEPTED, NO EXCEPTIONS.


Ghost & Mrs. Muir [VHS]

Ghost & Mrs. Muir [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.24
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Joseph Mankiewicz's moody classic is less ghost story than romantic fantasy, a handsome 1947 drama of impossible love set on the picturesque turn-of-the-century New England coast. Independent young widow Lucy Muir (the luminous Gene Tierney), desperate to escape her uptight in-laws, falls in love with a grand seaside house and moves in, only to discover the cantankerous ghost of the hot-tempered Captain Gregg (a histrionically flamboyant performance by Rex Harrison). Lucy refuses to let the bombastic captain frighten her away, earning his respect, his friendship, and later his love. They team up to turn the captain's salty memoirs into a bestseller, but as his affection grows he fades away, leaving Lucy free to undertake a more worldly suitor, notably a charismatic children's author (George Sanders at his smarmy smoothest) with his own guarded secret. Charles Lang's melancholy black-and-white photography and Bernard Herrmann's haunting score set the tone for this sublime adult drama, and Tierney delivers one of her most understated performances as the resolute Mrs. Muir. Mankiewicz turns this ghost story into a refreshingly mature and down-to-earth romance. --Sean Axmaker

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Play It Again, Sam [VHS]

Play It Again, Sam [VHS] Lowest new price: $14.89
Lowest used price: $3.50

Written for the stage and coherently opened up for the screen by veteran director Herbert Ross, Play It Again, Sam is closer to a conventional comedy than Woody Allen's more self-contained films, but his smart script and archetypal hero-nebbish achieve a special charm aimed squarely at movie buffs. Allen is Allan Felix, a film critic on the rebound after his wife's desertion trying to brave the choppy waters of born-again bachelorhood and struggling to reconcile his celluloid obsessions with the hazards of real-world dating. His apartment is a shrine to Humphrey Bogart, and it's none other than Bogey himself who materializes at strategic moments to counsel Allan on romantic strategy. He gets more corporeal aid from his married friends, Linda (Diane Keaton) and Dick (Tony Roberts), who try to orchestrate prospective matches and reassure him when those chemistry experiments explode. When Allan finds himself falling in love with Linda, the dissonance between fantasy and reality proves both funny and poignant--a precursor to the deeper emotionalism missing from the star's earlier directorial efforts that was soon to inform Allen's most affecting '70s comedies. It's also the start of his onscreen relationship with Keaton, further underscoring Allen's evolution toward a more satisfying contemplation of the friction between head and heart. --Sam Sutherland

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The Lady Is Willing [VHS]

The Lady Is Willing [VHS] Lowest new price: $45.95
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List price: $19.95

romantic drama


Gidget [VHS]

Gidget [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.75
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List price: $10.09
Brand: Columbia Pictures

Vintage videotape

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  • VHS Tape

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The Bishop's Wife [VHS]

The Bishop's Wife [VHS] Lowest new price: $5.99
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Cary Grant and Loretta Young Christmas Classic

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The American President [VHS]

The American President [VHS] Lowest new price: $1.95
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List price: $8.50

What sounds like a high-concept romantic comedy pitch from hell--widower president falls for smart lobbyist while the world watches--is actually intelligent, charming, touching, and quite funny. Granted, it's wish fulfillment all the way (when was the last time you saw a president who was truly presidential?), but in the capable hands of writer Aaron Sorkin (TV's Sports Night) and director Rob Reiner, The American President is incredibly enjoyable entertainment with quite a few ideas about both romance and the government. Michael Douglas stars as the president, who after three years in office starts thinking about the possibility of dating. When he auspiciously encounters cutthroat environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), sparks begin to crackle and the two begin a tentative but heartfelt romance. Of course, his job gets in the way--their first kiss is interrupted by a Libyan bombing--but darn it if these two kids aren't going to try and make it work! However, they hadn't counted on the president's Republican antagonist (Richard Dreyfuss), who starts carping about family values. The predictable plot--Douglas finally goes to bat for his lady and his country--is leavened by Sorkin's wonderful, snappy dialogue and a light touch from the usually subtle-as-a-sledgehammer Reiner. Both manage to create a believable White House-office atmosphere (with a crack staff including Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, and Samantha Mathis) as well as a plausible and funny dating scenario. The true success of the movie, though, rides squarely on Douglas and Bening; this is unequivocally Douglas's best comedic performance (ergo his best performance, period) and Bening, usually such a good bad girl, takes a standard career-woman role and fleshes it out magnificently. You can see in an instant why Douglas would fall for her. One of the best unsung romantic comedies of the '90s. --Mark Englehart

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Harold & Maude [VHS]

Harold & Maude [VHS] Lowest new price: $5.91
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List price: $9.49

Black comedies don't come much blacker than this cult favorite from 1972, and they don't come much funnier, either. It seemed that director Hal Ashby was the perfect choice to mine a mother lode of eccentricity from the original script by Colin Higgins, about the unlikely romance between a death-obsessed 19-year-old named Harold (Bud Cort) and a life-loving 79-year-old widow named Maude (Ruth Gordon). They meet at a funeral, and Maude finds something oddly appealing about Harold, urging him to "reach out" and grab life by the lapels as opposed to dwelling morbidly on mortality. Harold grows fond of the old gal--she's a lot more fun than the girls his mother desperately matches him up with--and together they make Harold & Maude one of the sweetest and most unconventional love stories ever made. Much of the earlier humor arises from Harold's outrageous suicide fantasies, played out as a kind of twisted parlor game to mortify his mother, who's grown immune to her strange son's antics. Gradually, however, the film's clever humor shifts to a brighter outlook and finally arrives at a point where Harold is truly happy to be alive. Featuring soundtrack songs by Cat Stevens, this comedy certainly won't appeal to all tastes (it was a box-office flop when first released), but if you're on its quirky wavelength, it might just strike you as one of the funniest movies you've ever seen. --Jeff Shannon


Opposite Sex & How to Live With Them [VHS]

Opposite Sex & How to Live With Them [VHS] Lowest new price: $9.97
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"The Opposite Sex And How To Live With Them" is everything you remember - and everything you wish you'd forgotten - about being in love. From the first date, to the first kiss, from a ring on the phone, to a ring on the finger thrown back in his face; breaking up is easy for David and Carrie. It's staying together that could be hard to do.


Rushmore [VHS]

Rushmore [VHS] Lowest new price: $9.89
Lowest used price: $5.95

RUSHMORE is the story of a gifted, rebellious teenager named Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a 10th grader at elite Rushmore Academy. Editor of the school newspaper, captain or president of innumerable clubs and societies, Max is also one of the worst students in the school, and the threat of expulsion hangs permanently over his head. Max's world is rocked when he falls for elegant 1st grade teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams) and he plans to erect an aquarium in her honor -- then finds himself competing for her affections with his friend, steel tycoon Mr. Blume (Bill Murray), the wealthy father of two of his classmates.

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