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VHS Video

Romantic Comedy

Soapdish [VHS]

Soapdish [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.00
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List price: $9.03

Though this movie did decent box-office business, it was never as funny as it should have been or as clever as it thought it was. The film is set behind the scenes at The Sun Also Sets, a soap opera starring Sally Field that is suffering a ratings slump. To lure the audience back, the producers resurrect a dead character, played by Kevin Kline, with whom Field was once a lover of but is now at odds (and helped exile to dinner theater, where he is first glimpsed playing Willy Loman). Written by Andrew Bergman and Robert Harling, the script has its funny moments but never manages to string them together, despite a cast that includes Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Downey Jr., Cathy Moriarty, and Carrie Fisher. --Marshall Fine

Barefoot in the Park [VHS]

Barefoot in the Park [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.00
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Devotees of Neil Simon's repartee, such as in his Goodbye Girl and Brighton Beach Memoirs, will enjoy this earlier tale of domestic dispute between newlyweds. Corie (Jane Fonda) is the young housewife trying to keep life exciting while making a home for her and her husband, Paul (Robert Redford), on the fifth floor of a Greenwich Village walkup apartment. He's working hard at starting his career as lawyer; she's eager to be romantic and spontaneous; and the two have plenty to squabble about. The film suffers a bit from Corie's excessive perkiness and the odd lack of chemistry between the two actors. But those who find the dramatic conventions a bit stiff (some of the dialogue and action seems more suited for stage than screen) may still smile at the dated look (circa 1967) at home life. Mildred Natwick is superb as Corie's mother, and Charles Boyer milks his role as the elderly bohemian neighbor upstairs. --Jenny Brown

Sixteen Candles [VHS]

Sixteen Candles [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.30
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Molly Ringwald established herself as the teen queen of the '80s in this fresh comedy. The movie is a day in the life of Samantha, whose 16th birthday is turning out to be anything but sweet. All the traumas of teendom come down on one long day, which sees Samantha surrounded by dithery relatives, mooning over a high school hunk, and pursued by a sawed-off Lothario. Sixteen Candles marked the directing debut of John Hughes, and its goofy energy displayed a promising talent with a great ear for high school lingo ... a promise neglected since Hughes became, after Home Alone, a one-man entertainment industry. There are some pretty crass moments (Why the stereotype of the foreign-exchange student from Asia?), but Ringwald's steady appeal smoothes over the rough spots. As the pubescent, self-styled lady-killer, Anthony Michael Hall turns in a hilarious portrait of a young swinger; he and Ringwald would reteam with Hughes for The Breakfast Club, another key teen picture of the decade. --Robert Horton

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Beautiful Girls [VHS]

Beautiful Girls [VHS] Lowest new price: $9.76
Lowest used price: $0.75
List price: $9.77

This town drama from Ted Demme centers on former classmates coming together for their 10-year reunion. Scott Rosenberg's (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead) script thoughtfully passes over the usual grumblings of young adults who can't believe they still live in the same snowbound town. They accept--even welcome--their blue-collar jobs, whether plowing snow or cutting hair. Willie (Timothy Hutton), the lone wanderer, returns to his listless house in a state of flux, the piano-bar circuit wearing thin as is his relationship with Tracy, a well-off attorney (Annabeth Gish). He isn't the only one with problems. Tommy (Matt Dillon) occasionally sleeps with his now-married high school sweetheart Darian (Lauren Holly) while the earnest Sharon (Mira Sorvino) is left to wait. Paul (another thickheaded role for Michael Rapaport) refuses to commit to Jan (Martha Plimpton) until it's too late. Paul is enamored with the idea of the supermodel (the title's "beautiful girls") that, he believes, can make life perfect. It's a very satisfying comedy, with some forced poignancy (Willie's description of Tracy as a "seven and a half" comes off as a death sentence). Rosie O'Donnell's dissertation on why Playboy and Penthouse have ruined males' expectations is much like Meg Ryan's orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally...: it's hilarious, even memorable, never wholly believable.

The two wild cards thrown into Beautiful Girls give the film its kick. Uma Thurman enters as the local barkeep's (Pruitt Taylor Vince) radiant cousin. From the big city, she can flirt with the awestruck guys and still keep her head. Willie's real emotional tug is from Marty, the precocious 13-year-old neighbor. If you didn't see Natalie Portman's sophisticated work in the The Professional, her performance here will come as a revelation. You deeply believe that Willie and Marty are connected despite their age difference. Their courtship will never come to be, but the way the two talk (and talk some more) about their lives is the most insightful part of Rosenberg's script. Everyone's so comfortable in his or her roles that you may truly feel sad when the film ends. --Doug Thomas

Saratoga [VHS]

Saratoga [VHS] Lowest new price: $17.48
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VHS - previously viewed USA VHS TAPE;original coverbox with minor wear;tape plays great;DOMESTIC SHIPS media with D.C.;MUCH MUCH FASTER INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING THAN AMAZON STATES!!!

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Mad About Mambo [VHS]

Mad About Mambo [VHS] Lowest new price: $38.86
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Before she became America's sweetheart in Felicity, Keri Russell adopted an Irish brogue and starred as a willowy, wealthy lass with a passion for dancing in this coming-of-age romantic comedy. She's the object of affection for working-class William Ash, a football-loving lad who signs up for classes, hoping to acquire a little of the Latin flair of a Brazilian soccer superstar with moves like Fred Astaire. "We don't run with the ball, we dance," and so does Ash when he falls for snooty class star Russell. Imagine an adolescent mix of Strictly Ballroom and Shall We Dance dropped into 1980s Belfast amid the Troubles, complete with "the big dance contest," romantic complications, and a splashy happy ending.

The charismatic Russell is a fine dancer and shows moxie between icy stares and swoony looks. Unfortunately Ash is never more than a generic, spunky street kid with a heart of gold. Writer-director John Forte injects the working-class edge of British comedies with his off-handed inclusion of political tensions and prickly classist remarks. Nothing too surprising ever complicates the romance as the gritty world melts into an unlikely fairy tale in a silly but rousing climax. The film's not really credible, but Russell's charms and the sheer energy and color of the dancing give it the innocence of an old-fashioned musical amid the tense realities of real life. --Sean Axmaker

Simply Irresistible [VHS]

Simply Irresistible [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.44
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Beautiful restaurant owner Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is falling head over heels for handsome, hard-driving executive Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery). Unfortunately, Tom is too busy to recognize that she's truly the girl of his dreams until Amanda puts him under her tantalizing spell!

The Butcher's Wife [VHS]

The Butcher's Wife [VHS] Lowest new price: $44.98
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Marina (Demi Moore), a blonde Southern belle with a clairvoyant streak, sees signs--a shooting star with two tails, a snowglobe that washes up on the beach, a wedding band inside of a fish--telling her that her true love is about to come ashore. And soon enough, a boat lands on the beach in front of her home; only the guy inside is a stout butcher from New York City named Leo (George Dzundza). Still, portents are portents, and the next thing you know she's married and running barefoot around a butcher's shop in Greenwich Village, where she inspires various residents with her predictions. Leo, however, is creeped out by his wife's abilities, and encourages her to see Alex (Jeff Daniels), a psychiatrist who works across the street. To placate him, she does--and soon begins to suspect that she's misread her signs and married the wrong man. The Butcher's Wife could use a little more humor about Marina's powers (her pronouncements are dizzyingly earnest), but the movie is buoyed by a fantastic supporting cast, particularly Margaret Colin as a soap-opera actress, Frances McDormand as a lesbian dress-shop owner, and Mary Steenburgen as a dowdy church choir leader who just wants to sing the blues. Like Marina, you know what's going to happen, but the cast manages to make getting there charming. --Bret Fetzer

Alex & Emma [VHS]

Alex & Emma [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.15
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Romantic Comedy. Alex (Luke Wilson) is an author whose writer's block and gambling debts have landed him in a jam. In order to get loan sharks off his back, he must finish his novel in 30 days or wind up dead. To help him complete his manuscript he hires stenographer Emma (Kate Hudson). As Alex begins to dictate his tale of a romantic love triangle to the charming yet somewhat opinionated stenographer, Emma challenges his ideas at every turn. Her unsolicited yet intriguing input begins to inadvertently influence Alex and his story and soon real life begins to imitate art.

Send Me No Flowers [VHS]

Send Me No Flowers [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.87
Lowest used price: $0.75
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GREAT MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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