Directors: Aaron Nee and Adam Nee
Screenwriters: Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, Adam Nee, and Aaron Nee
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Daniel Radcliffe
Cinematographer: Jonathan Sela
What is this, Taken? Am I tooken? Am I sold already? Am I sold to him?Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) in The Lost City
The age of Rom-Coms is back! Who better to lead than Rom-Com extraordinaire Sandra Bullock and well-known heart throb Channing Tatum?
In the opening act of Aaron and Adam Nee’s The Lost City, Loretta (Sandra Bullock) joins book model Alan (Channing Tatum) on stage to promote her new book. Although it turns into an embarrassing yet funny moment for the both of them, it was sweet how Alan kept diverting attention from himself to Loretta. That selfless kindness is a recurring pattern throughout the film that, along with her strong pushback, made for a humorous partnership.
Alongside this kindness that crosses into to crush-territory, there are many clichés that have been overtly subverted without feeling too on-the-nose. For example, Loretta is portrayed as the intelligent hero and Alan as the damsel-in-distress. Even the sleeping in the same bed trope is rewritten to be Loretta and Alan in a hammock in the jungle, completely uncomfortable. There is a moment that I typically find unnecessary in this genre, which is when one of the lead characters describes what they’re doing to make a moment seem more romantic or sensual than the actors can portray. However, not only is it swoon worthy, but it also makes certain lackluster performances and uninspired lines feel worth it.
A feel-good, lighthearted film, The Lost City does an excellent job of showcasing the chemistry between its two leads, which is ultimately the best reason to watch. The supporting cast, comprised in part by Daniel Radcliffe and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, put their all into their respective performances, making for a well-rounded ensemble. Daniel Radclife, who has seemingly taken interest in portraying rich and insane characters, brings Abigail Fairfax some much-needed life. The lines are a little bland and the character arc nothing special. But Radcliffe has a gift for making every one of his performances a joy to watch. He plays off of Sandra Bullock’s performance beautifully, and their interactions are natural and entertaining. But I do wish his final scenes were less ridiculous, especially given the notion that a man capable of finding a lost city can be caught so easily.
My favorite character was Beth Hatten, portrayed by Da’Vine Joy Randolph. She is the true hero here, relentless in her support of Loretta by navigating each challenge that comes her way. Like Radcliffe, it is clear not much care was put into Beth’s lines or arc, but Randolph’s performance would have you thinking otherwise. She is magnetic and a comedic genius. I look forward to watching absolutely every little thing she has ever been in.
The chemistry between Bullock and Tatum and the performances from Radcliff and Randolph are top reasons to see The Lost City. But it is certainly not without issues. One of my biggest gripes is the sound design. There were many times when the sound did not match a certain movement or atmosphere of a scene. It happened enough that it was blatantly distracting. For such a fantastical plot, it is also unbelievable how lackluster the sets were, especially considering how much money was put into this film. Better sets have been made and filmed with less money, which is always impressive but definitely not impossible. The ending also left much to be desired, as it felt the writers put more care into the first two acts than the third.
Still, with all that being said, if you’re looking for a good time at the movies and are in the mood to be romantic, The Lost City is a must and deserving watch.
Check out the trailer for The Lost City — in theaters now!