For the most part, all romantic comedy films are pretty similar. The protagonists are always people who are very clearly missing something in their lives, characters who care too much about their work or who don't see themselves as attractive. But then they meet someone who's their complete opposite, who turns their life upside down and shows them what they've been missing — a free spirit who proves that work isn't everything, or someone who tells them they're beautiful just the way they are, and so on and so forth. If you're sick of these by-the-book rom-coms, then Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder's Destination Wedding is the cynical rom-com you've been waiting for.
The new film reunites Reeves and Ryder, who first shared a screen in 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula, as Frank and Lindsay. In Destination Wedding, the pair, strangers at first, end up stuck traveling together on their way to a — you guessed it — destination wedding for a mutual friend. As the film progresses, it turns out that neither of them even wants to go to the wedding, and not only that, but they both share the same bleak outlook on life and humanity. In other words, they're pretty much the same person with nearly-identical flaws, and that's what sets Destination Wedding apart from typical rom-coms. Rather than finding someone who can "fix" them, like in most examples of the genre, Frank and Lindsay are simply enjoying the ability to commiserate with someone who shares their outlook.
"Destination Wedding is a romantic comedy with two wounded creatures," Reeves says in the exclusive behind-the-scenes clip, above. "[Frank and Lindsay] share a bit of a personal worldview of, 'people suck.'" Reeves goes on to describe how the characters turn their animosity toward one another, which eventually results in a kind of mutual attraction. "They're ruthless," he says. "They're not afraid of sharing their opinion about each other ... it's romantic, and funny, and you root for them."
While it's not uncommon for rom-com couples to be antagonistic toward one another, they typically do so because they're such opposites. Take You've Got Mail, for instance. The corporate book store president and the owner of the small book store he's trying to buy can't stand each other because their priorities seem so different — until they realize they're in love with each other once the business mumbo jumbo is taken out of the equation. But with Destination Wedding, the two subjects hate each other not because they're opposites, but because they're both so similarly miserable. "Let's just say he's not a romantic," Reeves says of his character, Frank, while Ryder describes her character, Lindsay, thusly: "She's a bit of a broken person and she's been very hurt in love, and that created a real fear of intimacy."
So for anyone out there who has grown tired of the familiar old romantic comedy formula, Destination Wedding may be just the movie you're looking for. Whether you have a cynical outlook toward love, or you operate under the belief that people are garbage, odds are you'll find a kindred spirit in this film — just like Frank and Lindsay — when it hits theaters on Aug 31.