Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so naturally, romance movies are the order of the week. In the true holiday spirit of bending affection to the purposes of commercialism, DVD rental service Redbox has shared its list of the most-rented romance movies from the past year.
Before we go any further, you must know: This list will disappoint you. The American viewing public has … curious taste, and Redbox seems to attract an even more curious cross-section of that viewing public. For every halfway-decent film on here, there will be at least one equal and opposite clunker. These are the laws of both physics and Redbox.
Now that you’ve been properly prepared, let’s get into the list.
We zoned out halfway through this one’s title, impressive given that it’s only three words. That said, in his review of this Catalina Aguilar Mastretta-directed rom-com for Paste, Jake Lauer calls Everybody Loves Somebody “an effective, embraceable statement on realistic expectations of what love can be,” so fair enough, America. Not a terrible start.
Huh, this one actually sounds promising, although it was critically panned. Jeffrey Blitz directing, with a script from Blitz and the Duplass brothers? Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, June Squibb and Stephen Merchant in the cast? Hard to blame folks for taking a shot here.
Alright, this is getting downright strange. The Big Sick is a legitimately good movie. It has a whopping 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It got an Oscar nomination. Have we misjudged Redbox? Is this a mirage? What’s happening right now?
Now that’s more like it. This movie, starring Zac Efron and Adam Devine as two bro-dudes in need of wedding dates, is exactly the kind of aggressively mediocre brain deactivator that people tend to rent out of a vending machine. Suddenly, The Big Sick seems very far away.
Much like Everybody Loves Somebody, we are turbo-bored by both this movie’s title and its utter unremarkable-ness. It has a 46 percent, the very definition of lackluster. “Hey, I liked that one!” many Redbox users protest, but they are drowned out by a deafening chorus of yawns.
You know those times when a movie studio announces that they’re going to be dusting off some long-gone franchise for a reboot, years after it ceased to be relevant, and you think to yourself, “Who asked for this? Who is this for?” Redbox users, that’s who.
The very funny Ken Marino made his feature-length directorial debut with this movie. It seems fine. You can’t see it but we’re shrugging.
You just knew a Fifty Shades movie was going to end up on this list. You knew it in your very bones. We’re actually surprised it’s not higher. The people, this is what they want. It’s good, to them.
Another stunner here at number two. How can an actual movie (La La Land) and a meager excuse for a soft-core porno (Fifty Shades Darker) coexist on this list? It makes no sense.
Counterpoint: Why this?
If you have any faith in humanity left, you can revisit the service’s most-rented movies of all time here, and if you’d like to make a positive impact on future lists of this nature, check out our picks for the best movies on Redbox right here.