Cage Examination #20: It Could Happen To You

Film: It Could Happen To You
Demeanor: An almost zen-like calmness, with periodic bouts of foolish idealism.
Hair Quality: Blonde. And brown. Almost as if it can’t decide what color it is.
Performance Quality: Three Cages Out of Ten

There is no genre of film more thread-worn than the romantic comedy. You can cite the noisy, predictable rhythms of modern action films or decry the desperate lack of creativity in the current horror genre all you want, but they still pale in comparison to the total lack of creative forward progress made in romantic comedies since the genre’s inception. 

Presumably, this is because the people going to see romantic comedies don’t care. Every one of these plots is purely designed to get a man and a woman who initially aren’t supposed to be together to eventually be together by the end of the film. How the screenwriters go about this is entirely irrelevant. The game of Mouse Trap the writers come up with to eventually get these two kids to the cheese is ultimately ancillary to the payoff of this lovely couple coming together in celebrated union. Perhaps that’s not the case for those of us who are dragged to these movies and aren’t just there to make googly eyes at Ryan Reynolds or James Marsden or whoever the fuck, but we don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

With this in mind, understand that It Could Happen To You was never going to rank very highly on my list of Nicolas Cage films. I’d seen it many, many years ago, probably not long after it went to the home video market, but what I remembered wasn’t terribly positive. Upon re-watching it for this series, I realized that most of the issues I had with it back in the ’90s—namely, that it was totally boring and gay  and stuff (I was 14, don’t judge me)—wasn’t really the issue. In truth, the problem is that It Could Happen To You is something close to the most rom-commy rom-com to ever rom-com in the history of rom-coms. 

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