Gone to the Movies: Romancing the Stone


Becky and I have teamed up for a new feature this year because we chatted about watching old romance favourites during the holidays and decided it’s high time we re-watched some of them – together. Well, sort of. We made a list of our “must see” romance movies and then discovered that while our tastes align in many ways, we just can’t see eye to eye on others (Richard Gere being one notable example). :)

So if you’re interested in re-visiting the past and your teenage years, you might want to join us in watching (and reviewing, if that’s your thing) these movies – our posts will probably go live on the third Monday of each month, but things may vary because of LIFE, which does tend to interfere from time to time. So here’s the list for the next months:

  • February: When Harry Met Sally
  • March: The English Patient
  • April: Dirty Dancing


For January, though, we have a special old-school treat for you. It’s Romancing the Stone month and let me tell you, this movie is great. It has everything you can expect from an 80’s romantic comedy. We picked it because Becky said she remembers watching it as a kid – and I said I did, too, though I only remembered the heroes being very wet in the jungle.

romancing-the-stoneThe heroine, Joan Wilder, is a romance novelist. Since this is the 80’s (the movie is from 1984), the romances she writes are pretty old school, with Wild West settings and horses and all. She lives alone with her cat, Romeo, and her editor is constantly trying to set her up, but Joan is waiting for her Prince Charming (or rather, a cowboy who would sweep her off her feet and ride with her into the sunset).

But then one day, she receives a weird letter from her sister’s deceased husband (we find out he’d been murdered in Colombia), her apartment gets trashed and her sister calls: she’s been kidnapped and the letter Joan received contains a very valuable treasure map that Joan is to bring to Colombia or else. And so begins the adventure of a complete city girl leaving on a trip she’s in no way prepared for.

Well, let’s leave the plot at that because there really aren’t that many plot twists in this movie and I’d probably spoil them all for you – and let’s focus on the characters. First of all, Joan is great. She can be a bit of a damsel in distress and she’s painfully naïve, but I liked her tenacity and her ability to adapt to the situation despite it being her worst possible nightmare. I really like Kathleen Turner, she’s so pretty and I think she plays the role to perfection.

Then there’s Jack – the mercenary, unwilling savior who happens upon Joan in a moment of need. I … I’m not fully convinced by Jack as a love interest. First of all, I know Michael Douglas was considered a hottie back in the 80’s but his blue eyes and strong jaw just don’t do it for me. Also, Jack’s actions towards Joan weren’t all that honorable. Eh, he gets a 2/5 star rating for a love interest from me.

I completely forgot that Danny DeVito stars in this movie, his character offers the comic relief I’ve come to expect from him. Also, the villain is cheesy but sufficiently evil (he has a very villainy mustache), so we have all the boxes checked for an adventure/romance.

All in all, I think this movie is well worth a re-watch if you remember seeing it as a kid and want to relive the glory of the 80’s. It’s actually older than me (not by much, though), but I do remember it being run on the TV a lot during my childhood. If you haven’t seen it yet and if you’re in the mood for some horrible style choices and a typical romantic plotline, it can definitely offer some relaxing entertainment. Oh, and it apparently has a sequel.

Some of the movies we picked for this feature are like Romancing the Stone – we’re fully aware they’re cheesy but we loved them as kids and we want to give them another go. But others are great, meaningful movies that we’ve had on our to-watch lists forever. In any case, we’d be very happy if you decided to join us and chat about these old gems! And don’t forget to check out Becky’s post as well!


Have you seen Romancing the Stone? What did you think?

Do you like watching old favourites or are you afraid of ruining the memory?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • I have seen Romancing the Stone, and I think it’s a lot of fun. I think it would be awesome to see a remake. I agree with you on Michael Douglas. He just doesn’t do it for me either. I still enjoy the movie though and now I want to re-watch it!

    • I guess beauty standards change for men as well as for women (though as I said, I think Kathleen Turner is beautiful). Haha, yeah, go re-watch it and then report! :)

  • Oh man, I remember this movie from when I was a kid as well. I agree with you on Michael Douglas, he didn’t do much for me either. Have you seen the sequel to this movie? I thinks it’s called Jewel of the Nile or something.

    • I saw there’s a sequel on IMDB but I don’t think I’ve seen it. Or maybe I have but I just have no memory of it – the last time I watched Romancing the Stone I was about 10 years old, I think. I will probably have to get it now and watch it, it looks as amazingly cheesy-good as this one.

  • Oh my gosh, I loved this movie so much as a kid and now I want to go re-watch it immediately! I totally agree with your assessment of Jack/Michael Douglas but it is still such a fun movie and I adore Kathleen Turner’s character.
    P.S. I like this project!!

    • Haha, go for it! :)
      I’m glad, the commenters all seem unanimous about Douglas, it gives me great pleasure to be among like-minded people ;)
      P.S: JOIN US. (No cookies – but fun guaranteed!)

  • Yea, this came out four years before I was born, but I have definitely seen it. Now I want to re-watch it! I remember enjoying it, though how I would have seen it? Romancing the Stone is certainly NOT the type of movie my parents would have watched (my dad is a cinephile).

    Also, there’s the book Necromancing the Stone, which tickles me to no end. I have it on my shelf and need to get to it. I love a good play on words!

    • Maybe you were at your grandparents’? I watched a lot of movies there in the evenings. Or maybe a sleepover? :) Or maybe your dad thought this was a classic and allowed it anyway.

      Is it actually a spin on this movie title? Oh, a necromantic version of this plot just … I can’t quite wrap my mind around it.

  • I only remember seeing a bit of Romancing the Stone (recently on TV), but hey, sometimes a little cheesiness is exactly what the doctor ordered. :)

    • Yeah, that’s exactly what we thought when we picked the movies for this feature. A good combination of serious and cheesy. :)

  • Greg Hill

    I vaguely remember this movie I think I saw it on TV at some point… I remember thinking is was VERY 80’s LOL. “Horrible style choices” … yeah. :) It’s probably fun though, maybe I should look for it. This should be a fun feature… Crocodile Dundee is another old school one I remember seeing, I bet that would be fun/ ridiculous to watch. :)

    • Haha Crocodile Dundee :D I was watching How I Met Your Mother recently and this was mentioned… I know I watched the movie(s) but I really don’t remember much about them.
      Well I have to warn you – the films for this feature were picked by two romance lovers so they’re all romances. ;) But some of them are very good!

  • Soudha Parsan

    I confess, I have sadly never seen the movies for the three upcoming months -_- But I think this new feature of yours is a great idea and I’ll definitely be watching the movies you listed here. Thanks for sharing! And for motivating me to watch these movies too ^^

    • Ahh, no? You might want to check out The English Patient at least, it’s made after a book (by Salman Rushdie, I think?) and it’s really, really good. It isn’t a comedy, though.
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • I love your post, you are far more critical than I can be of film romance (I am a hopeless romantic in fictional life and an awful cynic in real life, I’m complex) and it’s probably for the best. I agree, Michael Douglas does nothing for me either. I think it’s a height thing as well for me, I Googled it and he’s only 5″10. Not that is all that much taller than me, but at 5″5 I expect all men to tower over me if I ever choose to wear heels.

    I think I like this film both for the find memories of watching when I was younger, but also because it reaches realms of such absurdity you can’t help but smile. It’s just plain old fun, what more could you want from a film? I do look forward to a few more serious films being watched, but I think the light hearted fun that is the film is perfect if you need a small pick me up.