So one weekend, my roommate Elaine went home to visit her parents. When she came back to college, she brought back a bunch of things and movies. She started showing me the different films and telling me about them, stopping at American Dreamer, and said that we had to watch it-that I would love it. She told me it was like Romancing the Stone, but better.
I was like, I love Romancing the Stone. How could this be better? How could I possibly love it more?
So we watched it. And I loved it! I watched it…
It is amazing!
Cathy Palmer is a bored housewife, dissatisfied with her life and marriage. Her husband pays no attention to her, doesn’t romance her, and only cares about his work.
She spends her days in the romance thrillers starring the spy and detective Rebecca Ryan.
The author of the Rebecca Ryan series is having a contest in which anyone can write a Rebecca Ryan story and the best one will win a week trip to Paris. Cathy enters the contest and wins!
She wants her and her husband to go, but he refuses and forbids her to travel. They fight, but Cathy decides to go anyway. When she gets there, she gets hit by a car, and when she wakes up thinks she is Rebecca Ryan!
Something is not right.
She takes off, goes on a shopping spree, and heads to Rebecca Ryan’s hotel. There she meets the author of the series’ son, Alan McMan, who she believes to be Rebecca Ryan’s sidekick Dimitri . She sets out to solve the “case” of who is trying to kill her, taking Alan along for the ride. The two get caught up in an actual mystery as they go to an embassy dinner, track down a political leader, get shot at, have to hide from sight, get in car chases, etc-trying to solve the crime.
Will Cathy ever gain her memory back? Will she and Alan survive this adventure? And will they solve this case of who is trying to kill them, before “the book ends”?
Most Romantic Moment: I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye
So this comes near the end of the film. Alan and Cathy/Rebecca have gone on this wild adventure-with Cathy/Rebecca fainting and waking up to realize who she really is and what has happened-remembering everything.
She and Alan have a moment and it is time for them to separate, back to their daily lives. But even though this whole time he thought she was crazy, she had to drag him along, and all he wanted was for her to stop-he realizes how gray and lonely his life was before her and now he doesn’t want their time to end.
Alan McMan: [To Cathy] I don’t want to say good-bye
That said, there is one other little thing I want to clear up. Anastasia is not a disney movie. I REPEAT! ANASTASIA IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE! DISNEY DID NOT MAKE THIS MOVIE!!! It was 20th Century Fox! FOX MADE IT! FOX! FOX! FOX! FOX! It just urks me how people call it a Disneymovie because it IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE!
So the film begins in 1916 Russia, where the Czar is giving a party. His mother, the Dowager Empress (Angela Lansbury) is visiting from France. She and his youngest daughter, have a close connection and the Dowager gives her a secret music box and a locket that is a key, that have the saying “Together in Paris”. The ball is interrupted by their “holy man” Rasputin (he was a real creepo) played by Christopher Lloyd. Rasputin is mad at the Romanovs for trying to banish him, and has sold his soul to brung destruction on all of them. The Dowager and Anastasia are saved by a kitchen boy, who sneaks them out through a secret passage. They run for a train, but Anastasia trips and is left behind.
Fast forward ten years, the Dowager Empress has put out notice of a heavy reward to anyone who can bring her, her granddaughter. Dimitri (John Cusack), the kitchen boy, is all grown up and has been having tryouts to find someone to play Anastasia so he can get the money and be gone from Russia forever. He and his partner, Vladimir, an ex member of the Royal Court, both have the knowhow to get it done. Dimitri also has the music box.
Meanwhile, Anya (Anastasia), played by Meg Ryan, has been living with amnesia in an orphanage. Now being of age, she is being sent out to work. Instead of following the directions given to her, she decides to follow a stray dog she found and head to St. Petersburg and ultimately, Paris.
The two meet up in the old Romanov palace as Dimitri and Vladmir have gone there to lick their wounds, no applicants worked out, and Anya wants to get papers from Dimitri to get out of Russia. They notice her similarities to Tsarina Alexandra and offers it as a potential way to find her family, not telling her about the money (you know that old cliché). They board the train and are on there way
Meanwhile, Rasputin is rotting in Purgatory, as he can’t go off to hell until all the Romonavs are dead, and can’t go topside because he lost his glass vial of evil I guess (I’m not sure what its real name is), is lost. Bartok, his pet bat has found the vial and goes down telling him about Anastasia’s “rebirth”. Rasputin goes up to kill her.
Back on the train, Anya and Dimitri feel a little something for each other but are mean to each other not wanting to admit it. They have to move to the baggage cart as things have changed under Stalin. While there, Rasputin attacks and they have to switch to a boat. Rasputin attacks them, and Dimitri saves her. They eventually reach Paris, and Anya passes all the tests, solidifying it when she answers that she was saved by a kitchen boy. Dimitri hears this and knows that she is the real deal. The only issue is, the Dowager has decreed to see no one again. They decide to surprise her at the opera, Dimitri deciding to let her go and to do everything he could to help her connect to her family. Dimitri’s scheme has reached the Dowager’s ears and she really lays into him, with Anya overhearing. Anya is pissed that Dimitri lied to her and runs off to her hotel room. Dimtri then drives the Dowager over there and the two talk and are united. They have a ball to welcome her back, with Vladmir being reinsteated and honored with medals. The Dowager offers Dimitri the money, but he refuses (sound like someone you know?) and takes off. That night, Rasputin attacks Anya, Dimitri returns, and they defeat Rasputin. The two elope and run off, Anya telling her grandmother that she will see her again soon.
Most Romantic Moment:
Just like 10 Things I Hate About You it was hard to choose the “most romantic moment” as it was chock full, but I can only pick one.
So Dmitri has left. He could have told Anya what he did for her when she was a kid. He could tell her that he was the one who saved her as a child. He could have told her that he figured out she was Anastasia and tried to help her at the Opera to get in to see the Dowager. He could have told her that he made sure that the two had a chance to talk because he wanted to reunite her with her family. He could have told her he didn’t take the money. Instead, he wanted to make her dreams come true. She made him want to reform his conman ways.
But Dmitri has no illusions. Even if he changed his ways, he knows nothing will happen between them.
Meanwhile, back at the ball Anastasia is being attacked by Rasputin. He has her down, and just when you think its over, Dimitri comes running in to save the day.
Yes! HE CAME BACK TO BE WITH HER! Even though it doesn’t make any sense. Even though coming back might not change anything, he DOES IT ANYWAY! Even though there is no guarantee that they will get together. Even though he knows she still might be angry with him and kick him to the curb. It doesn’t matter. He loves her so much he has to tell her how he feels. That’s so romantic!
And in the case of true love, coming back always works out.