My mom recommended that I watch Romancing the Stone when I told her that I needed to watch 80’s films that I hadn’t seen before. I’m glad she did, because it was such a sweet, but simultaneously adventurous movie, full of wide-ranging laughs for everyone.
Romancing the Stone is an Indiana Jones-esque film and even harkens back to the classic days of film, showcasing exotic locations and even a hand-drawn movie poster. The film begins as an adventurous western love story, which is quickly revealed as the creative invention of romance writer, Joan Wilder. However, Wilder finds herself thrust into her own real life adventure, inspiring the most wonderful love story of all, when her sister is held hostage in Cartagena, Colombia and can only be ransomed by a map that was sent to her by her murdered brother-in-law.
The accomplished author quickly finds herself in a distant land where she doesn’t know the language and is unknowingly followed by Colonel Zolo, the man who murdered Joan’s brother-in-law, as well as the comical Ralph, who is in cahoots with her sister’s captors, all of whom seek the map. Joan soon meets Jack Colton, who rescues her from Zolo and helps her through the jungle in search of Cartagena in exchange for the traveler’s checks that Joan has. They soon begin to fall in love as they venture through the mystic land of Colombia and decide to follow the treasure map to find what everyone is looking for. The map guides Joan and Jack to discover the illustrious Corozon Emerald, only to be chased by Ralph and a team led by Zolo and led down a careening waterfall, ending up on opposite sides of a raging river. While gunfire ensues from above them, they promise to meet each other in Cartagena, Joan with the map and Jack with the emerald.
Once in Cartagena, Joan fears that Jack has abandoned her, using her emotions to “romance the stone” away from her. She meets with her sister’s captors and gives them the map, and is set free. However, Zolo quickly arrives, knowing that the Emerald is no longer hidden. Jack enters heroically, only to have the stone taken by Zolo, who then proceeds to lose the emerald, along with his hand, to a hungry crocodile. Chaos ensues as Jack follows the crocodile and Joan fights for her life against the knife-wielding Zolo while calling for help. Jack is forced to choose between the unparalleled riches hidden in the crocodile belly and the woman that he has grown to love. He gives up the crocodile, and reaches the struggle just as Zolo falls to his demise in a pit of crocodiles. Joan and Jack share a kiss just before takes off in search of the crocodile once more.
Once back in New York, Joan turns her experiences in Colombia into the best novel of her career. However, still distraught that her own love story has not come true, Joan goes home to find the surprise of her life as Jack stands atop his dream sailboat wearing crocodile-skin boots, waiting to carry her off into the New York sunset.
The film plays off of the great success of the exotic adventure genre, while providing a sweet love story to go along with it. Not just an adventure, Romancing the Stone, is a full figured action, romance and comedy, sure to entertain a broad audience for years to come.
Here's a link to the trailer for the film. I think it's done in a really creative way.