Romancing the Stone (movie review)

Since I’ve been going through the Indiana Jones movies recently, this naturally led Dr. Girlfriend to introduce me to Romancing the Stone, a movie I’d heard of but never gotten around to watching when it was on its big TV run in the late 1980s. What’s the connection between this flick and the Indy series? Take a look at the trailer in all its 80s delicious-ness and I think you’ll see the synergy right away.

If you’re looking for something in the way of plot summary for Romancing the Stone, imagine that Willy from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom wasn’t annoying and instead of the Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, there are cops and crooks, but they all fill the same role in these films. Swap Harrison Ford for Michael Douglas and set Kathleen Turner as a fish out of water protagonist and you’re good to go.

Sure, this movie might not be especially original, but then, neither is the Indiana Jones series as they both find their roots in the serials of early cinema. I’d say that Romancing the Stone does a better job at blending comedy and romance into the film than the Indy movies do, but Douglas’ Jack T. Colton could be more heroic; for example, it’d be great if the movie would have added a “heavy” for Colton to fight at some point. I love that Turner’s Joan Wilder has to fight the antagonist at the end because she’s the real hero of the picture. Both Colton and Wilder have their own arcs and grow/change as the story unfolds, so we get two strong characters for the price of one. I bring up these points because this movie could have easily been a cheap cash-in on Indiana Jones’ popularity, but instead, quality people like Douglas, Turner, Danny DeVito (who fills in as comic relief and exposition spewer extraordinaire) and director Robert Zemeckis all come together to deliver a quality product.

I know lots of people like this movie, but I kinda feel as though it’s been lost in time; it has a very 80s feel (the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri isn’t helping with the dated ambiance), but that doesn’t make it a bad flick. It’s both a timeless adventure and a period piece at the same time. (Kinda like Indiana Jones!) If you’ve never seen it and you dig the Indiana Jones movies, I strongly recommend you check this one out. I’m giving Romancing the Stone an 8.5 out of 10.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on April 16, 2014, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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