Movie review: ‘The Lost City’ is a delightfully silly romp

Taking a trip to Disney World is one of my very favorite things. It’s the saying goodbye to Disney World after a trip that always leaves me feeling a little sad. 

However, The Lost City was the perfect cure for my post-Disney blues last weekend weekend after I got back from vacation, and it was a great movie to lift my spirits. (Apparently while I was gone, I also missed a wild time at the Academy Awards, but that’s probably a topic best left for another article!)

I’m not going to claim that this will be the best movie you’ll see in theaters this year or anything like that. It’s not mind-blowing or particularly revolutionary in terms of its plot. And yet, it’s been quite a while since I laughed out loud so quickly (or so often) while watching a movie in the theater. 

Sandra Bullock stars as middle-aged romance author Loretta Sage, who’s burned out and ready to move on from her best-selling series starring adventurer Dash McMahon. She wants to kill him off, to the horror of her cover model, the somewhat dim-witted but endearingly lovable Alan (Channing Tatum). 

When Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire and taken to the jungle for a treasure hunt, Alan (who’s secretly in love with Loretta) decides to go rescue her. Unsurprisingly, hijinks ensue. 

What works so well about The Lost City is the chemistry and banter between the two leads, as well as some surprise costars. There’s also some poignant nuance to Loretta’s character that you don’t pick up from the previews; she’s actually grieving the loss of her archeologist husband, and Alan helps her find joy in life again. And even though Alan isn’t the smartest or the most capable of sidekicks, he genuinely cares about Loretta and his love for her is very sweet. 

Also, both Brad Pitt and Daniel Radcliffe are in this movie, and they’re wonderful. Brad Pitt plays a former Navy SEAL who’s supposed to help rescue Loretta, and Radcliffe chews so much scenery as the billionaire/kidnapper. 

This is one of those reviews that’s going to be short not because I didn’t love the movie, but because the story is fairly simple and straightforward and I don’t have a lot to add other than that if you love movies like Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone, you’ll probably have a fun time watching this in the theater. 

Also, I really appreciated one small but significant moment in the movie, where Loretta is dismissing her romance novels as schlock, but Alan pushes back, telling her that something that’s brought joy and fun to so many people can’t be “schlock.”

I feel like as a genre, “romance” is often treated like a punchline. Yes, sometimes the plots can be silly and we can all guess how the “happily ever after” ending will play out. Still, I appreciated that The Lost City gently pokes fun at the genre yet doesn’t demean the people who love it. 

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