With Hugh Grant and James Caan featuring in this Kelly Makin-directed piece, it is hard to think of Mickey Blue Eyes as anything but a strange capitulation between two very distant genres. With The Godfather in tow behind Caan’s presence and the future of the romantic comedy genre featuring thoroughly well with Grant’s leading role, the status Mickey Blue Eyes takes is one of sincere potential. A real mobster flick was always going to linger underneath, with the inevitable conclusions lending itself to a film that features uncomfortable reminders of the strong genre tropes that are used to heave Grant into the spotlight and out on-screen in a typecast role with sinister intentions.
With a heavy set of Bond, Bourne and other brutal agents of varying action styles, the attempt The Man from U.N.C.L.E. makes to shunt its way into the market is a drab, unconvincing one. It was simply not to be, and audiences around the world have been breathing in that sigh of relief for all of six years. Releasing in the same year as Spectre, Spy, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Bridge of Spies, it is vaguely interesting to see how little The Man from U.N.C.L.E. can offer the genre it wishes to mock and project. An odd pairing of director Guy Ritchie and Henry Cavill makes for a team that is interesting more out of curiosity than real vision for the craft, but even then, it should be no surprise that Ritchie and company bring nothing of exceptional note to the table.
Within the sub-genre of romantic comedies, there is another layer. Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, Hugh Grant dominated as the affable, always loveable lead in various romantic comedies. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually seem to be the trio that are remembered most fondly by fans of film. He jauntily thrust himself from screen to screen, wooing the leading lady in scenes of bumbling charisma. Grant is a great performer, iconic on British screens for churning out so many incredibly iconic performances, but Notting Hill is just a tad drab.