Ahhh, rom-com movies. Is there anything better than two charismatic beautiful people enduring a series of misunderstandings, while falling in love in the process? The correct answer is no, unless you incorporate a jungle caper treasure hunt mystery element, introduced and enforced by a crazy maverick. If that sounds like film perfection for you, I’m pleased to say you’re both one of my people, and that you’re in for a total treat with The Lost City.

Originally entitled The Lost City of D (we’re not laughing, promise), this movie follows reclusive adventure romance novelist author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) as she procrastinates writing the final novel in her much-beloved franchise. Audiences love them for their exotic locations, wild romances, and heart-throb cover star Alan (Channing Tatum). When Loretta gets kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who believes she can help him find the ancient city’s lost treasure, Alan decides to be the one to rescue her – determined to prove he’s not just a pretty face and ripped torso, but that he can be a hero in real life too.

This is not a film that reinvents the rule book. The Lost City wears its reference points – like its heart – on its sleeve. 1984’s Romancing The Stone is the most obvious touch-point, where Kathleen Turner is the caught-up-in-trouble romance novelist and Michael Douglas the reluctant grump who will help save her. Flip that around, with Bullock as the grump and Tatum as the sunshine and you get The Lost City.

It’s a film that knows exactly what it is and has no shame or qualms about that fact. It’s schmaltzy, with a beautiful message about how kindness and being open to the world is the
strongest form of bravery there is. Sure, that’s nothing new. But, when it’s done this well, what’s
there to complain about?

Bullock and Tatum have wonderfully chemistry, their rapport instinctive and hilarious to behold. This feels like a meeting of titans, icons of their respective eras of rom-com movies, gathering for a heavyweight match of epic proportions. Quoting any of their exchanges here would deprive you of the joy to come, but suffice to say the Kermodian six-laugh-test is smashed within the first few minutes.

Chuck in Radcliffe in full manic maverick mode and it feels near-impossible to not have a good time with this film. It also feels important to include a quick PSA, don’t feel disappointed if you already know of the high profile other actor who makes an appearance – it’s such a good inclusion that you’ve not been deprived in the slightest.

The Lost City is old-fashioned, in the best of ways, breezy, romantic, and funny. There are few better ways of spending just under two hours at the cinema.

Rating: ★★★★