When Jimmy met Nicole.

(Image via Time.com)

There are few things I enjoy more in life than a smart and cute romantic comedy, with a real life smart and cute romantic comedy being one of those few things. I’ll confess that I often find myself wishing that my real life read like a Delia and Nora Ephron screenplay.

Stephanie, a hopeless romantic who is terrified of actual emotional intimacy, traipses through life in a haze of fantasy and fear until a quirky string of events introduces her to a quirky man whose sincerity and wit storm her emotional walls and invade her heart, thus restoring her hope in the reality of romance and love…

Or something like that.

Until that movie premieres, however, I am content watching the real life romantic and comedic antics of others, namely Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman. In a stellar performance during an episode of “The Tonight Show” last week, Fallon and Kidman hysterically and adorably improvise their way through a he-say-she-say recounting of their first real life encounter.

Fallon met Kidman with the idea of potentially making a movie with her; Kidman met Fallon with the idea of potentially making a move on him. Alas, neither stars’ ideas were in alignment with the other, allowing their crossed signals to forever leave them star-crossed…and, yet, destined to cross paths years later on live national television. (Hey, Harry and Sally, meet Jimmy and Nicole.)

Fallon: “I am in shock right now. I can’t believe I dated Nicole Kidman!

Kidman: “You didn’t!”

Fallon: “This is unbelievable!”

To me, the best part about Fallon’s and Kidman’s hilarious stroll down memory lane was that it was real, which, in my expert rom-com opinion, is what made it so hilarious in the first place. No cue cards, no prodding from producers. Just two real people having a real conversation about real events and perceived intentions. (Classic Ephron.)

Now, I’d be lying if the hopeless romantic in me didn’t romanticize the awkwardly adorable chemistry between Fallon and Kidman. And when Kidman tries to shift the subject of the conversation by describing Paddington – the computerized bear who stars alongside her in the eponymous film – as having the “most beautiful eyes,” even The Roots’ drummer Questlove hears a subconscious note of romance.

Kidman: (pointing to Questlove) “Why are you laughing?”

(Questlove feigns ignorance)

Fallon: “Everyone’s feeling the sexual chemistry here…

Kidman: “There is no…”

Fallon: “…and it’s awkward and it’s just odd!”

(Fallon does the I’m-a-bad-man dance)

(Kidman laughs hysterically)

Fallon: “Want to play Mario Brothers later? I want to show you my new Nintendo.”

You can’t make this stuff up. I mean, you could, but it wouldn’t be genuine and it wouldn’t be as genuinely funny.

Still, though a hopeless romantic I may be, a homewrecker I am not. So my delight in romantic and comedic antics generally stops short of any real desire for a happily-ever-after ending between Fallon and Kidman. Besides, they already seem happy now with their respective spouses and children.

But – you knew there was going to be a “but” – I do think it’s interesting that Kidman is the same age as Fallon’s wife (seven years Fallon’s senior) and his first daughter shares the same middle name as Kidman’s first biological daughter (Rose). Happy coincidences? (I don’t actually believe in coincidence, but for the sake of not being a homewrecker, I won’t answer the question.)

One thing that I may believe in, though, is the existence of a romantic-comedy parallel universe in which all of the ones who ‘got away’ actually didn’t get too far, and some parallel version of ourselves is happily and humorously booed up with some parallel version of them.

Ugh, what a hopelessly romantic notion.

Copyright © 2014-2016 Stephanie Rochelle Redd. All rights reserved.


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