We recently watched Romancing the Stone, so the logical thing to do would be to follow it up with the sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. If I saw this movie in the past, it was once, and when I was very young. I don’t remember anything about it and that’s probably a good thing.
Released in 1985, this is the follow-up to the romantic adventure comedy, Romancing the Stone. The story takes place 6 months after the original, while Joan and Jack are sailing around the world. Joan is approached by an ambitious Egyptian man who wants her to write his story. She agrees, Jack and Joan have a falling out, and Joan uncovers a plot to take over everything. Turns out, the jewel isn’t what you think, Jack and Joan save the day, and at the end they get married.
There’s two redeeming things about this…’film’. Danny DeVito, and that they didn’t turn Joan into an incompetent damsel. DeVito’s character is one of the few funny parts of the movie. The rest is either just lame, or so borderline racist, that it’s uncomfortable to watch. And I don’t say that lightly. Blazing Saddles is a great, funny film, that parodies racism to show how ridiculous it is. This movie, if it’s being intentional, just misses the mark. It comes off as if the writers did absolutely no research into the cultures represented, or they were trying too hard to be edgy and it came off all sorts of wrong.
The first big ‘huh’ moment came when it was time for Jack and Joan to have their falling out. Because of course we have to separate them, otherwise Jack won’t be able to come save the day. Joan gets the offer to go to Egypt, and Jack just doesn’t want to go. He’s apparently tired of her writing success, and bitter, or something. It seems like they’re playing on some jealousy, but at the end of the day he’d just rather go to Greece alone than to Egypt with his girlfriend. Neither of us bought it. And, when it came time to find his motivation to go to Egypt, it was for the jewel, not for Joan. It just didn’t make sense for him to turn into such a jerk so fast.
It wasn’t a funny movie, and the romance was more on par with the predictable rom-coms we’ve all come to know and despise. The dance party with the tribesmen was painful to watch. While the movie turns a few tropes on their head, it goes full bore into some awful ones. It’s a disappointing follow-up to Romancing the Stone, and not worth watching unless you want to see just how much of a train wreck it is. This one goes down as one of the classics that doesn’t deserve the title.