At first glance, The Romantics tells a familiar tale: a group of twenty-something college friends gather for the wedding of golden girl Lila (Paquin) and BMOC Tom (Duhamel) six years after graduation. While everyone seems friendly enough, certain looks and sideways glances show cracks in their congenial veneer.
Then, during the rehearsal dinner, maid of honor Laura (Holmes) explains why the group was dubbed "The Romantics" in the first place, touching on the "incestuous" nature of any group falling in and out of love with each other over the years. By the time the night is over, a host of drunken couplings has taken place.
It's a reflection of the fact that no matter how golden anyone might seem on the surface, we're all flawed and we're all dysfunctional," says Niderhoffer of the film. "People can be kind and mean or petty and generous all in a single day."
Conversely, Duhamel confesses that he was a bit repulsed at first by the characters in the film. "I didn't much like any of them; they seemed to be a bunch of selfish people making big deals out of their problems," he notes. But then I saw what Galt was really doing. All of these relationships are on fault lines."
Meanwhile, Strong focused on what he saw as the truthfulness of the film. "Most films tend to idealize this age group," he notes. "But a lot of my friends in their twenties are still drifting."
Regardless of what they thought about their characters, the actors all admit that they became one big happy family offscreen; and they continue to be one. "We really were an incestuous group. I mean we were all so friendly and supportive of each other," says Brody. Adds Holmes: "We still like to hang out and go to dinner; we're really a tight-knit group."