33

She Inspires Us to Be Better

Join our Agents as they travel to the Czech Republic with Queen Latifah in Last Holiday. On this mission, we find the joy of the season and of just being kind in the most glamorous of hotels. So throw that pashmina over your shoulders and meet us for an exquisite meal in the hotel restaurant or at least for a roast chicken in First Class.

Annette Wierstra with Sandra Wong and Kathy Campbell


32

It’s Not His Personality, It’s His Hair

We jump right into the holiday with a little international house swap movie called The Holiday (2006) starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black. Our Agents debate which storyline is more romantic and which actor is the weakest link. Our agents do deep dives in our various headcanon proving they’ve thought about these characters a lot. Sidetracks include: Who is taking care of the dog? Would Idris Elba be a good rom-com movie lead? Where will everyone live after the movie ends?

Annette Wierstra with Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Kathy Campbell and Aleen Simms


31

Eggnog Makes Me Fighty

Here at the S.M.O.O.C.H. Agency, we like to jump fully into the Holiday spirit as soon as the Halloween decorations are put away. There is a Christmas Tree in every corner of the office. Christmas Sweaters are required Agent wear. And excessive tinsel is drifting through the air. We are starting our SMOOCHtastic holiday season with a BONUS! Incomprehensible Commentary for the beloved Christmas Classic The Christmas Prince (2017). Get out your cozy slippers, your eggnog, your whimsy, and your love of fake European royalty and join our Agents on this mission to Balmorovia or something like that.

Annette Wierstra with Kathy Campbell, Shelly Brisbin and Moisés Chiullan


30

Shaun’s Had a Rough Day

Our SMOOCHtacular Halloween month is ending with the modern classic and original ZomRomCom: 2004 Shaun of the Dead. Join our Agents as they search for love triangles and zombies on this spoOoOooOOoky mission. This movie is every bit as much a romance as it is a horror-comedy and is halfway to a musical with its precise choreography. Agents also discuss the Cornetto trilogy and reminisce about early 2000s technology. Will we make it to the Winchester? We got you covered with our kitchen implements and cricket bats.

But, um… you’ve got red on you.

Annette Wierstra with Sandra Wong, Kelly Guimont and Moisés Chiullan


29

To the Moon and Back

Join our Agents for a bonus mission to the Back of the Moon. This film is part of the upcoming online Canadian South African Film festival and we got a sneak preview. We follow the gangster Bra Max on the last day in 1958, in Sophiatown, a black community just at the edge of Johannesburg. Our agents look at the local gang battle set within the greater story of Apartheid in South Africa. And within these threads sits the romance of Max and the singer Eve Msomi who get one night to explore their love before everything changes.

Content Warning: We do discuss violence and sexual assault that is depicted in this movie.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan and Cicero Holmes


28

Calling the Phone Tree Coven

We are continuing our SMOOCHtacular October of spooooky romances with the classic Practical Magic. We stan the sisters Gillian and Sally and their perfectly witchy aunts in this movie that is a romance and so much more. Get out your broom as we discuss all the Halloweeny, witchy things and multiple generations of powerful women who come together to cast a spell on us.

Annette Wierstra with Tiff Arment and Kayti Burt


27

Love in the Female Gaze

We are starting our SMOOCHtacular October with a mummy and a boy with a pretty epic treehouse. It’s time for a Brendan Fraser double feature! In this mission, we look at how *The Mummy *and *George of the Jungle *focus on the female gaze. And not just because both these movies have particularly pretty casts. We head into the jungle and the desert to look search for treasure, battle enemies, woo the handsome hero, and find out why these movies are still enticing us all off on adventures.

Annette Wierstra with Kathy Campbell and Moisés Chiullan


26

Two Robots Crying on Cue

Mix two hot actors, a sexy red room, and a lot of sex and nudity, and you’d think you’d have sexy movie magic. But our Agents find the movie Fifty Shades of Grey lacking in chemistry and rather mechanical. We bring a new Agent with kink expertise on this mission to help us discuss our feelings about the book series, movie, and what we wish it could be. What do we want? More fun and humour and joy in the film’s portrayal of sex and romance. And montages. Sexy, sexy montages. The real question is: Can we do a Moises style mini-series and make it good?
Warning! This is episode is marked explicit just so Agent Moises can properly express the depth of his feelings. We also are talking about sex, consent, and kink, a lot.

Annette Wierstra with Kathy Campbell, Tiff Arment, Moisés Chiullan and Veronica Yanhs


25

Danny Sous Vido

Join our Agents for an Incomprehensible Commentary where our usually refined and thoughtful commentary is subsumed under wine and cocktails. It starts chaotic and goes off the rails while we watch and sometimes discuss 1985’s The Jewel of the Nile. The commentary is a final bonus episode to end our 2020 Virtual Vacation. It is the (probably inferior) sequel to our more sober Romancing the Stone discussion. If this kind of nonsense is your kind of nonsense, you can sign up to be an Incomparable member to get access to all our commentaries and more member extras at: https://www.theincomparable.com/members/. *Caution! *There may be swearing. *Warning! *There is definitely singing.

Annette Wierstra with Kelly Guimont, Brian Hamilton, Jean MacDonald and Moisés Chiullan


24

Thank God for Tiny Wheels

Join us in our final Virtual Vacation mission hiking through Columbia to rescue one of our own in Romancing the Stone (1984). Our Agents are relieved that this croc-laden 80’s adventure romance is more exciting than our last one. And ultimately, we acknowledge the greatness that is Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas (and their free-flowing hair). Our Agents use the internet to solve all our problems so we don’t have to go on an elaborate adventure due to the lack of a cell phone. Pack carefully because we’re tossing that luggage as soon as it becomes too much a bother to carry around.

Annette Wierstra with Deborah Stanish, Brian Hamilton, Kelly Guimont and Tiff Arment


23

No Guilt. All Pleasure.

In our Penultimate Virtual Vacation stop, we squeeze in a mission to Iceland and Edinburgh to watch 2020’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Our Agents discuss how comedy with heart is the best comedy and develop our spin-off movies and shows about Sigrid, Lars, Alexander, and Mita. Our resident Eurovision expert from Sweden, Julia, gives us the low down on how well this movie represents the Eurovision Song Contest and lots of Icelandic Elf lore. Warm-up your vocals, because there will be a song-a-long.

Annette Wierstra with Sage Young, Moisés Chiullan and Julia Skott


22

452 Kinds of Cheese

We’re in France for our Virtual Vacation! Drinking wine, eating cheese, taking the train across the country with French Kiss (1995). This classic Meg Ryan and Kevin Klein is a little bit rom-com and a little bit caper and comes together in Cannes for romantic hijinks. Will our Agents be swayed by Luc’s slightly greasy charm and Kate’s insistent quest to win back the man she loves? They definitely have opinions about French and Canadian accents. And about men who are like little boys who follow their whims without thought. Join us in France for a Sea Breeze by La Mer.

Annette Wierstra with Erika Ensign, Shelly Brisbin and Julia Skott


21

You Can’t Put a Price on Destino

Our virtual vacation long weekend in Italy with Only You (1994) begins with controversy because our Agents are divided about the quality of this movie. Only You is a road trip through Italy with your BFF who knows how to pack your bag better than you do. It is jammed packed with people making bad decisions while Faith searches for the elusive Damon Bradley who may or may not be her Mr. Right. Will any of our Agents switch allegiances? Probably not, but join us for a passionate battle to win your heart over to this film or to get you run in the other direction.

Annette Wierstra with Sage Young, Brian Hamilton and Julia Skott


20

Survival Instincts of a Drunk Beetle

Our Agents are traipsing through Europe in this Virtual Vacation, trailing after the president’s daughter Anna in Chasing Liberty (2004). While we like the scenery (Hello Matthew Goode and Mandy Moore), we question whether Anna should be quite so careless with her wallet and her wellbeing. Follow us on this caper through the countryside with side trips into Canadian and Newfoundland accents, the Good Wife, and COVID era travel (or the lack of it). Our Agents offer valuable travel safety tips to keep you safe on your own romantic virtual vacation.

Annette Wierstra with Quinn Rose and Erika Ensign


19

They’re Pretty in All the Timelines

Welcome to another crossover where Lions, Towers, and Shields podcast host, Shelly Brisbin, joins our agents for a timey-whimey road trip for our Virtual Vacation series. Our agents tease apart the five(?) timelines in Two for the Road (1967), starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney using the cars the characters drive. Join us as we criss-cross through ten years of time and space while road-tripping through France towards the Mediterranean coast. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing, sometimes it’s rocky, sometimes there are too many people in the car. Make sure you pack the sunscreen.

Annette Wierstra with Shelly Brisbin and Jean MacDonald


18

She Speaks Volumes With Her Gaze

It’s time to visit Nairobi, Kenya on our Virtual Summer Vacation with 2018’s Rafiki. Our agents come away from this visit with a deep appreciation for the Afrobubblegum style of filmmaking and the beauty of the movie. The story of Kena and Ziki is set in the context of a community and country where being queer is banned and yet Rafiki portrays a confident and intimate love story. Our agents were both moved and hopeful for the story of these two young Kenyan women.

Annette Wierstra with Kathy Campbell, Sage Young and Suriya Veerappan


17

You Could Have Killed Off Norman

This week on our virtual vacation we are staying at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India. While this is a movie that provides beautiful images of India, our mission examines how its colonial lens affects the movie’s portrayal of the characters. Our Agents imagine bringing to life the romance and the stories that we see hiding in plain sight within the movie. This inevitably leads to someone deciding that this is a story that would be better told in a TV series. We have our brand, and it is always for more romance and more depth and diversity.

ISO: Romance novels about senior lovers.

Annette Wierstra with Jean MacDonald, Sandra Wong and Lynne Thomas


16

Lifestyles of the Rich and Asian

We hope your suitcases are full of fancy gowns and designer shoes. No? That’s okay, we are overdue for a Makeover Montage! We’re heading to Singapore on our Virtual Vacation 2020 for a family wedding with Crazy Rich Asians. We continue our escapist mission travelling the globe through romance movies. This gorgeous movie is all glam with possibly the fanciest wedding movie ever conceived. Are the books better? Do we want to see the sequels brought to life? Find out in this mission. Perhaps not surprisingly, Annette is focused on dumplings so the Agents plan a dumpling party that you are all invited to.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan, Sandra Wong, Tiff Arment and Kelly Guimont


15

My Big Fat Greek Vacation

Our Virtual Vacation continues with this bonus episode! Join us on our second Crossover Mission with Julia Skott and AJ Knox and their Chick Flick Fix Podcast.

My Life in Ruins also NOT known as My Big Fat Greek Vacation. But it could be. We take a fantasy vacation to explore ruins and romance. And souvlaki.

Julia Skott and AJ Knox


14

I Didn’t Plan to Seduce a Stranger

Our Special Agents discuss virtual vacation logistics on this Hong Kong stop for our mission about the 2015 movie, Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong. It’s a movie that gives you a front seat on an almost, kind of, sort of date that wanders through Hong Kong’s nightlife. Prepare to get hungry because we talk about spicy crab and dim sum. A lot. We tease the ending repeatedly because our Agents really want you to watch the movie before we spoil the ending. So just go watch it. We’ll wait until you get back.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan and Quinn Rose


13

Princess Anna’s Day Off

Our Virtual Vacation continues with this bonus episode! Join us on our first Crossover Mission with Shelly Brisbin and her Lions, Towers & Shields Podcast.

We offer you a summer movie set in Rome. Directed by William Wyler, and starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, Roman Holiday tells the story of an American newspaper reporter who meets a princess and liberates her from the confinement of her royal station for a romantic adventure in 1950s Rome for a classic royal and the commoner tale. The people and the scenery are beautiful, and the actors have lovely chemistry. This is among the earliest, and best of the 1950s-60s films that took Americans to a Europe that had finally begun recovering from the horrors of World War II.

Shelly Brisbin with Annette Wierstra and Sage Young


12

Sepsis Waiting to Happen

Our Virtual Vacation continues with a stop in Australia for 1986’s Crocodile Dundee with Paul Hogan. It’s always risky when you revisit the hits of 35 years ago. We remembered the heady of days of being a reporter with a seemingly bottomless budget. And how the movie inspired all of us to put Australia on our travel lists. Did it age well? Were we pleasantly surprised? At least when you travel back to the 80s you are guaranteed to get some awesome wardrobe choices. Linda Kozlowski as reporter Sue Charlton did not let us down. Come back to the 80s Outback with us, if you dare. It’s not just the crocodiles that are dangerous.

Annette Wierstra with Deborah Stanish and Jean MacDonald


11

No Snakes, Just Goats

Join our Agents on the first stop of our Virtual Vacation 2020! While we are all stuck at or close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission is to travel the globe through romance movies. We start our vacation in Beechwood Downs, New Zealand with Falling Inn Love. This movie is a gentle rom-com that shows off the scenic country while leading us through Netflix’s take on a Hallmark movie. Its slow pace and likeable characters are the perfect companions for a relaxing start our vacation together. Weighing comfort over romance, our Agents just can’t endorse hiking in the dark in wet clothes. And then they turn their imagined sequel into a very different kind of movie.

Next stop: Australia!

Annette Wierstra with Kathy Campbell and Quinn Rose


10

We’re Making Omelets

Time for Mission Double Feature and Chill! It’s an Austen adaptation mashup with Clueless and Bridget Jone’s Diary. At least two decades later do these classic romcoms hold up? Can modern Austen heroes and heroines give us the vapours? Ultimately our Agents just want you to know that despite your silly mother, your bad driving, your blue omelets and green gunge, your refusal to listen to The Cranberries… We like you. Just as you are.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan, Jean MacDonald and Sage Young


09

Just Let the Kids be Horny

Our Agents of S.M.O.O.C.H. are drinking on the job. Is this a good idea? Probably. Not. After discussing the creepy romanticness of the Twilight movie, we present our first tipsy commentary. This commentary expands on our regular Twilight discussion with immediate reactions to the movie through red wine tinted glasses. Which doesn’t make this movie any less blue. If chaotic commentary is your thing, uncork your bottle of red and press play on 1, 2, 3, Bella!

Annette Wierstra with Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Tiff Arment


08

50 Shades of Blue

It’s our first Heart Surgery mission where we pick apart a movie that is much maligned and decide what our hearts really feel. The surgery candidate: Twilight the movie, the book, the TV show that we expect will inevitably appear. Is this movie your “Great Shame” or do you love it unabashedly? Is Edward smelling a skunk or is he swoon-worthy? Do you like all the baseball or is it too much baseball? Do you think it is too blue or exactly the right amount of blue? Regardless of your opinion, we have an Agent to defend your opinion. Except for the blue. No one’s defending that. Well, maybe one.

Annette Wierstra with Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Tiff Arment


07

Comics Make Love Too

Forget superheroes! Our special agents are on a mission of love in the pages of comic books and graphic novels. To do this topic justice we’ve brought in some specialized agents including Danica Le Blanc, an owner of a local comic book store (LCBS), and Paul Cornell, a comic book writer. Our team has recommendations for teen romance, queer romance, and erotic romance proving that everyone can find love in the racks of the comic book store.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan, Paul Cornell and Danica LeBlanc


06

Pamplona Bebes!

Listen to our agents on this swoon-worthy mission for the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek. If you are wondering if this show is for you, the agents open with a spoiler light pitch for why you will want to join this fandom. Then, with a focus on the Rose family’s romantic relationships, they reminisce over all six seasons of the show. The agents declare that we’re all a little bit Alexis before spontaneously awarding our second SMOOCHIE for romance in a Comedy Show. It’s simply the best.

Annette Wierstra with Sage Young, Quinn Rose, Brian Hamilton and Shelly Brisbin


05

Austen’s Mechanics of Marriage

Welcome to our First Jane Austen Mission! Our Special Agents of S.M.O.O.C.H. discuss the newest Emma adaptation directed by Autumn de Wilde. They explore their feelings around Austen, adaptations, and how Austen always presents us with so much more than romance. It’s hard to stop so our Agents are already plotting more Regency related missions.

Annette Wierstra with Jean MacDonald, Sage Young and Joy Piedmont


04

Back to Hot Dad

Join our Special Agents on their first double feature. We examine the first two installments of the Netflix trilogy: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the teen rom-com centred on Lara Jean Covey. Inevitably we discuss which romance team we are on and the trials and tribulations of a high school romance. It’s a roller coaster of emotions where we propose multiple spin-offs and toss about wild speculations. But there is one thing we all agree on: we’re all paging Doctor Covey.

Annette Wierstra with Quinn Rose, Moisés Chiullan and Sage Young


3

A Room With A Vyse

Join our agents as they melt over the first installment of our Merchant/Ivory Club: A Room with a View. This classic movie from 1985 is packed full of stars who present a love story with humour, a sweeping classical soundtrack, and a kiss that weakens the knees. A love story this rich and fulfilling deserves to be savoured.

Annette Wierstra with Moisés Chiullan and Jean MacDonald


2

She Megged Her John

Join the S.M.O.O.C.H. Organization Mission #2: In which we delve into the romances of Little Women. Will Jo meet her match? Will Amy win our hearts? Will Meg find happiness? Follow our agents as we celebrate the latest spin on this classic by Greta Gerwig. And we spontaneously present the first ever SMOOCHIE Award.

Annette Wierstra with Jean MacDonald, Sage Young and Moisés Chiullan


1

Love to Snipe You, Baby

Happy Valentine’s Day Agents! Welcome to our inaugural episode from the S.M.O.O.C.H. Organization. We’re celebrating the holiday of love with a draft of our Special Agent’s favourite romance movies paired with a romantic dessert. Will we pick your favourite romance? Maybe Probably not. But we promise it will be delicious.

Annette Wierstra with Quinn Rose, Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Jean MacDonald


0

Welcome to Agents of SMOOCH!

You are invited to join SMOOCH. Become part of an organization dedicated to searching out romance and celebrating all the things that make you swoon. Before we launch our inaugural mission on Valentine’s Day, we want you to meet some of our special agents and learn why we are excited to be part of SMOOCH.

Annette Wierstra with Erika Ensign, Quinn Rose, Moisés Chiullan, Sage Young, Kirsten Goruk, Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell