Joe Versus the Volcano is an example of how a romantic comedy should be made. The movie varies from presenting a serious story, with a dark portrayal of Joe’s life, to making a mockery of the story, with plot points nonsensically resolved throughout the movie. This makes it a very absurd film which defies the expectations of the audience, yet still manages to fall under the romantic comedy cliché.
The film follows a life-changing event for themain character Joe Banks who’s been told he only has 6 months to live. This isn’t bad news for Joe as he has been wasting his life working a dead-end job. Upon this news, Joe quits his job and accepts an offer to travel to an island in the South Pacific to “live like a king and die like a man” and then willingly jump into a volcano to appease the Gods. He embarks on his journey to the island of Waponi Woo guided by two very disparate sisters, trying to puzzle out the meaning of existence.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is sick and tired of the generic romcom, as well as any fans of wacky absurdism. I’d also recommend this film to any fans of Meg Ryan. She gives possibly her best performance playing three separate roles that are very diverse to the point that you can’t tell it’s her!