I LOVE ROMANTIC COMEDIES! The inner cheez-balls in me comes out every time I watch one of these movies. I love how you can just stop thinking for an hour or two and try to let loose by watching two people try to fall in love on-screen as hi-jinks surround them. There’s something really stupid – yet magical about the whole shebang.
Being raised by single women during the nineties, I can safely say I’ve pretty much seen all the “standard” rom-coms a beginner should watch. I grew up hanging out (well, sort of) with Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock and all the other rom-com queens. True, I may have been a bit too young to appreciate them fully back then, but that’s exactly what blu-rays and DVD’s are for (I just have to point out that I am somehow disappointed by the current shortage of quality rom-com’s).
Through the years, I’ve been “reconnecting” with some of the old movies I grew up watching and recently, I was asked by a friend to recommend a couple of rom-coms to her. This blog post is basically my attempt at giving back and helping a romantic comedy noob by coming up with a list of my top 10 Romanic Comedy picks.
I could easily start with number 1, but I won’t because I’m cool like that, so I’m gonna do it in reverse.
Here we go…
10. Sleepless In Seattle (1993) Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks
This Nora Ephron classic is cheesy, sweet, and wonderful. It features great chemistry between Ryan and Hanks plus it comes with an awesome soundtrack. I don’t wanna spoil anything but it’s got something to do with a call-in radio show, the empire state building, and the main characters separated by a bunch of states. That should be enough to get your attention.
9. Runaway Bride (1999) Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
Gary Marshall struck gold with this rom-com. For the second time around, Roberts and Gere proved that they have awesome on-screen chemistry and they know it! The title pretty much says it all, plot-wise, but don’t worry, there are a whole bunch of quirks that will leave you curious and excited to see the rest of the movie. You also get to watch Julia try on a bunch of wedding gowns -remember, this movie was set in the 90’s – so that’s always a plus.
8. The Wedding Singer (1998) Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler
Ah. Julia Gulia. This movie also birthed the really popular song , probably one of the most requested, on Valentine’s Day: Grow Old With You. I am not a big Adam Sandler fan (especially his later works *Jack and Jill* *cough, cough*) but this is one of his most likeable films to date. Of course, it’s sort of a given that Drew will charm the crap out of you. There’s something about that crooked smile and that toothy laugh that makes every dude want her and every girl want to be her. This tandem proved super effective that they actually collaborated again in the 2004 hit, 50 First Dates (not on this list.) The dynamic duo also has an upcoming rom-com (Blended) to be released next year. Will it be a hit, or a miss?
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Andie MacDowell, Hugh Grant
Ugh. Hugh Grant. You know how Zooey Deschanel’s all bout being quirky and adorable and socially awkward and all that jazz? Well, Hugh Grant beat her to it ages ago. Yep. Every stutter-y and jitter-y line delivered by this hunky Brit seems to sell the whole movie to women all over the planet. Socially awkward has never been sexier. Of course, there’s also Andie MacDowell and she delivers a solid performance in this unique romantic comedy. Kristin Scott Thomas is also definitely worth mentioning. She adds a certain dash of sophistication that makes this film all the more interesting.
6. Pretty Woman (1990) Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
This is Roberts and Gere’s first collaboration under the eye of rom-com genius Gary Marshall. Come on, what’s not to love? Rich, hunky and too-good-to-be-true hero? Check! Hooker with a heart of gold who’s just waiting for her happily ever after? DOUBLE CHECK! Sure, this is another story of a rich dude and a poor girl falling in love and ending up with each other but there’e more to it than meets the eye. Actually, Richard Gere’s glare/stare is enough reason to watch this movie. *swoon*
5. When Harry Met Sally (1989) Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal
This film is both romantic and smart. That’s a very rare combination, but this film pulls it off seamlessly. The lines are very well written. You get generous helpings of sarcasm and wit delivered expertly by Ryan and Crystal and you also get all the feel-good goo you usually have when watching rom-coms. I just love how this is almost not a love story because they start off as very different people (don’t they always?) but everything is structured perfectly that the whole thing just falls into place in the best way possible. I obviously do not want to reveal a lot, story-wise, because I don’t want to spoil anything, so just go on and rent/buy this rom-com masterpiece.
4. Notting Hill (1999) Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant
This is sort of like a fairytale, hollywood-style. Watch ordinary-bookstore-guy William Thacker and Hollywood royalty Anna Scott fall in love and beat the odds. Julia can definitely act, Hugh has his own bumbling-yet-loveable thing going on, I mean, what’s not to like? You also get to tag along as they go around London and that’s always a plus. The soundtrack’s pretty cool, too.
3. You’ve Got Mail (1998) Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks
This Hanks-Ryan reunion film comes in at number three because there’s something really cute about old people figuring out e-mails and stuff. LOL. No, seriously. This is like an updated version of those old-timey pen pal-driven love stories. I mean, come on! We know Hanks and Ryan can both act, we also know they have terrific chemistry together and back in ’98 emailing and AOL chat was all the rage! This was such a no-brainer kind of film that everyone expected it to be a huge success. Of course, it didn’t disappoint. Everyone wanted to sink into the gooey goodness the movie offered. The movie raked in more than a quarter of a million dollars and everyone was pretty much cool with it.
2. While You Were Sleeping (1995) Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman
Set around Christmas time, this movie just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It tells the story of Lucy (Bullock, duh), a lonely token attendant, and her crazy, but super “awwwww” inducing journey to finding love and happiness. For me, the selling point is Bill Pullman and his “smoulder.” ‘Nuff said.
1. Love Actually (2003) Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson and every single British superstar on the planet (even that guy on The Walking Dead is in the movie)
This is a biased choice for me because I admit, I am a HUGE Alan Rickman fangirl, and he’s in this movie. However, for the rest of you folks who aren’t really in it for Mr. Rickman, think of it as a super-sized romantic comedy: star-studded (The biggest British stars are stuffed in this 136-minute production), quite long, and story-filled. No kidding, there are about 8-9 interconnected love stories in this film. At times you might lose track of the characters and who they’ll end up with, but I think the beauty lies in the chaos. The posh British accent alone is reason enough to go check this movie out.
There it is. Ten of the best rom-coms according to me. How about you? Which movies made it to your top ten?