Love and laughter is the simple formula to living a great life and we often ignore this simple equation when we try to reason why so many of us enjoy this genre of film. The older I get I discover how beautiful this genre of films truly is because the older we all get the more we discover what makes our worlds truly go around and rom-coms are the illustrations for what people truly desire.
Rom-coms have a special place in my heart because I believe in love and laughter so why would anyone object to that. The silly title of “chick-flick” would often be thrown around for many films dealing with romance and humor, but that should not strictly be for any one gender or otherwise. This is why I am here, as a man, to give you a list of my favorite romantic-comedies.
Some of these films may be more dramatic than others, but their core traits lie in the humor and cheesy pick up lines or witty romantic dialogue so be nice. Also, this is my list so your list will look much different than mine.
15. Sleepless in Seattle (1993): The overcast of Seattle’s waterfront location serves as a perfect backdrop in this touching film that stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as two people struck with different realizations about truly being in love and through the help of Hank’s son, a long distance relationship involving radio calls and letters galore get each other closer to each other in a perfectly 90’s kind of way.
14. Annie Hall (1977): Considered an American masterpiece by most (which it is), Woody Allen directs his signature film with the cleverly written script about a writer going through relationship problems and quips with his singer girlfriend. It’s perfectly directed in a style Allen is known for and holds up as a staple of American film making. It makes you laugh and want to keep following along with the rapidly paced narrative.
13. Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012): One of the best modern films through any genre, it presents us the dryly prepared dramedy that pairs Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence for the first of many David O. Russell films. It has more heart than laughs, but when the laughs come they are here to stay. Lawrence captures the troubled weirdo with a soul to tee, so well in fact, she took home the Oscar, but it’s the craftsmanship of Lawrence and Cooper’s relationship throughout that makes this a great rom-com.
12. 13 Going On 30 (2004): Jennifer Garner and a tamed Hulk aka Mark Ruffalo turn heads in the best ways in a film about accepting who you are and to realize what is truly important and who make your life so important to live. Garner does a great job as a 13 year old girl in 30 year old body as she goes from insecure teenager to successful, but hated magazine columnist. Realizing that you need to be careful for what you wish for becomes all too true in this film.
11. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961): “She take my mon-ey! Well I’m in deeeep…” comes to mind when I think of Audrey Hepburn’s Holly, but man in this a goody and a classic. If you haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, take a step back into time of cinema as the Hollywood we all like to reminisce over.
10. The Proposal (2009): Two abnormally gorgeous people take a trip to Alaska so the one gorgeous person doesn’t get deported to Canada. The plot alone is a winner. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock are more than funny in this film than we’ve seen them at the time this came out. One of the best scenes my sister and I share a laugh over involves Bullock singing “Get Low” by the Ying Yang Twins and Lil Jon in the woods only for Betty White to come out of nowhere. It’s hilarious, but also a romance that proves to us that sometimes it’s best to pretend to marry your hot bitchy boss, it might actually make you marry them!
9. Enough Said (2013): Romantic comedies tend to always have these young high school or college students and the perils they go through in their green lives, but it’s the honesty and wit of Enough Said that brings new live into the genre. Julia Louise-Dreyfus makes 53 look like 25 and James Gandolfini was charming as ever in this lighthearted look at divorce and children and getting back into the swing of things in the dating scene.
8. What If… (2014): Who wants to see Daniel Radcliffe in a way far beyond Harry Potter? Who wants to see a rom-com that tackles the real issues that involve the infamous “friend-zone” and the pros and cons of having a best friend who’s the opposite gender as you? Ooh me! What a great breath of fresh air was What If… as it approached the previous issues with a classy, dry wit form of comedy while also making both men and women think about the connection a person has with their best friend and if they are truly compatible as a couple. It’s diamond in the indie-film rough that you should all check out.
7. Chasing Amy (1997): A movie about a comic book artist who falls in love with a lesbian written by Kevin Smith…we know it’s going to be weird, but man is it a good movie. With all the quirks of Kevin Smith directed and written film, it stars Ben Affleck among other notable collaborators of Smith’s and takes you on the goofiest, but most unique look at loving someone and what it can do to friendships and careers and how far someone will go for love.
6. Crazy Stupid Love (2011): The “movie coincidence” as I call it when everything ties together somehow whether that’s good or bad. Crazy Stupid Love has the talented cast of Steve Carrell, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and many more. It is the story of struggling marriages and the genesis of whole new relationships as it is anchored by it’s strong leads. It details the true intimacy a person needs in a relationship rather than the mere physical and it makes you think for awhile. Great flick.
5. Amelie (2001): Nobody who can stand subtitles has likely seen this French masterpiece, but if you get the chance you are going to experience a heartwarming tale about a girl who tries to do right as many people around her as she can. Through imagination and hope, Amelie keeps you focused with it’s bizarre choice of camera angles and confidently weird style. It makes you want to look at everything around you more differently than you did before and that’s something worth noting.
4. The Princess Bride (1987): It’s just classic.
3. (500) Days of Summer (2009): I was late the party for this one, but it doesn’t matter, this is one of the greatest modern romantic comedies you will ever see. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are superb in this brutally honest look on love as Tom (Gordon-Levitt) falls for a girl at the office and through time lapses that span within their 500 day relationship, the brutal truths about love and friendship surface. It’s not a by the book rom-com either due to the way the director Marc Webb chose to go about informing his audience on where and how everything went within the story.
2. Hitch (2005): There is a magic to this film that I can’t exactly pin-point. I am not saying I am Hitch, but I can relate to this film the most. The class Will Smith exudes as Alex Hitchens while still conveying a humanistic side to the successful matchmaker in New York gets me giddy inside. The humor is funny, but doesn’t rely on new age potty humor like most tend to do and it is realistic for what it is. It’s one of my all time favorite films, not just rom-com, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
1. When Harry Met Sally… (1989): Many would argue that Annie Hall is the poster child for romantic comedies, but as good as Annie Hall is, I can’t believe it is the better and more re-watchable film. A list with romantic comedies can’t be complete if this film isn’t on your list. It has stood the test of time as being laugh out loud funny, extremely smart, and cleverly directed with an honesty all people can appreciate when it comes to being in then out then in a relationship again. I always think of specific people when I watch this movie and it too has a vacancy in my heart for one of the most enjoyable flicks of all time.