I have a confession. I have an unabashed love for romantic comedies. I know this is far from the manliest proclamation I’ve ever made, but it is true. While other guys dash to theaters to see Troy or 300, I would much rather buy a ticket to a good romantic comedy. The keyword being ‘good’, because in today’s movie landscape a good romantic comedy comes about as often as the Hale-Bopp comet. Anything starring Jennifer Aniston, almost anything featuring Katherine Heigl and everything with Josh Duhumal is sure to be terrible. So without further ado, my top seven Rom Coms.
Honorable Mentions: 10 Things I Hate About You, Adventureland, Midnight in Paris, Wedding Crashers
7) Crazy, Stupid, Love.
A recent one starring two of my favorite actors, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, throw in the crush-worthy Emma Stone and the still hot (even at 51) Julianne Moore and you have a near perfect ensemble. If I could buy stock in actors I would have hit it huge with Carell and Gosling. I rode the Carell bandwagon from his days on The Daily Show and lauded Gosling since Half Nelson. Coming into this film everyone knew Carell could bring the funny and he did, but the question was could Gosling. Like I said I have been a Ryan Gosling fan for years, everything from Half Nelson to Lars and the Real Girl to Blue Valentine, but I believe this film made him a bona fide movie star. His raw charisma emanates from the screen like a young Jack Nicholson or George Clooney in his prime.
6) You’ve Got Mail
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made such an adorable couple in Joe Versus the Volcano they got together three years later for Sleepless in Seattle and then figured why not be adorable again in You’ve Got Mail. Meg Ryan must have been built by some mad Hollywood producer in a lab somewhere, combining the perfect cocktail of attractiveness, delightfulness and pouting for the faultless Rom Com heroine. Add Tom Hanks, arguably the most likeable guy in the Hollywood, and it’s really hard to miss. So what if AOL is a thing of the past, and no one under the age of twenty even knows what AOL is. These two invented online dating, well maybe not invented, but definitely popularized it. Bonus it co-stars Dave Chappelle, so there’s that too.
5) 40 Year Old Virgin/ Knocked Up/ Forgetting Sarah Marshall
I lump these Judd Apatow classics together because it is just too hard to separate them, plus they are so far from the “classic romantic comedy” stereotype. 40 Year Old Virgin plays more as a buddy comedy for the first half of the film but it certainly dips into romantic comedy territory over the second half. Earlier I said “almost anything featuring Katherine Heigl is terrible”, she can thank Knocked Up for that ‘almost’. Forgetting Sarah Marshall probably functions the most as a romantic comedy of the trio, but with that being said, how many romantic comedies have you seen with full frontal male nudity. Oh yea, remember when I said Tom Hanks is arguably the most likable guy in the Hollywood, his main competition is Paul Rudd.
4) Say Anything…
I have made my fondness for Cameron Crowe known in earlier posts, so this should come as no surprise. John Cusack plays Lloyd Dobler, a role he reprises in every film he’s starred in since. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to take a dig at John Cusack, I actually really like him, but he is undoubtedly one note. That’s okay though, when your one note is Lloyd Dobler, I’m fine with it. Truth be told, in romantic situations I do regularly ask myself, “What Would Lloyd Dobler Do?”
3) (500) Days of Summer
Now we’re getting to the nitty gritty. Although (500) Days of Summer claims not to be a love story, it certainly is a romantic comedy. I just watched New Girl so my crush on Zooey Deschanel teeters at critical mass and you can thank this movie for starting that crush. Also I’ve been a fan of Joseph-Gordon Levitt since 3rd Rock from the Sun. (500) Days of Summer is a hipster sweetheart, but don’t let that discourage you, it’s also a pretty awesome movie, plus (spoiler) it has the balls to not have the two main characters end up with each other.
2) When Harry Met Sally
Of course Meg Ryan pops up again, I thought I told you she was created by scientists to be the perfect female lead in any romantic comedy (predating 2003). For my money When Harry Met Sally is the perfect romantic comedy. You ever hear the expression “don’t try and reinvent the wheel,” well this film doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it just produces the perfect wheel. It plays just like any cliché rom com you’ve seen a million times, but it executes everything so precisely and perfectly. There is absolutely nothing groundbreaking about this movie and I don’t mean that as a criticism, it is just superbly acted, excellently written, beautifully shot, super funny and revolves around a great love story with likable leads. And I haven’t even mentioned Billy Crystal yet, who is at the top of his comedic and charismatic powers. But after all that it still isn’t my number one.
1) Annie Hall
My number one belongs to Annie Hall. First I must admit my affection for Woody Allen. He is a magnificent writer, extremely funny and unbelievably smart. Diane Keaton is wonderful in this film too, sort of the beta Zooey Deschanel, the original hipster crush. It won four Oscars including Best Picture. So much of this film awes me, its honesty, wit and style. Annie Hall does not fall for the trappings of the conventional rom com (spoiler) he doesn’t get the girl at the end, but because of that it plays so sincere. I have hard time writing about Annie Hall because my feelings toward it are so visceral; this film creeps into my mind at least two or three times a month, even if I have gone months without seeing it. Truly a masterpiece.