Saturday, February 14, 2009

Forget the Chocolate--curl up with a RomCom on V-Day!

Confession time: I am not into chick flicks. Steel Magnolias makes me gag. Terms of Endearment I can't even be bothered to see. And I think Sleepless in Seattle is by far the worst romantic comedy of them all.

But there are some rom-coms that hit the right notes for me. Instead of bemoaning your solitary state on Valentine's Day or spending too much on a fancy dinner out, head over to Blockbuster and curl up with a sweet (but not TOO sweet) movie:

1. The Wedding Singer - This is the sweeter side of Adam Sandler and how can you not love a soundtrack that features originals and covers of David Bowie, Dead or Alive, Culture Club and a cameo by Billy Idol?

2. 50 First Dates - Another Sandler flick again teaming him with the terminally cute Drew Barrymore. This came out at the same time as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (I know I'll ruffle some feathers here) I think it does a better job of exploring the connection between love and memory.

3. Ever After - Speaking of Drew Barrymore, she played a kick-ass and fiercely independent Cinderella in this unique retelling of the fairy tale classic.

4. Pretty Woman - I have at least two female friends who LOATHE this movie. And I totally get where they're coming from: sugar-coating prostitution into a Pygmalion-styled Cinderella story is a bit of a stretch. But it works for me for one reason: Julia Roberts. She is charisma, she is magic. That smile, that laugh, those big brown eyes.

And seriously--who wouldn't relish the opportunity to have someone who looks like Richard Gere as a sugar daddy? Sure it's formula--but the formula works.

5. The Truth About Cats and Dogs - Janeane Garofalo was so utterly adorable in this flick. I guess I have a thing for underdogs. And actual dogs...

6. 10 Things I Hate About You - This was the late Heath Ledger's break-through film and it also featured a young(er) Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The scene where Ledger serenades Stiles with "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" on the football field is a gem.

7. About a Boy - The real love story in this film is between Hugh Grant's self-absorbed manchild and Nicholas Hoult's geeky young Marcus. No, it's not anything pedophilic--but a belated coming of age story about a man jolted out of his narcissistic existence by a child wise beyond his years:

Christine: Oh,'s just I thought you had hidden depths.
Will: No, no, you've always had that wrong about me. I really am this shallow.
This one also features a mortifying song performance. It's brilliant.

8. He Said, She Said - Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins are great in this battle of the sexes story which ironically was directed by Ken Kwapis who is currently riding high on the success of He's Just Not That Into You. It's one story told twice, from each of the main character's perspective.

9. Roxanne - Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah in a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. It's pretty predictable, but still enjoyable.

10. Some Kind of Wonderful - Eric Stolz, Mary Stuart Masterson and Lea Thompson in a John Hughes-penned love triangle where the geek girl gets the guy! This almost makes up for the fact that bland Blaine triumphed over devoted Duckie in Pretty in Pink.



  1. Love Actually - the only one I care to see, but that one if for Christmas!

  2. I hear ya. But I think you might like the Adam Sandler flicks and About a Boy is definitely not your standard romcom chick flick.

  3. No Princess Bride? No When Harry Met Sally? Groundhog Day?

  4. Love Groundhog Day and Princess Bride--but I don't really consider them romantic comedies.

    Except for the little scenes with the real couples in When Harry Met Sally, it's pretty lame. I'll forgive Reiner because he did give us Spinal Tap...

  5. Bill Murray needs to find true love before he can stop reliving the same day and Cary Elwes braves the fire swamp to save his true love. They are comedies that revolve around romance. I'll have to start my own blog so I can list those ;)

  6. Groundhog Day is a comedy with romance. Princess Bride is just a plain romance story.

    Romantic comedy is a definite formula which in general terms is "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back." Groundhog Day isn't so much about Bill Murray's relationship with Andie MacDowell as it is about Bill Murray's relationship with the world around him.

    I don't consider Annie Hall a romantic comedy either.