I’m a rom com guy. I’m a hopeless romantic and I enjoy laughing. So, a rom com combines two things I enjoy very much. For some reason, rom coms also known as “chick flicks” are like Kryptonite to most heterosexual men. The very name “chick flick” scares off many men who are insecure of their sexuality. And many other men are either afraid to or don’t know how to show emotion. So, as a general rule, the bros will avoid them like uh…Kryptonite.
With this list, however, I hope to give some recommendations to normal people and a little push to the men who suffer with romcomitis. Maybe they’ll give one of these a shot while no one is looking. Maybe they’re roped into rom com night and have no choice but to watch them, so they can be a hero by being proactive with a suggestion.
Everyone loves the classics; Say Anything, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Annie Hall and if you haven’t seen them, they come with my highest recommendations. But some great, if not classic, rom coms have come out in the last ten years or so. And they should be seen and put into the watch over and over rotation.
In no particular order..
27 DRESSES (Anne Fletcher, 2008)
This is a fantastic film about being a bridesmaid and never the bride. Ya got your Katherine Heigl and you got your James Marsden and it takes place in NYC and it’s a great one.
BRIDESMAIDS (Paul Feig, 2011)
Kristen Wiig at the height of her powers. Melissa McCarthy in her star making role. Stellar cast. Smart script. Wilson Phillips. Masterpiece. I shouldn’t have to even suggest it, but sometimes a film slips through the cracks. Uncrack this one if it did.
LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (Greg BerlantI, 2010)
Great film about an orphaned girl and Josh Duhamel, a playboy, and Katherine Heigl, not a big fan of Josh, charged with raising the little girl together as requested in the will of their dead best friends. It’s actually quite cheery!
CRAZY STUPID LOVE (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, 2011)
Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Juliane Phillips. Give these great actors a great script and then get out of the way. A new classic.
DEFINITELY, MAYBE (Adam Brooks, 2008)
Just a textbook awesome rom com script, cast, and execution. Ryan Reynolds takes the lead as a divorced, political consultant in NYC and one night he tells his daughter about all of his relationships. She is tasked with guessing which one is her mom. It’s so so good. Funny. Heart warming. You may cry. Really. Enjoy.
JUST FRIENDS (Roger Kumble, 2005)
Ryan Reynolds in his career leaping role, after Van Wilder, as a former fat guy who is now a stud and ends up stuck back at home during Christmas. The girl he loved in high school, Amy Smart, is still his obsession. And it’s a wonderfully entertaining script with a movie stealing role played by Ana Farris as a psychotic pop star stuck in the hometown with him.
PS. I LOVE YOU (Richard LaGravenese, 2007)
Dead husband. Letters written before he died to help her get over it. Hillary Swank as the widow. Ireland. All good good stuff.
LOVE ACTUALLY (Richard Curtis, 2003)
No words necessary. An absolute Christmas classic with an all star cast hitting all the right notes. RIP Alan Rickman!
THE HOLIDAY (Nancy Meyers, 2006)
Same as Love Actually. You can’t love one and not the other. Or you’re like a weird person or something.
THE PROPOSAL (Anne Fletcher, 2009)
Ahhh! What a movie! Ryan Reynolds again. What can I say? RyRey does rom coms good. Also no rom com slouch, Sandra Bullock as his wretched boss who’s about to be deported to Canada. Unless, they get married. In Alaska. Betty White, in one of her last starring roles. Wonderful piece of cinema.
STUCK IN LOVE (Josh Boone, 2012)
This isn’t so much a rom com as it is a family drama with romance and comedy sprinkles. I’ve watched this movie ten times. I love it. It’s smart. It’s got heart. Tremendous young cast including Logan Lerman and a stellar older cast that anchors the film. Greg Kinnear as a novelist and Jennifer Connolly, as beautiful as ever on both the inside and out, as his ex-wife. If you have a heart at all, I can’t give this a higher recommendation.
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (Nicholas Stoller, 2008)
Classic masterpiece rom com comedy. Jason Segal, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, scene stealing Paul Rudd, Hawaii and that blonde chick from that TV show as Sarah Marshall….AND the beautiful, smart Mila Kunis in the role that made millions of people fall in love with her. If you still haven’t seen this, you really need to evaluate the entire process of how your movie pipeline forms and find out where there are holes and instability. Because if you haven’t seen this, something went horribly wrong.
There ya go. Enjoy!