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Top 10 Romantic Comedies

February 17th, 2010 in Articles by Josh

We’re not going to lie, here, we are big fans of romantic comedies. We like to mix laughter with crying as much as the next man/woman, hence we decided that it was high time we compiled a list of our favourite films that throw jokes and romance into a massive bowl and mix them around with a metaphorical wooden spoon.

It was an emotional process, and favourites like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and anything starring Renee Zellweger were dismissed within seconds. In Zellweger’s case, it was because she always looks like she’s about to say something mean for no reason. Hugh Grant also missed out, leaving these ten giants amongst little people

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

We’re big Bill Murray fans, we loved him in Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, and the one about trying to get off with the pretentious girl on holiday by quoting as many moving lines from Dawson’s Creek as possible. But his greatest turn comes in Groundhog Day, a film that couldn’t even be ruined by the looming presence of Andie MacDowell. He plays the part of a grumpy weatherman going through the same day over and over again, slowly wooing the aforementioned MacDowell, and as romantic comedies go, it’s basically the best one, which – somewhat ironically – we could watch repeatedly.

Annie Hall

Annie Hall

You can’t claim to love romantic comedies and not have sat through at least twenty Woody Allen films. The story is usually the same – a man in the middle of a panic attack falls in love with someone pretty who reads books, and then all hell breaks loose. Cue a little man making quips about sexual inadequacies, his love interest taking a shine to a poet/musician from “the Village”, him going slowly bananas, her saying that she’s really sorry but she’s moved on, him asking how she could possibly move on, her saying that she just has, him asking whether it was the relentless questioning that did it, her suggesting that it might have been, him asking what she means by that, her wondering what he’s getting at, him pointing out the other guy’s flaws, her saying that this kind of behaviour is exactly the problem, him suddenly going silent, her explaining that she just couldn’t live with his constant whinging, him whinging about that. The end. Brilliant.

Coming to America

Coming to America

There’s a message here – it goes something along the lines of “money isn’t everything”, or “it’s who you are on the inside that counts”, or “the meek shall inherit the earth”. And yet, in many ways, Eddie Murphy’s exercise in deception – playing an African prince pretending to be penniless in order to woo a lady – wouldn’t actually work in real life. Think about it – how many times have you seen a tramp in a doorway tongue kissing a beautiful model? Perhaps twice? Three times at a push? It’s very rare. Still, this is moving stuff, and probably the last of Eddie Murphy’s great turns. Unless you count the one about the fat people being all fat.

Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy

Here’s one for all of those unfortunate romantics who have managed to get to Date Three before realising that the moustached woman in dungarees sitting opposite is actually a lesbian. It’s always a massive cock-punch when that happens. Anyway, here, the lesbian is a bit of a curveball, because she looks like your everyday hetero in so many ways. Hence why Ben Affleck fancies his chances. That’s right, “Ben Affleck”. He’s in it, and the film is notable for starring Ben Affleck, and yet it doesn’t leave you with the urge to brick up your lounge, then run onto the streets to punch anyone who happens to be passing by in the face. For that reason alone, you have to watch it. It also stars Jason Lee, who – like Tom Cruise – thinks that some people are actually lizards.

The Seven Year Itch

Seven year itch

The oldest film in the list, this one features Marilyn Monroe at the very height of her gorgeousness. It includes the famous scene where her dress blows up, and everyone totally freaks the flip out because they can see her boxers shorts. It’s the story of a husband alone-at-home, desperately fighting the urge to have an affair with the sexy model renting the flat upstairs. Cue numerous fantasy sequences, a man driven to the edge of insanity by the insatiable rumblings in his underpants, and Monroe playing “brainless” down to a tee. The perfect afternoon watch.

Sideways

Sideways

One of the most touching films about alcoholics who dress themselves up as wine buffs ever made, Sideways is something of a middle-aged, middle-class road movie. Two best friends go on a stag weekend, one who can’t quite let go of his former relationship, the other who fancies humping a few more women before entering into holy matrimony with “the one”. Then they meet a couple of dreamy young lovelies, and it all takes a rather interesting turn. Gently funny, and sometimes a little bit moving, Thomas Haden Church is particularly good as the randy groom-to-be doing weird tiger impressions during dinner.

When Harry Met Sally

When harry met sally

If you only ever watch one film in which Meg Ryan pretends to have the female equivalent of a male orgasm in a packed restaurant, before an old lady on another table makes a hilarious quip about wanting the same meal, then make that film When Harry Met Sally. It stars Billy Crystal when he was still likeable, and Princess Leia is in it as well. The story goes that men and women can’t be friends without eventually having sex with one another, which might come as something of a shock to the various women in Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s life. For example.

Knocked Up

Knocked Up

The best of the Judd Apatow movies so far, although it was run pretty close by The 40-Year-Old Virgin, this finds a stoner accidentally impregnating a successful career woman during a drunken one-night-stand. Like with all of Apatow’s movies so far, the real romance – or, as it’s now known, bromance – takes place between Seth Rogen and a whole host of weed-smoking male counterparts, including the guy who went out with Phoebe in Friends.

High Fidelity

High Fidelity

John Cusack has been painted as thinking woman’s crumpet, and here he’s a rather bitter commitmentphobe with a humungous record collection. He has starred in other decent rom-coms, like Grosse Pointe Blank and The Sure Thing, but this one trumps both of those, mainly because it’s a little bit better. Also, Jack Black, who tends to split the consensus as an actor, puts in the performance of his damn life – not including School of Rock, and the ridiculously underrated Nacho Libre.

Splash

Splash

It was a very close call, coming up with the final spot on the list, with The Wedding Crashers, Some Like it Hot, and even Hitch starring Will Smith all very nearly muscling their way in. But in the end, we knew we’d have to go with a Tom Hanks vehicle. After all, he was the romantic lead of choice for much of the 1990s – Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Philadelphia – but in the end we went for his 1984 classic, Splash, the story of a man with love issues going out with a half woman/half haddock. Excellent special effects, Daryl Hannah, and a wonderful turn by the late, great John Candy.

Author: Josh

Josh has spent ten years plying his wares as a journalist, working for some big names, and some rather small ones too. His is the giant throbbing brain that came up with this whole Interestment malarkey. Specialist subjects include: some types of music, a few films, certain television programmes, and hats.

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