In honor of the release of the craptastic Something Borrowed last Friday (review to come), we’ve decided to investigate the genre with our own rom-com week.
What the Hell even CONSTITUTES a romantic comedy? Which is more important, the humor, or the happily-ever-after? Should it be a 50/50 mix? 60/40? What about The 40-Year Old Virgin? It’s certainly hilarious, and the story does center around a couple falling in love. For some reason though, I can’t say that film is a romantic comedy. Even with the rules defined, certain movies, while fitting the mold, don’t really deliver the endorphins of snuggly cheesiness to your brain the way a proper rom-com should. So, without further adieu (and in no particular order), here are my personal rom-com faves; the movies that shot said endorphins straight into my noggin.
My Best Friend’s Wedding: This is the first film I saw that introduced me to the idea of a Hollywood movie NOT having a typical happy ending. And I loved it for that. For being different, for the killer soundtrack, for characters that are flawed, but who you still can root for, for the cameo of fetus-like Paul Giamatti, for the REHEARSAL DINNER SCENE! Say a little prayer, bitches!
Return To Me: David Duchovny resides on the isle of celebrities I’d abandon my life for, and this marvelous film helps explain why. The quotes: “Grace has Bob’s dead wife’s heart!”, “Hairy legs are your only link to reality.” Writer-director Bonnie Hunt, who clearly has the chops to save this genre. Also, this story is sugar-coma sweet, without being the slightest sickening. And oh sweet lord, how could I forget Archie Bunker?! Man, if you hate this film, I hate YOU.
The Wedding Singer: I’m not the biggest fan of Adam Sandler films (ducks), but when you pair him with Drew Barrymore, voi-fucking-la! This pair has the most adorable chemistry – not sizzling, mind you, but you don’t necessarily need flames to warm hearts in the world of rom-coms. This movie makes me LAUGH; “Somebody Kill Me” is one for the flippin’ ages. It’s tacky 80s, a fun soundtrack, a hilarious “villain” and two leads that you root for so hard, you want them to get married in real life. Maybe Adam Sandler could go the Big Love route and Drew could become a sister-wife?? Please???
While You Were Sleeping: Oh Bill Pullman, you rumpled, charming, every-man, you. 😉 How I HEART the way he looks at Sandra Bullock when his niece calls him out on brunettes being his type. A ridiculous premise (I guess something all rom-coms have in common) that is executed with style and warmth. Who WOULDN’T want to join Pullman’s adorable, precious family? When the ring is dropped in the toll booth, swoon/sigh/squee. The winning trifecta.
50 First Dates: Another Adam+Drew match made in charm heaven. Yet another ridiculous plot, that is pulled off by the Hawaiian landscape, chill soundtrack, and this pair’s clear affection for one another. Sean Astin is so hilarious, I have no idea why he doesn’t get to do comedy more often. And the ending – just thinking about that final scene, brings me to tears, right now. Ahhh, somewhere over the rainbow, indeed.
Bridget Jones’ Diary: I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I watched this – full of hope, warmth, and happiness. If someone as lovably ditsy and ridiculous as Bridget Jones could find her Prince Charming (sigh x infinity for Colin Firth), then there was certainly a possibility for the rest of us. This movie is actually laugh out loud funny (“ham-fisted c***”!!!!) and swoon-alicious. Firth is the MASTER of the longing, yearning look. And haters can hate, but I can’t imagine anyone other than Renee Zellwegger as Bridget. She filled her with the kind of normalcy to which we all can relate. The final scene in the gently falling snow, when he wraps his coat around her half-naked ass, makes me weak in the knees.
French Kiss: I think this movie tends to be forgotten about, but I freaking love it. Meg Ryan, being adorable, Kevin Kline, being sexy and dashing, and France. I mean, come on. An absurd plotline about smuggling vines and stolen jewelry is made interesting by the pair’s terribly sweet chemistry. What a great final scene, in a flipping vineyard. I love a good final scene, and also the kind of romance where somebody’s life is changed completely. This nails both of those.
Groundhog Day: I have had a crush on Peter Venkman since I was like, 7, and I’ll watch anything he’s in, even Broken Flowers (ughhh). But, oh this movie is so lovely. And comforting, like a cold winter’s Saturday with nothing to do. Where you can relax under a blanket with a hot beverage and swoon/laugh at Bill Murray, the original master of dry wit mixed with charm, as he tries (repeatedly, DUH) to win over Andie MacDowell.