Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ultimate Romantic Comedy lists

I have not had a chance to see Crazy Stupid Love yet, but anticipation for it and all the rom coms that I have seen this summer movie season led me to contemplate the best, the worst, and those that fall somewhere in the middle. The middle is a loose concept. Some in the middle are considered the best by others and even though I know that they are well liked. Others are ones I love that I know other people do not. Some are highly regarded by the masses but to me have fatal flaws. Immorality and unethical behavior tends to be a mark against in my book. The cheese factor and overwrought cliches also play into judging a rom com.

My favorites:
When Harry Met Sally
The Wedding Singer
50 First Dates
The Object of My Affection
Sleepless in Seattle
French Kiss
You’ve Got Mail
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Love Actually

Friends With Benefits and Going the Distance have not yet stood the test of time, but so far are strong contenders for favorite status.

Are they technically rom coms? Maybe not, but they are really good:
It’s Complicated
Something’s Got to Give
Where the Heart Is
In Her Shoes
Funny People
Knocked Up
40 Year Old Virgin
About a Boy
Sex and the City
Away We Go
Sunshine Cleaners
Circle of Friends
Fried Green Tomatoes
Morning Glory

Maid in Manhattan
Just Go With It
Bride Wars
Something Borrowed
The Ugly Truth
The Back-Up Plan
Sex and the City 2
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Runaway Bride

Bad but good, fun to watch:
The Wedding Date
Must Love Dogs
Kate and Leopold
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
My Best Friend's Girl

Somewhere in the middle. Entertaining and not fatally flawed, just not the very best. Some of these I love very much, many I own. For one or more reasons they are not what I consider to be the ultimate, best of the genre. There are also varying degrees here. I starred my top five of the "middle."
Good but not ultimate:
Pretty Woman
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Return to Me
Picture Perfect
10 Things I Hate About You
Someone Like You
Four Weddings and A Funeral
Keeping the Faith
The Proposal
While You Were Sleeping
Hope Floats
Bye Bye Love
Forget Paris
The Holiday*
Practical Magic*
No Strings Attached
Leap Year
Jumping the Broom
Maid of Honor
The Switch
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days
Valentine's Day
He's Just Not That Into You
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Life As We Know It*
Sweet Home Alabama*
The Jane Austen Book Club*
Two Weeks Notice

The AFI Top Ten:
1) City Lights
2) Annie Hall
3) It Happened One Night
4) Roman Holiday
5) The Philadelphia Story
6) When Harry Met Sally
7) Adam’s Rib
8) Moonstruck
9) Harold and Maude
10) Sleepless in Seattle
Contemporary movies are in short supply on the top ten, for what is a contemporary genre. When the Top Ten of Ten Genres lists came out in 2008, my confusion and disagreement with the list was immediate. One of which is Moonstruck. It is a great movie. Not what I would categorize as a rom com, nor do I think it was marketed as such. My most significant compliant is that When Harry Met Sally is without a doubt the best Romantic Comedy of all time. It is the mold from which all other Romantic Comedies are built from but rarely live up to.

Upcoming releases:
What's Your Number? looks funny, though depending on the delivery, might be headed to the average list. Could be cute.

Apparently there is going to be a third Bridget Jones movie. The first was true to the spirit of the book and even though it took some liberties it was a great movie. The sequel was so different from the second book, much to its detriment. There is no third Bridget Jones book, so this could be troubling.

The trailer for New Years Eve looks Ah-Mazing. It was announced after the successful box office draw of Valentine's Day in February 2010. NYE is directed by Garry Marshall like VD and features at least two of the same actors with a whole new slew of them, including Sarah Jessica Parker. And thankfully, it would appear, no Taylors. The movie releases on December 9th of this year. It is also significant that I think the trailer looks so promising because I did not want to see Valentine's Day originally (Laura convinced me). Even though I enjoyed Valentine's Day, I was cautious when the production of NYE was announced when VD was still in its theatrical release. Not a rom com but SJP's new flick I Don't Know How Does She It.

My lists were completed in no particular order. I tried to keep the movies in the order in which I thought of them. I worked on the lists over several days. Of course, these are my opinions and I fully realized that some I have said were the worst or not the best, will be the opposite for others. Please take no offense, but do please comment your opinions!


  1. I forgot Serendipity! One of my favs, a major oversight. I Love You Man is the best of the bromances and should be on the not technically a rom com list.
    Also, as Patty pointed out on fb, I left off Definitely, Maybe. Also Stranger Than Fiction should be included in the not quite a rom com, but great list.

  2. Fever Pitch!! Totally belongs on the list. Drew Barrymore must have the highest success rate with the romantic comedies. She should make another one with Jimmy Fallon. And another one with Adam Sandler. Though Sandler's last few movies have sucked. If they channel Wedding Singer, it's in the bag!

  3. Ok, let me be very clear, the 3 greatest Romantic Comedies of all time, in order.
    1. Say Anything
    2. Manhattan
    3. Annie Hall

    You can have your favorites, but those are the 3 greatest of all time, in my honest opinion.

  4. Another I can't believe I forgot: SAY ANYTHING?! Insane. Giving it a moment's thought, in my defense, I think of Say Anything as an 80s teen movie, not a rom com. Love, love it though.

    Also, I thought of a less than stellar Drew Barrymore one, Music and Lyrics. Though I think its bad-good. I have the soundtrack and the DVD.

    I love A Lot Like Love, probably of the mid list because I get that not everyone loves it.

    Excellent mentions from Jessica I and Jerry C: Sabrina -- the original or the remake?; Lucky 7 -- need to see; Addicted to Love -- very good indeed.
    I respect the love of Annie Hall, even though I do not share it. Questioning my movie scope, oh no. Bull Durham is actually on the AFI's top 10 of 10 in the Sports category. Definitely for the 'not technically but good' list.
    The Truth About Cats And Dogs, another omission. Also need to check out Speechless.

  5. Now that I have seen Crazy Stupid Love, Going the Distance and Friends With Benefits to not make my favorites list. I seriously question if Crazy Stupid Love is even a rom com; it is so good, it is beyond that label.