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My Top Twenty Favorite Romantic Comedies

The following are twenty of my favorite romantic comedies. Why romantic comedies? I dunno. Maybe because I'm a big softy at heart, and when it comes to this genre its rarely about how they stack up to Citizen Kane and more about the emotional reaction and sentimental value I have for them. So yeah, not all of these are "highbrow" and in fact some movies lower than others may be technically or...filmically? better, but it's really just about the feeling. Intro over. :]

20. A Life Less Ordinary (1997)


This is one of those surreal and oddly entertaining movies you catch randomly on late-night cable and end up watching till the end because you're too lazy to change the channel (well, that's what you tell yourself at least). 90s rom-coms are some of my favorite and this one, starring the charming and oh-so adorable Ewan McGreggor (reminiscent of the romantic dreamer he played in Moulin Rouge!) and Cameron Diaz (who, lets face it, was basically made for this genre). It's about a down-on-his-luck janitor and aspiring trashy novel writer who kidnaps a rich heiress (unbeknownst to them two angels are pulling the strings to get them together). Typical "boy meets girl, boy and girl fight at first, boy and girl fall in love" fuckery but OH it's so cracky and fun and it's directed by Danny Boyle, so you just know that shit is entertaining.



19. The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

What I love about (most) Oscar Wilde film adaptations is how much they work despite being so heavily steeped in the time period in which they were originally written/set. This movie is a prime example of that - it's Wilde's witty and biting social satire but it's also just an all around cute and entertaining romantic comedy, holding up to modern day stuff of the same genre despite the Edwardian setting. The cast is great (well, with maybe the exception of Reese Witherspoon, whose British accent is a disastuh), and all of the jokes work beautifully. Judi Dench is so good at playing the Bitchy Old Rich Lady.  I dunno, not much to say about this one except that when/if it is on TV I always drop what I'm doing and watch it. Oh, and the sexual tension between Colin Firth and Rupert Everett (I can't have imagined it)? It's happy-making.



18. Emma (1996) 

Ah, another period piece! This one is theonly version of Jane Austen's Emma that I actually like. In fact, it's safe to say I love this movie (which is huge, because I fucking HATE Gwen Paltrow). For some reason I always prefer Austen on film, though. This is another one of those ~social commentaries~~, but the humor still seems very "fresh" and "modern." Toni Colette is also wonderful here. This is a great movie night movie. 


17. Tootsie (1982)

Sydney Pollack was a great, fun director for this genre. This is one of the first movies I vividly remember watching as a kid. Of course, I didn't get much of it, but the sight of Dustin Hoffman is a red sequined gown and ginger wig was enough for me. In the years since, this is one of those films that me, my mom, and my sister really bond over. I don't know if you could fully call it a rom-com, but one criteria I give that genre (in my head) is that, be it "highbrow" or "lowbrow" it gives you that ~warm fuzzy feeling~ when you watch it. I dunno. Yeah, Tootsie is definitely one of those flicks all wrapped up in nostalgia for me. Haven't seen it in a while. Must remedy that.



16. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

For me, this movie is iconic. Say what you want about the bitch, but Julia Roberts has made some of the most awesome rom-coms in film history (and yes I'm being serious). I think the pull for me with a lot of these 90s rom-coms is that they were sort of the first templates for formulas that most movies of the genre follow now (I mean, isn't Leap Year basically like every single fucking movie you've ever seen rolled into one? Ugh.) This movie was fluff but it sort of turned the whole thing on its head. Julia Roberts' character was refreshingly unfussy, frazzled, and sort of a mess - and she was the one pursuing the guy. I also love how it didn't end typically, all tied up neatly in a bow. And how could you not love Cameron Diaz here? Oh, oh, and the "Say A Little Prayer For You" scene? Gold.



15. 40 Days & 40 Nights (2002)

If I remember correctly, this ~Josh "Hott-nett"~ vehicle sorta didn't take off when it was released. But I thought it was brilliant. Like, legit. Not even cracky/silly/fun, but legitamately a good movie. I dunno maybe I'm crazy. Aside from that it's also really fucking hilarious. I love romantic comedies that are told from the point of view of the guy for some reason, especially when they are for more or less a more realistic look at the way guys think (I really wanted to put High Fidelity on this list, because I think it is such a great peek into the way those fuckers process their thoughts but I reckon it's not really a romantic comedy). Josh plays an employee at some "dot com" company (lolz remember those) who, after a break up with his bitchy girlfriend, decides to swear off sex (and that means masturbation too, oh my) for lent. And then he meets a girl he really likes. Hilarity fucking ensues. It also has one of the most epic kinda-sex-scenes of all time.  Shannyn Sosssamdgs or whatever - DAMN that bitch is fine. Like, DAMN.



14. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

If you don't like this movie you can go shave your back now. Between Renee Zelelflsffsdf's awesome performance (girl got that accent down pat), Hugh Grant's evilness, and Colin Firth's reprise as a Modern Day Mr Darcy, this movie basically fucking owns. Bridget Jonese is one of those characters that I feel like I should totally hate because of how obnoxious and stupid and pathetic she is (whoa, harsh...it's true though) but something about her and the world she inhabits in this movie just has me rooting for her. Some funny scenes:



13. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

I can't believe a couple of things. I can't believe this movie came out over  ten years ago. I can't believe Heath Ledger is dead. I can't believe I actually like a movie with Julia Stiles in it (actually...well...if you're reading this, you'll see...). This movie will forever be firmly ingrained in my memory. It's just so awesome. And years after, I can still watch it and thoroughly enjoy it. I don't know if it's Heath's charisma or the music or just the late90s/early2000s-ish-ness...of it all, but it's just so fucking awesome. Sigh. Nostalgia. And of course, the iconic poem scene:



12. Serendiptiy (2001)

Yay! John Cusack! Jeremy Piven! Fine-ass Kate Beckinsale!! New York City! In the winter! Cold but beautiful as fuck! Fate! Love! Adorable! Omg! Yeah, I remember watching this movie with my favorite Asians Lynn and Joana up at my old college and just being so filled with squee. It's one of those magival stories that you wish could happen to you, that, somewhere in your heart of hearts you still hold out hope for. The idea that you are destined to fall in love with someone, no matter the circumstances (like, I dunno, the fact that one of the people involved is actually getting married in a few days). It may all be bullshit but gee, it's lovely to watch.



11. Shakespeare In Love (1998)

Although I'm still not entirely sure why Gwenyth Paltrow won an Oscar for this it's still going on the list because, OH I DUNNO, IT'S BRILLIANT??????? I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO FUCKING SAY ANYTHING BECAUSE I HAVE NO FUCKING THING TO SAY EXCEPT IF YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THIS MOVIE FUCK YOU.



10. A Lot Like Love (2005)

Adnjfksndsjlfsf. I really do love this movie. I can't count the number of times I've watched it. It's nothing incredibly special, it was pretty much panned  when it came out, but till this day it still holds a pretty special place ~in my heart~. I think it's really the storytelling that did it for me. I mean, it had the usual romantic-comedy standard touches (like someone frantically trying to ~stop a wedding~) but I also think in many ways it was very original. It followed the relationship between two characters (played, randomly, by Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet) over the span of like ten years or something. They meet at the airport, have sex on the plane, and then don't see eachother for a couple years. When they link up again, they've both changed quite a bit. It's another one of those "friends-becoming-more-than-friends" stories, but I think it's really cute. In fact I suddenly really feel like watching it right now. Haha. Oh look Ashton Kutcher singing:



9. Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Baz Luhrman is mostly known for directing Moulin Rouge! (which, by the way, I've always thought is pure shit), Romeo + Juliet, and the epic flop Australia, but my favorite film by him has got to be this one. It's one of those cracky, bright and fun rom-coms that give you that "feel-good" feeling movie critics are always talking about. It's basically another dancing movie, about this epic dancing guy (whose also like really fucking short) named Scott Hastings who has like six weeks to train an ~ugly duckling~ named Fran to be his partner at a huge dancing competition. Whoa. Long sentence. Yeah, it's just a really fun movie, with Baz's usual extreme cuts and close-ups. I've always loved that the leading-lady's inevitable makeover wasn't drastic but rather subtle, and gradual, too. It's just an all around awesome movie. If you've never seen this movie the video is kind of spoilery. But AMAZING.



8. Someone Like You (2001)

This is probs the most typical, predictable movie ever but...Hugh Jackman's abs. Yeah, that is literally the only fucking reason this is number 8. Oh, and I really do like Ashley Judd in this movie. It's about this ~career woman~ who gets dumped by her boyfriend and ends up hating men....but then sees dat ass on Hugh and takes it back~.

Lolz and there's no video for this one. Ha.


7. The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996)

Hey, did you guys know I like Janeane Garofalo a lot? Cuz I do. Also, Ben Chaplin. Unf. This is one of those ~Gen X~ (I guess I dunno I was like seven or some shit when this came out) movies, about a smart but dowdy talk show host and her ultra beautiful model friend (Uma Thurman) who both fall for this hot, British, intelligent~ photographer guy. Janeane's character dates the hot guy through Uma (so he falls in love with her personality, but also Uma's looks.) Fuckery ensues. It's so cute. And it reminds me of a Spring, for some odd reason.



6. Boy & Girls (2000)

Hey, what ever happened to Freddie Prinze Jr? It's so strange to think that once upon a time he was the heartest heartthrob in Hollywood, and now it's like...poof. Sort of puts the careers of people like Robert Pattinson and Leo DiCaprio into perspective. Meaning to say, either you've got "it" or you don't. But that's neither here nor there. Freddie's acting chops may not have stood the test of time, but he did make some pretty cute movies during the height of his career. This one, probably around the tail-end of his fame ~explosion~, is my favorite. He stars in it with Claire Forlani (yeah, what happened to her, too?) and Jason Biggs. It's a friends-have-sex-oh-no-afraid-of-commitment-freakout story. And i love it. I think it's the first romantic comedy I actually admitted to myself that I enjoyed, haha. I love how all 90s/early 2000s movies had dance sequences. Lmao. Yeah, because everyone in the club just miraculously knew the choreography:




5. The Prince & Me (2004)

Oh look!Another Julia Stiles rom-com on my list. And in the top 5, too. Words cannot explain how much I inexplicably love this fucking movie. I honestly don't even get it myself. It's not particularly special. It's not even particularly funny. The main characters are one dimensional, and the story is predictable as fuck. You know what it's like? It's like watching fanficion. Lolz, seriously. But despite all that, I will drop any and everything I'm doing if this movie comes on TV. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the lead guy, ~Prince Edward of Denmark~ (played by Luke Mably who has thoroughly faded into obscurity), IS SO FUCKING HOT. FUCK'S SAKE. GODDAMN. DFUGKDFGLDF. He's fucking charming. And dat accent. Goddamn. Jesus take the wheel, PLEASE. Yes, I'm shallow, we've established this. Oh and Julia Stiles is a really horrible actress.




4. Love Actually (2003)

It's fucking Love Actually. Here, have Hugh Grant dancing:




3. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

I'll never forget my sophomore year of high school, sitting down in my "Shakespeare's Greatest Works" class and watching this movie for the first time. My obsession, admiration, and love for The Bard was just beginning, and watching this movie really brought home that fact. For the first time I realized that Shakespeare was funny. His words weren't meant to be read and analyzed, they were meant to be experienced. And thank God it was the wonderful Kenneth Branagh who gave me my first real taste of live (well, not live live) Shakespeare. I found myself not only understanding the language, but laughing at the right parts, haha. And the humor was every bit as funny as whatever was in the theaters that week. This will always be one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, and definitely one of my favorite movies, period. Here, have "Sigh No More Ladies":




2. Coming to America (1998)

Now you know I would be dead ass wrong if this movie wasn't on the list. Every mother fucking African has seen and loves this movie. Why? Hm, i dunno maybe because it's FUCKING HILARIOUS. This is Eddie Murphy in his prime. This is when not only did he look good, he could fucking blow his nose and whatever came out on the tissue would be some funny shit. There are so many iconic scenes from this movie, be it Sam Jackson getting his ass kicked in the outlet store version of McDonald's, the "Sexual Chocolate" rendition of The Greatest Love of All, the Soul Glo commercial...etc, etc, need I say fucking more? If you've never seen this movie, you need to. I'm putting it here as a romantic comedy but really it's just a fucking hilarious comedy period. Classic. If you watch anything in this post, watch this shit:




1. It Happened One Night (1934)

Ah. And here we are. Number 1. I struggled a little bit numbering the rest of this list, and I'm sure I could spend a bit more time shifting and changing rankings but I always knew this movie in particular was going to be number one. This movie transcends "fave rom-com" for me. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. OF ALL TIME. First time I saw it was in junior year, in my film class. We watched a number of awesome movies that semester, but this one will always be the most significant. I guess I was just floored by how something that had been made over 70 years ago could still be SO. MOTHER. FUCKING. FUNNY. I mean, I said something along the lines of this about 90s rom-coms earlier but, actually, this movie really sets the tone and the formula for all movies of the genre after it. You've got Clark Gable's brash, swaggering portrayal of a newspaperman on the trail on the hot story of a runaway heiress, and Claudette Colbert playing the aloof, slightly spoiled rich girl who agrees to give him the story if he can get her to her fiance in New York. In fact, you know what this movie is? It's Leap Year, if Leap Year didn't completely fucking suck. Yeah, if you've never seen this movie, I highly suggest getting your hands on it. And the following scene is probably one of the greatest scenes ever. For context, the police are looking for Claudette's character, and Clark Gable's character comes up with a crafty way to get rid of them:


Whew! I feel somewhat accomplished, haha. What are some of your favorite romantic comedies? Do you like romantic comedies at all? 
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