There are tons of Romantic Comedies out there so I thought its high time I compile a list of the Best/almost best/and the downright worst of this entire genre. Here it is:
The Best (in no particular order)
When Harry Met Sally- Probably the gold-standard of the genre. the one weakness is that for me Billy Crystal is, at times, a little Shticky. Doing his stand-up nebishy personna in a couple of scenes which detracts a little from the films authenticity.
The Goodbye Girl- snappy Neil Simon dialogue and characters which bristle and best thing yet, no obligatory best friend character to weigh down the plot.
Silver Linings Playbook- two people united in their neurosis. What love should be. The drug comparison scene could have gone on a bit more. Not sure why comedian, Chris Tucker is in the movie but…
The Graduate .kind of an incestuous as rom-coms go but has The father of all wedding interruption scenes at the end. Elaine Elaine! (not said in a Jerry Seinfeld voice)
Sideways- not sure if many people consider this a romcom, more of a wine country odyssey but a strong cast, a wonderfully loopy Thomas Haden Church. Sure it’s a stretch that Virginia Madsen would be into Paul Gimatti but he’s such a good actor it almost seems credible.
Bridget Jones Diary- Yes it’s a remake of Pride and Prejudice. But a klutzy, socially awkward Rene Zelwegger is a good spin on the Elizabeth Bennet Character. I’m surprised enterprising food execs didn’t launch a line of “Blue Soup” after the movie was released.
As Good as it gets/something’s gotta give. Kinda interchangeable in my book. Romcoms for the older generation Who’d have thought Jack Nicholson would make a good romantic lead. Certainly not shelly Duvall in “The Shining”
Tootsie- Good romcom Best man in drag movie. Sorry Mrs Doubfire and Victor Victoria. the hilarious agent scene should make this film at the top of any list including a romcom.
Films That Almost Made The List
The Owl and The Pussycat- sort of a low rent “The Goodbye Girl” (with the romantic leads sharing an apt together) with a nerdy/ likeable pre- Just Shoot Me, George Segal and the ditzy sometimes hooker Barb Streisand in probably her most likeable role. Cool score also by Blood Sweat and Tears and who wouldn’t want the sun to “Spit morning” into their face? or take in a mid-afternoon screening of “Cycle Sluts”.
Notable films that didn’t make the list and why
Notting Hill- . I kept thinking Julia Roberts kept over-reacting and leaving Hugh Grant/England for no good reason long periods of time. Also whoever wrote the line, “Im also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her” should be shot.
Pretty woman- Okay but overrated. Hard to get the appeal of the film without Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s attractiveness and show me a world which allows George Costanza to almost rape Julia Roberts.
Love Actually- Edit out the stupid subplot about the English guy trying to score in a US bar whose only patrons are Supermodels (this bar isn’t listed anywhere on Zagat) and the annoying subplot with Laura Linney who experienced coitus-interruptis at the hands of her handicapped/call-dial-happy brother and you might have a bearable film here.
Horrible RomComs to avoid
What If- horrible, no comedy, no chemistry, lame payoff at the end.
Something borrowed- Only watch if you think its a good time to watch Ginnifer Goodwin tear up for two hours
Maid of Honor- one of the most derivative romcoms I’ve ever seen. Finding love with the best friend, a bizarrely cast best friend character (kadeem Hardison) can’t even strike an original chord with a trip to Scotland. and as a side note, who doesn’t crash someone’s wedding on horseback?