Any worthwhile Rom-Coms?

My wife drags me to lots of rom-coms. Most of the handful of recent ones that I kind of enjoyed were box-office duds, so take that for what it’s worth.

He’s Just Not That Into You - It doesn’t follow the usual predictable rom-com story arc, and features a number of intertwining plotlines, some more serious than others, which keeps things pretty interesting.
Valentine’s Day - The main plot is pretty by-the-book, complete with the chase-her-down-at-the-airport climax. But the peripheral characters get lives and stories of their own as well, with some clever interlacing of the plots, which helps elevate it.
How Do You Know - Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon manage to craft two likeable characters who avoid the usual stupid lies and misunderstandings you see so often in bad films of the genre – and it has Jack Nicholson!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - It’s really funny, for one thing. “Romantic” and “comedy” get equal billing here. Mila Kunis is absolutely adorable and Jason Segal creates a good schlubby “everyman” character for the guys to relate to.

Decent or recent,either way - I was interested in what rom-coms you guys like, since I’d read a lot of put-downs of the genre recently.

I seem to be the only one who mentioned “The Proposal”, or “Love, Actually”. I will second “10 Things I hate about You” and “High Fidelity”. Both really enjoyable comedies where romance is a prominent part of the film.

The Dracula puppet musical at the end of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” made me laugh so hard I nearly passed out. The rest of the movie is very entertaining, but for this scene alone I would recommend it even if the rest sucked.

*Timer *is one of my favorites of late. If you can get past the implausible plot device, the movie is really charming

I like Groundhog Day

Many of the best RomComs that come to my mind are from back in the 1980s. Aside from the Pretty In Pink / Some Kind of Wonderful set, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Coming To America… To a large extent these are romantic movies with a strong comedic element.

In fact, my favorite funny-schmaltzy monologue of all time is also from a 1980s hit movie, The Naked Gun: “It’s a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans… But this is OUR hill! And these are OUR beans!” The fact that that movie also has one of my favorite baseball related scenes in cinematic history just shows what a masterpiece it is :slight_smile:

Most Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller comedy movies fall into RomCom territory but often with a much cruder twist. For example, There’s Something About Mary and Fifty First Dates. You might say these are comedies first and romantic movies second, though I found the latter particularly sweet.

I also saw a movie a few years ago called Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist that strongly reminded me of the John Hughes style of teen romantic comedies from the 1980s. Except that this one made me feel old.

Oh, and if we’re allowed to reach back past the 25 year mark, I’d highly recommend a less-well-known classic film called Midnight (1939) starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche (and John Barrymore too). I stumbled across it while channel surfing in a hotel room 2 years ago and LOVED it.

I was going to say “They don’t make movies like that any more”, except that apparently they are (or were) in fact going to do just that by remaking that exact film but starring Reese Witherspoon.

I’m quite partial to Chasing Amy. Kevin Smith’s take on romantic comedy.

It Could Happen To You is one of my favorites, with Nic Cage and Bridget Fonda.

Stardust is a fantasy rom-com. I loved it.

While You Were Sleeping is Sandra Bullock’s best rom-com.

Seems Like Old Times is a great one with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn.

The Japanese film Shall We Dansu? is sort of a rom-com. It’s really good. The American remake with Richard Gere is okay, but inferior.

If Amélie is considered a Rom-Com, that’s my answer! It’s not quite ten years old.

Richard Curtis is a master at this sort of thing and Love Actually, Four Weddings and A Funeral and Notting Hill were already mentioned, so I’ll add The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, which wasn’t by him but did star Hugh Grant, and Wimbledon, which didn’t star Hugh Grant and wasn’t written or directed by Richard Curtis (although it does seem to follow his formula) but was good. I also liked I Could Never Be Your Woman by Amy Heckerling, the writer/director of Clueless.

I just went for the wikipedia list of romantic comedies.

The key to any great story is character development: the events in the story somehow change the character’s view of the world or themselves, and we change as well. The biggest problem I have with the cookie cutter rom-coms is that the female characters rarely develop. They start out as bitches and the male lead loves them anyway. How to lose a guy in 10 days is symptomatic of this form of lazy storytelling. In the great rom-coms, both characters develop. But, this is so rare and the lazy form is so common, that usually the good ones are labeled as “drama” instead of “romances,” e.g. Titanic, Romeo and Juliet, etc.

It depends on the genre. Good kung fu movies, for example, originated in the early 70’s with Bruce Lee and the beginning of specialized teams of martial arts stuntmen. Cynthia Rothrock, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and Chuck Norris all made craptacular martial arts films because even though they were trained martial artists, they had to work with stunt people who weren’t. And even then, they were mainly only used in HK/Chinese/Asian productions. Trained stuntmen didn’t hit the US until ~1992. Science fiction, conversely, has maybe 100+ years of history.

When we’re talking about rom-coms that men enjoy we’re talking about maybe 20 total. I’d say any made since 1970 would be good enough to be called “modern” just because there aren’t that many to talk about.

I really liked* P.S. I Love You*, with Hilary Swank.

I will second When Harry Met Sally. Love that movie! It is one of those movies that when it ends, you wish you could spend more time with the characters.

Shaun of the Dead is considered a “Rom-Zom-Com.” :smiley:

I second the recommendations of Wimbledon and P.S. I Love You. And add that I thought About a Boy was a good twist on the rom-com genre, and definitely my favorite Hugh Grant rom-com since it’s so different from his others.

Actually, I think Smith’s Zach and Miri make a Porno would qualify as a Romantic Comedy too, it’s the dirtiest, sweetest, movie I’ve ever seen!

As someone who thinks that rom-coms are mainly dreck, and that Hugh Grant is overused as a charming male lead, I adored Music and Lyrics. It revels in its silliness, and the eighties music is wonderfully done.

While I don’t like the movie, it’s certainly the quintesential rom-com.