I love a good romantic comedy. It’s one of my favorite film genres, even to the point that I’ve written a script. When they’re done well–that is, characters do things that make sense, they’re not filled with tropes, and there is both heartwarming romance and laugh-out-loud comedy–they make me incredibly happy.
After discussing some favorite rom coms with friends the other day, I decided to make my own top 10 list. As I did, I realized that I needed a key construct to help me define a romantic comedy, and I stumbled upon it in this old blog entry: In addition to making me laugh, a rom com must make me want to fall in love or appreciate the love I have. That’s the separating factor between many of the honorable mentions and those in the top 10 list.
Honorable mentions: What If, Midnight in Paris, Warm Bodies, High Fidelity, When Harry Met Sally, There’s Something About Mary, Knocked Up, Silver Linings Playbook, Hitch
10. Friends With Benefits: This is one of two similarly themed movies that came out at the same time, and I’m pretty sure this is the one I liked more.
9. When We First Met: One of several movies on the list with a time travel hook and a great twist.
8. The Proposal: I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this Ryan Reynolds/Sandra Bullock film.
7. What’s Your Number?: This was another big surprise. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sexy, and it’s fun to watch Chris Evans and Anna Faris have a good time together.
6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding: This teeters on the edge of more comedy than romance, but in the end, it just works.
5. Notting Hill: Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, plus a hilarious supporting cast? There are a few tropes in this one, but the comedy holds it together.
4. You’ve Got Mail: I really need to rewatch this to confirm that it belongs, but I felt that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan needed to be on the list somewhere. I don’t think Sleepless in Seattle holds up to dissection, but I’m pretty sure this one does.
3. Sleeping With Other People: There’s something very modern about this movie that pushes it onto the top of the list. It’s really good, and it’s on Netflix–check it out.
2. Groundhog Day: Does this belong on a romantic comedy list? Maybe not. But romance and comedy are central points of the movie, and I love it, so it’s here.
1. Definitely, Maybe: I absolutely love this movie. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it’s real, it’s pretty to look at…I highly, highly recommend it.
Listing these movies makes me want to watch all of them, and I haven’t seen several of them in years. That’s one of the great things about romantic comedies, in my opinion: There’s a certain level of comfort to them that I really enjoy.
What are your favorite romantic comedies?
PS. If you want to know why Love Actually isn’t on the list, I have reasons.