All right, all right, I know that it is long past Valentine's Day and my part 2 to this series is how should I say it, a bit "tardy." However, it is never too late, to fall in love, right? Right??? I began my list of Best Romantic Comedies with part one here, but since there were just too many to fit into a short 10 films, here is the follow-up now. This list also slightly differs, as they are a bit edgier than traditional romantic comedies. It is also ironic, that after going through 20 full movies, there are still more that could be added. It's a great genre that can really incite emotional connections, which is pretty fascinating. A romantic comedy doesn't necessarily have to be "good" to capture your heart, and it is a unique experience to fall in love with one of these types of films. So read this list and then go back and find the first one here and enjoy an evening of pure love and romance.
|1. Breakfast at Tiffany's|
Oh, Audrey Hepburn…to this day she is still one of the best and most beloved female romantic comedy stars. So much so that Breakfast at Tiffany's costumes still regularly make an appearance at annual Halloween parties. When watching the movie, it is easy to see why. There is so much about it that is well known in pop culture that it might hold the title for the most iconic romcom of all time.
Holly Golightly (Hepburn) is an eccentric society girl who runs around New York having parties and eating croissants outside of Tiffany's jewelry store. It is when she meets a "mysterious" man in her apartment building that things change for Holly. She is a mess of a girl, but it is that fact and the journey watching her that makes her so damned charming. Hepburn was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Golightly, and there is no doubt as to why.
|2. The Notebook|
The Notebook is a little out of place on this list as it actually isn't even a comedy, but very much a drama. However, I couldn't write a list about romantic films and leave it off. There has to be a few times you laugh? I can't exactly remember because all I really have a memory of is balling my eyes out at the end of the movie. It follows the story of a young couple that falls in love in the 1940s, but for various reasons run in to obstacles that keep them apart. The true charm comes from the way the story is told and I don't want to ruin too much of that. Yes, it can be cheesy, but it's done in just the right way. Nicholas Sparks sure knows how to pull on those heartstrings. It also was the first movie to really make a big name for Ryan Gosling, so I think ladies all around the world are thankful for that.
|3. No Reservations|
This is another, like Definitely, Maybe that I feel several people may have missed. However, the comedy starring Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Zeta-Jones and (again) Abigail Breslin while critically wasn't very well received, is one of my personal favorites. Yes, the story is predictable, but it is the way in which it is told that I find interesting. The movie has several different themes as it focuses partially on the inner-workings of a restaurant, but then also partially on what happens to a young child when she has to form a new family after tragedy strikes. However, in the end it is just as good old love story with a happy ending. I'm not sure this will be for everyone, but since I love it, I couldn’t ignore.
|4. The Princess Bride|
When you think about it, The Princess Bride really has it all. There is an incredible story about star-crossed lovers and then some wacky and wild fantasy elements that make it so odd, but so interesting that it is hard not to love. If it's been a while since you have watched, I ask you to revisit it. It is a film from 1987 that I believe stands up to the test of time and is just as good as when it was released 26 years ago. Oh, look out for Inigo Montoya, that dude is a little bit crazy. "As you wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish."
If you had to name a modern day Audrey Hepburn, the closest we could come would likely be Audrey Tautou. The adorable actress plays the titular character of Amelie. She is a young girl who is very shy and isolated, but tries to change the lives of people around her by leaving unexpected and hidden treats for them. She has a wild imagination and seeing how that is portrayed on the screen is one of the biggest charms of the film. The romantic part of the story comes when she has a secret crush and finally begins to find a bit of happiness as things turn around for the sweet girl. It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, mostly for its ability to tell a story in such a creative, visual manner.
|6. When Harry Met Sally...|
When Harry Met Sally not only looks at a relationship between a man and a woman, but the ever-present question can men and women just be friends? The chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan is palpable throughout the film and it really does explore some of the most common issues in a relationship and made them commonly used concepts…in a hysterical manner. (I'll have what she's having, anyone?) Also, the interviews in between sections show some very honest and amusing looks at relationships of all sorts.
|7. As Good as It Gets|
After watching The Shining, A Few Good Men or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I don't know that I would think of Jack Nicholson as a comedic romantic lead. However, in As Good As it Gets, he proves to be one of the best. We can chock this up to Jack's amazing skills as an actor overall. In the movie, Nicholson plays the misanthrope Melvin Udall who suffers from severe OCD. After some unfortunate circumstances, Melvin must come out of his hermit ways and interact with humans and eventually develops a romantic interest in Carol (Helen Hunt). It is a story that is unusual for a romantic comedy, which makes it even better. It was nominated for many Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and if you haven't yet, you should watch it to find out why.
|8. (500) Days of Summer|
It is rare for a romantic comedy to be told from the perspective of a male pining after a woman and also be able to capture what it is actually like to date in modern times. It follows a non-linear structure as Tom Hansen (JGL) looks back on the memories of his failed relationship and the 500 days he spent with Summer (Zooey Deschanel). It was Marc Webb's breakout indie hit (and perhaps he should stick with romcoms after The Amazing Spider-man) and he directs it with a lot of style. The ending is perhaps my favorite as it has a true message of hope that warms my heart.
|9. The 40 Year Old Virgin|
Because the french toast scene is one of my favorites in any movie, ever, this one makes the list. I mean, who hasn't craved french toast while driving drunk through the streets at night?! Judd Apatow has become the king of comedy lately, and this was one of the first that brought his name to the main stream and he has stuck around ever since. Andy (Steve Carrell) is an awkward guy who loves his collections and just has never gotten around to having sex for the first time…by age 40. He then strikes up a relationship with Trish (Catherine Keener) and the rest of the movie follows in a very realistic manner telling what happens as they court each other and become part of each other's lives.
|10. High Fidelity|
This was another debate, as I had to decide which Nick Hornby adaptation would make the list, and High Fidelity won out by a slight, slight margin. I love About a Boy just as much, but I am a sucker for all things that blend a mix of romance and music, so it won out. Also, About a Boy focuses slightly more on the relationship between Will and Marcus, so it belongs more on a bromance list. As for High Fidelity, John Cusack plays a man going through a crisis (break up) and goes back through all of his past relationships to try to figure out if he let the perfect girl slip out of his fingers. He likens many of his experiences to making a very amazing mix tape, and while that is mostly a lost art form, we can all still relate to the sentiment.
|11. Notting Hill|
Honorable mention: It had to be added to the list not only because it's good and very funny, but because the sheer number of boys who have this movie as one of their top 10 of all time is astounding to me. I know, I know, the fantasy of the ordinary guy ending up with the biggest movie star in the universe is almost too much to handle, but it is still surprising how many males I know who are obsessed with this film.