20 Rom-Coms You Must Watch Before You Die
OK, I don’t want to imply you will die anytime soon and I surely do not want to. And I can’t hypothetically state that you love romantic comedies.
But let’s be honest, rom-coms are the burgers of cinema; comfort food in those difficult times. Hug your teddy bear, pour some wine and laugh/cry your head off.
20. Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
I cannot quite remember every single detail, so I might be a bit harsh. I do remember though that this is Meg Ryan at her second best and Tom Hanks at his cutest. A critical and commercial success (more than $220 million worldwide with only a $20 million budget), Sleepless In Seattle is one of those films you will actually smile the whole way through. We are also talking about the 90’s, a decade when Meg could still laugh, facially speaking. Ooops.
19. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
This is what we call “a sleeper hit”. More comedic than romantic, My Big Fat Greek Wedding never reached number one at the box office during its release, but it ended up being the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. Greek-Canadian-American writer and actress Nia Vardalos was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, while the film itself is still regarded as one of the funniest ever made. I cannot even describe the bundt cake scene; hilarious at least.
18. Love Me If You Dare (2003)
This is the first time the world realised that Marion Cotillard is probably the most beautiful creature of all galaxies. The film (French title: Jeux d’enfants) received negative reviews upon its release, but the chemistry between Guillaume Canet and Cotillard made it a cult classic with a huge online following through the years. Weird, funny, romantic and frustrating at the same time, Love Me If You Dare is the only film on this list you must watch, if you literally despise rom-coms. Trust me, it will make you furious.
17. Pretty Woman (1990)
Pretty Woman can make a straight guy wanna spend a day with Edward. As Vivian Ward. Why a guy? Because it’s that much romantic. I mean, a hooker with a heart of gold falling in love with a rich womanizer on Hollywood Boulevard? I really cannot count the times I have watched this fake romance. Plus, this is the film that turned Julia Roberts into an A-list movie star overnight. More than fair, I would say.
16. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
When Helen Fielding created Bridget Jones, reinterpreting at the same time Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, she must have been a trainwreck. And when Renée Zellweger starred in the film as the title character, she must have known this would eventually become the role of her career. Funny as hell and smart as a Brit, Bridget Jones’s Diary was an instant classic from day one. And I admit it, I do… British rom-coms are the real thing, even though my No 1 on this list is an American production. With a British cinema and fashion icon (take a hint, lad).
15. Annie Hall (1977)
Personally, I don’t think this is the best Woody Allen work, even though I’m a huge fan. Many people will disagree with me, but let’s agree to disagree, even though we all can acknowledge I’m always right. So, why this particular film at No 15? Two reasons: the AMAZING Diane Keaton and the genius stuck-in-line-at-the-movies scene. 4 Academy Awards and 40 years later, it’s still regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. I can understand why, let’s just stick to that.
14. Sliding Doors (1998)
If you asked me which film is the most underrated in film history, I would say Sliding Doors. But then again, I’m the person who thinks Gwyneth is a great actress, so… It was released the same year Shakespeare In Love was released, which means it couldn’t reach its hype. Sliding Doors is not only a feel-good movie, but also a smart one. The script was a breath of fresh air back in the day, the soundtrack songs were chart toppers, while Gwyneth Paltrow is simply gorgeous in it. Not to mention her flawless British accent.
13. The Big Sick (2017)
I’m not sure if this is considered to be a romantic comedy per se, but it made my list anyways. Kumail Nanjiani’s Oscar nominated script, based on his real-life relationship with his wife, is nothing but funny, sentimental and true. It follows an interethnic couple who must deal with cultural differences, combining both comedy and drama, but without ending up being a dramedy. Tip: give some space for Holly Hunter to break your heart.
12. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
The first time I watched The Winter’s Bone, I realised that Jennifer Lawrence is a force to be reckoned with. And then Silver Linings Playbook happened. David O. Russell has created a great, crazy and modern love story about two young people suffering from depression (Lawrence) and bipolar disorder (Bradley Cooper). The film’s uniqueness lies in its characters’ development via a sharp and often funny script, but its core strength is the acting. It’s one of those rare times that the whole cast deserves an Oscar (my editor-in-chief may fire me, he hates this movie).
11. Love Actually (2003)
Christmas means Love Actually and Love Actually means Christmas; don’t you ever forget this. I mean… Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy in the same Christmas-themed movie in London? For me, this is heaven (waffles included). The film’s highlight? The famous cue cards scene, which is the most romantic and, at the same time, the most creepy scene ever written.