Lets talk about romantic comedies today.
Romantic Comedies. Rom-Coms. Considered a sub-genre of comedy that focuses more on romance, but in my opinion, deserves way more credit than that. Rom-Coms remain one of the most universally likeable films and are as a genre, quite open and accepting. Yes, it has its tropes and cliche’s but which genre doesn’t? The important thing to remember is that we all like ’em. That’s how they became a cliche, in the first place, is it not?
Any and all scoff of romantic comedies, originates from a disdain for ‘romance’, rather than the comic aspect of it all. Yes, people are allowed their opinions but I think most romance hating is a trait adapted to look socially ‘cooler’ rather than actually being innate. (Believe me, I’ve been on both sides of this argument) Rom-Com hater or lover, either way, I think the most important aspect to remember going into watching a romantic comedy is to put that dire need for realism aside and just let fantasies fly for the next hour or two. It will help you and those with you actually enjoy the movie and you’ll all be happier for it.
Obviously, as with all things, not all romantic comedies are built equally. Some are wholly bizarre and frankly, leave you wondering why you ever chose to watch them. Others are so, so. Not too amazing, not too ridiculous; a great one time watch. However, there are a few select others, that are so special and take you on an emotional journey; the best kind of movies. Today, we will be focusing on that kind. So, without any more fuss, let’s get into my current top 5 rom-com recommendations, in no particular order. If you do end up giving any of them a shot, please do tell me. (You can comment on my blog, email me or contact me @musingsofwhimsicalsoul on Instagram) Even if you hated the film, I’d be too stoked about having managed to sell someone on trying out a movie to care. I swear.
Notting Hill is a classic romantic comedy that’s as old as me! (What a completely normal way to measure time!) It came out way back in 1999, and stars *wait for it* Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It takes on a very relatable fantasy of what you would do if a famous actor/actress suddenly bumped into you. Hugh is, well, his usual character of an affable, adorable British man who lives with a quirky roommate and owns a bookstore, which the famous actress Anna Scott, played by Julia Roberts, walks into. A very genuinely sweet movie and the one behind the mega-famous, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” monologue.
Pretty Woman is another even older classic rom-com with Julia Roberts! Julia, in my opinion, absolutely ruled the rom-com market in the 90s and deservedly so. In Pretty Woman, she plays a down- on-her-luck prostitute, who is hired by a wealthy businessman, played by Richard Gere, to be his escort for business and social events for a week. The movie is about the relationship(Wink-wink, nudge-nudge) they develop in this week and also, how cute they both are. (I’m not kidding, this is the official summary of the movie, ask Wikipedia) In other highlights, it has an excellent shopping/makeover montage and an adorable ‘happy ending’.
About Time is more about-our-time. (Did you laugh?) It’s a 2013 romantic comedy featuring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams in one of the sweetest romantic comedies of the last decade. About Time is what you get when you combine time travel, a very sci-fi trope with a rom-com. I think its most winning quality and what makes it stand out is the focus it gives to the other relationships apart from just the movie’s romance. The romance gets its time and rightfully so, but the familial relationships really set the movie apart. As a bonus, Rachel McAdams is playing yet another time traveller’s romantic interest (That brings the count to 3, right?) and the soundtrack is wonderful.
Going way back to 1987 brings us the ultimate classic that is Dirty Dancing. Supposed to be set in the ’60s but really just people dressed in 80’s clothes doing 60’s things, like going to the Catskills. It is the OG dance movie with Jennifer Grey playing ‘Baby’, who is visiting the resort and Patrick Swayze as the dance instructor she falls in love with. The movie is super iconic and surprisingly modern, despite its flaws. It has spawned many pop-culture references, think ” No one puts Baby in the corner” or the very oft-referenced “Time of My Life” lift. Watch it for the dancing and the soundtrack, if nothing else. (And Patrick Swayze, did I mention him?)
Crazy Rich Asians
And finally, Crazy Rich Asians! The most recent of the bunch, this 2018 rom-com stars Constance Wu as a Chinese-American professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend a.k.a Henry Golding to visit his family in Singapore and discovers that they are *spoiler alert* ‘crazy rich’. It’s a very entertaining movie, great PR for Singapore and one of the best rom-coms to come out in recent years. For me though, this movie is special because it represents the future of romantic comedies that I stand by; more inclusive stories about all kinds of people and cultures. It was a milestone in the genre and I’m so excited about the wind of change it brings!
THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is your Top 5 list of rom-com recommendations? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!