Is there anything more delightful and life-affirming than a perfectly executed romantic comedy?
Every once in awhile, it’s nice to indulge our inner sap and just let our cynical expectations disappear as we sit back, grab a bucket of popcorn, pull up our Snuggie and pop in a cheesy feel-good (and completely unrealistic) rom-com. So here’s ten romantic comedies we recommend for those days when you just feel like falling in love.
1) The Princess Bride (1987)
Westley: This is true love – you think this happens every day?
The quintessentially perfect book to screen adaptation, this film teaches us that even death cannot stop true love… it can only delay it for a while.
With its dashing pirates, deadly sword fights, and large animatronic rodents, The Princess Bride isn’t the traditional “kissing-book” romantic comedy. Its ironic humor makes it about so much more than the central romance, simultaneously mocking and yet believing in the power of this ultimate true love between a former stable boy and would-be princess.
2) 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Patrick: Ooh, see that, there. Who needs affection when I have blind hatred?
It’s hard to really mess up material from the king of romantic comedies himself, but this modern day interpretation of Shakespeare’s 400 year-old rom-com The Taming of the Shrew, shows us that despite hundreds of years of technological advancement, human behavior and emotion hasn’t really changed all that much through the generations.
And while we do not condone the objectification of women through a misogynistic bet, it’s hard to stay mad at a guy who literally did a song and dance routine in an attempt to win a lady’s affections.
3) You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Joe Fox: Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.
It’s a real Sophie’s Choice trying to pick between Nora Ephrom’s two classic rom-coms starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, but in the end this sequel of sorts to Sleepless in Seattle wins out because we get to watch these two fall in love twice: first as cyber pen pals, and later as enemies turned best friends.
Meg Ryan looks absolutely adorable in all of her granny sweaters, and makes us believe in the beauty of daisies as we wish we could all look so precious with a head cold. And everyone in this film works in a bookshop, which is just cool.
4) Penelope (2006)
Penelope: Once the Queen is dead, the King is useless.
Max: What’s that about?
Penelope: I don’t know. Maybe he’s too depressed to fight. He really loved her, you know.
This romantic comedy features Peter Dinklage as a cynical detective, James McAvoy as a jaded gambler who’s lost his musical soul, and Reese Witherspoon as a sassy
biker moped chick. Most importantly, Christina Ricci is the pig-faced damsel in distress who learns to slay her own dragons.
This quirky Beauty and the Beast interpretation turns the classic story on its head as the characters inspire one another to find their own strength as individuals, and proves that the most important person we have to learn to love is our self. Also, how cute are those chess scenes?
5) Music and Lyrics (2007)
Alex: The best time I’ve had in the last fifteen years was sitting at that piano with you.
Sophie: That’s wonderfully sensitive… especially from a man who wears such tight pants.
Alex: It forces all the blood to my heart.
This vastly underappreciated romantic comedy is wonderful in its simple, yet effective execution. Hugh Grant does what he does best and exploits his rom-com leading man status as a fallen pop star of the 80’s, while Drew Barrymore is adorable as his kooky plant-lady turned songwriter.
The actors are truly delightful in their chemistry, and their line delivery is absolutely spot-on as they make corny lines seem downright funny. Also, this cheesy pop soundtrack is just super catchy.
Turn to page 2 for five more delightfully sappy rom-coms!
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