Sometimes, all you want to do is curl up and watch a movie that’ll make you laugh (or cry). Maybe you’ve just had a bad day. Or perhaps there’s that guy you’ve got a total die-hard crush on that won’t look at you. Or maybe you just like the romantic comedy genre and you’re dying to know what I think (in my totally unprofessional opinion). Whatever the case, I’ve decided to share a few of my favourite RomComs to help guide you through this tough time.
Just so you know, I don’t tend to watch older movies (before 2000) so films like The Princess Bride won’t be on this list. That said, I also haven’t watched every movie out there, so maybe I just haven’t seen a fan favourite. One thing I have to ask you NOT to do is to look up the ratings for these choices because they’re all pretty much rated unfairly (movies can be worth watching even if the plot isn’t so great).
There isn’t a hierarchy from 1 to 7, but I do find myself gravitating towards certain films before others. Also, most of the RomComs I watch are on Canadian Netflix, and if they’re not, then I have to go buy them. So, in no particular order, I give you my go-to RomComs:
The Proposal (2009)
Brief description: Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is the ruthless editor-in-chief of a big time publisher. Imagine her shock when her work permit is rejected by the US government. So, in order to keep her job, she asks – forces – her assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to be her fiancé. Through a few little bumps along the road, they end up taking a weekend trip to Alaska to meet Andrew’s family.
I’ve watched The Proposal probably a hundred times by now, and I have some of the script memorized (oops?). All the jokes are still funny, and I find myself smiling more often than not. That said, there’s also a plot that goes with this. Sort of. It’s mostly just one hilarious topsy-turvy movie that’ll have you laughing from beginning to end. Every time my girlfriends and I take a day to relax at home, this is a movie we’d watch together.
Just Go With It (2011)
Brief description: Dr. Maccabee (Adam Sandler) is a successful plastic surgeon with a penchant for lying about his marital status after his disastrous almost-wedding. When he meets who he thinks is the love of his life, he gets caught in a web of lies. Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) wants proof that he is really getting a divorce from his soon-to-be-ex-wife, “Devlin” (Jennifer Aniston), so he enlists the help of his assistant to solve the problem. One thing leads to another, and one of ‘their’ kids gets all of them on a plane headed to Hawaii for a few days of hilarity and deception.
Any movie with Adam Sandler is basically guaranteed to be funny, and this one is no exception. His quick wit coupled with Aniston’s talent for comedy makes Just Go With It a RomCom worth watching. It’s sweet and romantic and a tale of realizing what you really want in life instead of jumping on the first pretty boat your eyes land on. Besides the questionable morals, the movie shows some of the innocence you can still find later in life.
Brief description: A recently-divorced mom and a widowed dad find themselves on a blind date that goes horribly wrong. Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) swear they never want to see each other again, but fate intervenes and ensures that they do. When they both purchase one-half of a vacation package to South Africa, they are in for a surprise when they discover that they have to share the same suite and experience a slew of family activities together with their children.
As I’ve said, Adam Sandler and comedy are predictably related. Blended is the type of movie you’d sit down and watch with your family. The relationships that unfold within the story are touching and hilarious (a word I’ve used way too many times by now), and you’ll learn that there is nothing wrong with trying something new in the face of heartbreak. Each of the kids also explore a different side of life than they are used to, like first loves and accepting change.
Crazy, Stupid Love (2011)
Brief description: Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) has a perfect life. He has loving children, a nice house, and a beautiful wife named Emily (Julianne Moore). His life turns upside down when he learns that Emily has been unfaithful and wants a divorce. 40 years old and suddenly single, he has to traverse the single life once more. Cue Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a womanizing hottie that takes Cal under his wing and teaches him the finer arts of being a ladies’ man.
There are several relationships that are revealed as the story goes along, and each one is perfect to showcase the complicated turns that life may take. Besides being funny and engaging, Crazy, Stupid Love is a movie that exposes more than just the exciting novelties in life. It is relatable in so many different ways, and you’ll realize that there are some things in life worth fighting for. Also, if you won’t watch it for the plot, watch it for Ryan Gosling because he is a dream in this movie.
Life As We Know It (2010)
Brief description: A disastrous first date ends in mutual dislike and an agreement to ignore the other’s existence. The only other thing they have in common is their love for their goddaughter, Sophie (played by an adorable child who you can’t help but adore). When Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel) suddenly find themselves as Sophie’s caretakers, they have to put their differences inside for the sake of the little girl.
Okay, I cried during this movie. Just the one time, and if you watch it, you’ll know when. It’s sadder than the other movies I’ve recommended, but it is also just as funny as the rest. Laughter is constant and the tears are few and far between, so don’t worry. It’s still a very good RomCom to watch with your friends and family, but just have a few tissues nearby.
When in Rome (2010)
Brief description: Beth Martin (Kristen Bell) is a hardworking New-Yorker disillusioned by romance. When her little sister announces her marriage, Beth makes the trip to Italy in order to witness the albeit surprising event. Just a little tipsy, she plucks a few coins from a supposedly magical fountain in the middle of Rome and attracts the attention of several odd suitors. When a persistent reporter (Josh Duhamel) is included in this strange mix of artists and merchants, Beth is left to wonder if his love is the real deal.
So, I think you get the pattern. Two people who are at odds + a mysterious location/situation = Ms. Abigail’s favourite RomComs. This one made it on the list because A) it’s funny (obviously) and B) it’s an easy movie to watch. It’s the type of film where you’ll find yourself completely immersed in the story and forgetting about your worries for a little while. Just…easy.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Brief description: Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) and Ben Berry (Matthew McConaughey) are just two people with individual plans to succeed in their respective fields. Andie challenges herself to write an advice column on how to lose a guy in 10 days, and Ben thinks he can get any woman to fall in love with him in the same amount of time. Both their plans would work to ensure their preferred outcomes, but when they cross paths, everything backfires.
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more in a movie that I would normally find just ‘okay’. Still, although the movie is just another RomCom in my world, the things that happen in this film are so ridiculously hilarious that I can’t help but laugh every few seconds. I can’t reveal the specific jokes (because spoilers) but just know that every single thing Andie does to get rid of Ben made me LMAO.
Honourable Mention: The Other Woman (2014)
I wasn’t planning to include this movie on the list, but I do watch it once every couple of months so it has to be good. It’s about a wife (Leslie Mann) that discovers her husband is a cheating jerk, and a woman (Cameron Diaz) who discovers that her perfect boyfriend is married. Add in the fact that these two women meet, and the poor sod is guaranteed to go down in flames.
This movie would be sad if it lingered on the heartbreak a bit more, but it’s just the perfect mix of friendship and learning how to be yourself that it made it onto this post. Of course, it’s funny, and of course, there is romance (maybe the uglier side), but it will teach you how to be with someone without losing yourself and how to exact revenge on your cheating husband. That said, please do not use this movie as a how-to on serving justice.
Did your favourite RomComs make it on the list? If not, then share your thoughts!