Monday, February 14, 2011

Figgy's Favorites: RomComs Edition

I think you all know by now that despite my Tough-Talkin', Hatin' exterior, I'm kind of a big softie inside. So, while I despise everything related to Valentine's Day (except for the cheap chocolate tomorrow), I figured this was a good a time as any to write this list.

You should also know that I love Romantic Comedies. I watch them obsessively. All of them - hell, I've watched everything Kate Hudson has ever made (so now you know why I hate her), just because I want to find the gems amongst the piles of crap that Hollywood produces year after year.

These are the gems. They're the movies I'll sit and watch over and over again, the ones who'll get me all blubbery and grinning like a fool every single time I watch them. They may not be cinematic genius--most of them riddled with the same cliches as the bad ones-- but they make me happy.

For all intents and purposes I'm using this basic definition of a RomCom: A comedy centered and revolving around a love story. I like this definition because it gives me a more narrow field to work with, and because it excludes a lot of comedies that just happen to have a romance in them but that I wouldn't classify as RomComs. Some examples of this are Shaun of the Dead or High Fidelity; two great movies, but not RomComs to me. I know some people might not like that definition, but it works for me. So: Comedy and a love story at the center.

1. Bridget Jones' Diary

Best Moments: The confession, of course. The birthday scene (that look he gives her across the table? Sweet jeebus) and of course, the kiss at the end. That kiss. Ooh, honey pass me the fan.

Best Assets: Zellwegger whom I will always love for this movie alone, Colin Firth's accent and sexy stares, Hugh Grant being deliciously evil, Bridget's Parents (Slugworth and Madame Pomfrey!), Gaius Baltar as the gay friend, the soundtrack.

Best Line(s):
"Wait a minute...nice boys don't kiss like that."
"Oh, yes, they fucking do.

Dumb Thing To Get Over (But that you can get over pretty easily): Trying to make us believe that Bridget Jones is fat. But the whole point of the character is that she thinks she's fat but isn't.

2.The Truth About Cats and Dogs:

Best Moments: The conversations between the girls, the visit to the department store, the photo session, and of course, the phone conversation. Gets me all oogly every single time.

Best Assets: Janeane Garofalo at her most awesome, Ben Chaplin's accent, the dog, Uma Thurman being thoroughly likable for the first time ever.

Stupid Thing to Get Over: The ridiculous premise, the idea that Janeane Garofalo isn't as beautiful (if not more) than Uma Thurman.

Best Line(s):
"What's wrong, Abby?"
"Nothing that a rooftop and an AK-47 won't fix"

3. While You Were Sleeping:

Best Moments: The scene where she first meets the family, the Christmas dinner, the wedding, the first visit to the apartment.

Best Assets: Sandra Bullock at her most adorable, Joe Junior, Bill Pullman looking like a sexy carpenter, Peter Gallagher's insane eyebrows, the entire, ridiculously lovable family.

Stupid Thing to Get Over: The lie is pretty flimsy, but works perfectly. Also that anyone would fall in love with Peter Gallagher and his eyebrows.

Best Line(s):
"I'd say that she gets under your skin as soon as you meet her. She drives you so nuts you don't know whether to hug her or, or just really arm wrestle her. She would go all the way to Europe just to get a stamp in her passport. I don't know if that amounts to insanity, or just being really, really... likable. "

4.Bringing Up Baby:
[Note: I suppose this would fit in better under the "Slapstick Comedy" genre, but I'm putting it on here because I can.]

Best Moments: Oh, all of them. The whole movie is a succession of hilarious scenes and brilliant moments. If forced to pick one, I'd say the whole scene at the restaurant.

Best Assets: Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Need I say more? Well, the leopards are pretty great, and Hepburn's wardrobe is amazing. George the dog is great.

Stupid Thing to Ignore: If you're really picky, the Walking Irish Stereotype can be a bit much for some people.

Best Lines:
"Now it isn't that I don't like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but - well, there haven't been any quiet moments

5.Sleepless in Seattle:

Best Moments: the entire radio conversation at the start, Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell watching An Affair to Remember, then Rita Wilson describing it, the guys "crying" over The Dirty Dozen.

Best Assets: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, both completely sweet and believable, the fact that this movie manages to convey chemistry between the two of them without them ever talking to each other, the kid who plays Jonah, the whole supporting cast (Rita Wilson, Rosie O'Donnell, Victor Garber, Bill Pullman, David Hyde Pierce).

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: Jonah somehow manages to fly from Seattle to NYC way too easily. Things were more relaxed in the 90s, but not that relaxed.

Best Line:
"You don't want to fall in love. You want to fall in love in a movie

6.Four Weddings and a Funeral:

Best Moments: All of the weddings, Rowan Atkinson as the priest, the girl learns sign language for the deaf boy, the final scene, John Hannah reading the poem at the funeral.

Best Assets: Hugh Grant as his most stammery, John Hannah and Simon Callow, Kristin Scott Thomas, the horrible wedding clothes, the pretty scenery, and Duckface.

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: Andy McDowell.

Best Line:
"In the words of David Cassidy in fact, eh, while he was still with the Partridge family..."I think I love you,"

7. When Harry Met Sally

Best Moments: The first conversation in the car, the conversation during Casablanca, the double date, the grand speech at the end.

Best Assets: Meg Ryan's hair, Billy Crystal's line delivery, Carrie Fisher, the horrible 80s wardrobe, the chemistry between Crystal and Ryan.

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: Billy Crystal is not a pretty man.

Best Line:
"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

8.Love, Actually:
[I know a lot of people hate this one...but a lot of people hate fun, too.]

Best Moments: Laura Linney finally kisses her gorgeous man, Andrew Lincoln with the boards, every scene with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant dances, Colin Firth in a pond again, every scene with Bill Nighy.

Best Assets: an incredible cast. Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Liam Neeson. That girl who sings "All I want for Christmas".

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: I don't like the storyline with the kid, or the Colin-goes-to-the-US, or the way the Laura Linney story ends. But everything else is pretty great.

Best Line:
"-Well, I was worried. I thought it would be something worse.
-Worse than the total agony of being in love?"

9.10 Things I Hate About You:

Best Moments: Heath Ledger sings (see above), the party (and the bit with the swings), the prom, Joseph Gordon Levitt tries to recruit Heath Ledger.

Best Assets: the cast, including Heath Ledger at his sexiest, Joseph Gordon Levitt being adorable (though he does nothing for me), Julia Stiles being great, the dad, the gorgeous location, Allison FRAKKIN Janney.

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: The stupid bet, because it's formulaic. But it's pretty easy to forget that it even exists sometimes.

Best Line:
"-Where did you come from? Planet "Loser"?
-As opposed to Planet "Look At Me, Look At Me"?

10.Ever After

Best Moments: the gypsies, the scene at the library, the bit with the ruins, the ball...hell, every scene that the two have together is quite wonderful.

Best Assets: Drew Barrymore's at her most lovable self, Dougray Scott managing to look hot even while wearing a giant cup, Angelica Houston, the beautiful locations, the couple that plays the King and Queen.

Stupid Thing You Need to Ignore: Leonardo da Vinci. It's so dumb it's kind of hilarious.

Best Line:
"-It is not fair, sire. You have found my weakness, but I have yet to learn yours.
-But I should think it was quite obvious.

11.The Matchmaker
[Yep, Janeane Garofalo again. I love her so much]

Best Moments: the singing contest, the pretend family fools the Senator, the whole trip to the Inishmore.

Best Assets: Janeane Garofalo, all of those delightful Irish accents, the scenery, Dennis Leary.

Stupid thing you need to ignore: The sex scene is terribly unsatisfying.''

Best Line:
"-Is being an idiot like being high all the time?
-No, it's like being constantly right."


Honorable Mentions:
-You've Got Mail
-The Philadelphia Story
-It Happened One Night
-The Wedding Singer

So, there you go. Hope you get around to watching the ones you haven't seen. And please, be kind in the comments. Remember that these are my personal choices, and I never claim to have flawless taste. So add your own, or fight me if you must.


Anonymous said...

Aww, I loved this post. I've seen them all except Bringing Up Baby and that's so on my list, and love them all (except Love Actually but I will not be mean to you about it.)

I wanna go watch some rom-coms now.

The Caustic Critic said...

Such good choices! I love 4 Weddings, and if they'd picked someone who could act to play the female lead, it would have been out of this world -- luckily, all the side characters are so great, it's okay. I also appreciate your love for Janeane Garofalo -- I thought I was the only person who loved The Matchmaker!

Anonymous said...

Love Actually is the greatest movie ever. Haters can go suck an egg.