From the Film Shelf: 10 Modern Romantic Comedies

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Very excited to announce a new series for the blog! I've always adored movies (Singing in the Rain and Star Wars were the first films I remember seeing as a kid) and have enjoyed honing my taste in movies.

Since I love a good recommendation from friends and fellow bloggers, I thought it'd be fun to share some of my favorite films. I am by no means a true connoisseur, but I do have good taste (yes, I said it). I'm always looking for new-to-me films or reminders of old favorites. So think of this as popping into the "spare room" to sit on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate or tea as we watch a great flick.

And now, the first category...modern romantic comedies from the '90s - 2000s!

It is no secret among those who know me well that I absolutely love rom-coms. It's a philosophy of mine that when life ain't going right/aka sucks, watch a romantic comedy and the world suddenly seems brighter.

So in no particular order, here are some of my favorite feel-good, modern rom-coms from the past two decades. Because sometimes we all need 90-100 minutes of a cute plot, adorable antics, and silly awkwardness between the two sexes.

1. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Oh, yes. I'm starting with the in quite probably the top romantic comedy of all time. I loved this film as a child and adore it even more now that I'm older...Meg Ryan is just so sweet and Tom Hanks is...Tom Hanks, which means you love him from his first onscreen line when asked if he knows how to make juice: (in a daze because his wife's funeral just ended) "Three minutes in the microwave." It's timeless, pulls on your heartstrings + proves that long distant relationships don't just work, but they can start with both people in different cities. This is quite possibly my FAVORITE film of all time. Forever and always.

2. Hitch (2005)
This is one of those movies that everyone saw once in the theaters, loved it, and came back two more times with friends and family members. I saw it in a packed theater and the room was constantly exploding with laughter. Will Smith is smooth as ever as the "dating doctor" who helps men (usually with awkward social skills) land the girl of their dreams. Kevin James is Alfred, the hopeless, geeky, clumsy, and utterly adorable accountant who is in love with his beautiful famous client. This is worth seeing alone for Smith's and James's report, which makes for hilarious bromance scenes.

3. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Can we talk about how this movie was simply perfect in every way? As a glorified child of the 90's, I grew up on Sandra Bullock movies and this is (in my opinion) her best. As a shy ticket collector who's dorky but dreams about romance like every girl, Bullock is sweetly relatable. So when Peter, the man she's admired through the ticket window, is mugged and pushed on the train tracks. She rushes him to the hospital and is mistaken as his fiance. Then his family shows up and she's forced to go along with the story since Peter's in a coma. Only problem? She starts falling for his brother. SO GOOD.

4. Runaway Bride (1999)
Like Meg and Sandra, Julia Roberts was heralded as America's sweetheart...she especially shines in this film with her frank, funny, and earnest portrayal of a woman who's looking for love, but doesn't know what she wants. Another great 90's film, this is great if you've already seen #1 and #3 but still want a 90's fix. The small town setting is great and Joan Cusack is marvelous in her supporting role of Julia's friend.

5. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Hilarious and so-true-to-life film about realizing you're in love with your best friend. After he's already taken. Julia plays a food critic who is horrified when her best friend announces he's getting married right before she professes her love. I'm going to risk being called un-American, but I don't find Dermot (her love interest) attractive. What I really watch this film for is Julia and Rupert Everett (her gay friend who agrees to help her win Dermot back). They are hilarious, Julia's antics are insane, and the famous chase scene at the end is classic.

6. 50 First Dates (2004)
This adorable, comedic film has Adam Sandberg trying to woo the girl of his dreams...only problem? She has short term memory loss, so he has to try again. And again. Hence the title. But it's anything but repetitive as all sorts of hijinks happen. Adam is sweetly earnest + funny as always and Drew is her usual charming, bohemian self. A little more adult in theme, but still hilarious in proving that love is messy but always, always worthwhile.

7. The Holiday (2006)
This is a really sweet film about falling in love with people - and places - when you least expect it. A British woman (Kate Winslet) and an American woman (Cameron Diaz) switch houses during the holiday season and find their new environment almost better than their actual one. And of course, they both fall in love while on holiday. A cute flick about falling in love when you least expect it. Bonus points for the incredibly sweet friendship that develops between Kate Winslet's character and the old screenwriter she takes care of.

8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
This movie essentially depicts my family - except I'm Mexican, not Greek. But the chaotic, uproarious family dynamic is exactly the everyone can relate to this side-splitting comedy about trying to be "normal" in a family that's anything but. The main character is desperate to escape her Greek heritage, so when she falls in love with a non-Greek man, she tries her best only to discover that you can't leave behind who you really are. And that family, crazy as they are, will always be there for you. What really makes this film though is the dad, who religiously believes in the healing power of Windex for all maladies.

9. Kate & Leopold (2001)
I had never heard of this film until a friend made me sit down and watch it (thanks, Leslie!) and then I couldn't understand why I hadn't heard more rave reviews of it. Let's be honest...this is really a Meg Ryan movie list. I loved this sweet flick about Kate, a cynical career woman in modern-day New York City, who stumbles upon Leopold (a swoon-worthy, gentlemanly Hugh Jackman), a duke from the 19th century who has accidentally time-traveled to her house. A true star-crossed lovers tale, they quarrel and butt heads repeatedly...never realizing they're falling in love all the while. Kate's employless younger brother who lives with her and her ex-boyfriend who lives on the floor above her also add a note of hilarity.

10. You've Got Mail (1998)
Is anyone actually surprised that this list begins and ends with these two? It's my steadfast opinion that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are the king + queen of romantic we're ending on a high note. These two are just as magical (if not more) five years after Sleepless in Seattle as warring bookshop owners. Ryan is Kathleen Kelly, the owner of the precious "Shop Around the Corner" and Hanks is Joe Fox ("F-O-X!"), whose family business - an enormous, successful chain called Fox Bookstores - threatens the livelihood of Kathleen's shop. They hate each other in real life, only they've no idea the other is actually the person they've been emailing all year. If you don't like this movie, I'm not sure you have a heart as these two are incredibly adorable + witty together...also, a love story that happens through technology? Even more relevant now than it was then.

And there you go, friends! Hope you enjoyed that...happy Netflix-ing and do let me know in the comments if you're a fan of any of the above. Or anything you think should should have been on the list! I've got some fun categories lined up, so keep an eye out for more of these posts.

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Lauren said...

YES! While You Were Sleeping and You've Got Mail are two of my favorites! I also love The Holiday!
A couple of others that I love include About Time (possibley my favorite movie ever) and What If. Long live the rom-com.

Carey Mooradian said...

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is my fave- just put some windex on it! I've never seen While You Were Sleeping, but it sounds pretty good...maybe a girl's night is in order to watch it:)

Caitlin Kline said...

Yes, yes, yes, & yes. Love this post! Now I'm in the mood for a good rom-com hahaha.



Grace K. said...

Yes!! It's such a good film - my mother is just like the dad - only her "cure-all" is apple cider vinegar! And you simply must watch While You Were's so sweet and funny.

Grace K. said...

Lauren, About Time is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE film of all time (the only reason it didn't make this list is because it's on another one I'll be posting soon) - Sleepless is almost neck and neck, but I'd say SiS is my favorite 90's one and AT is my favorite for everything else!

And I haven't seen What If (Dan Radcliffe's in it, right?) but I've heard good things!

Anne Marie Schlueter said...

Hi! Anne Marie here, new visitor. Totally loving this blog, you have a really great, unique writing style. Looking forward to seeing more from you!

Hannah P said...

My movie list just increased!

And Drew Barrymore's Never Been Kissed is super cute addition to the list!

Iris Hanlin - The Starving Inspired said...

Sleepless in Seattle and While you were Sleeping have been two of my family's favorite movies since I was a wee child. This is a great list! I'll have to watch some of the others I haven't seen before (Kate & Leopold is the only other one I've seen on this list). Here's to movies on stormy nights!

The Starving Inspired
The Starving Inspired

Hannah Deno said...

Okay. The only one on this list I've seen is My Big Fat Greek Wedding (AWESOME movie BTW!)... I need more romantic comedies in my life.

Grace K. said...

Thaaaanks, foxy lady. Ahaha, we should get together and watch one!

Grace K. said...

Hi Anne Marie! Thank you so much for stopping by - I'm delighted to "meet" you. :)

Grace K. said...

Ooh, another good one - I haven't seen it in years, so I'll have to rewatch it!

Grace K. said...

Whaaaaaaaaat? (Although Big Fat Greek Wedding is a testament to your good taste ;). I definitely recommend starting with these! Rom-coms are essential to happiness.

Grace K. said...

I agree - stormy nights are perfect for movies!