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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kick Ass Romantic Comedies.

Recently on The Pioneer Woman, there was a survey done to determine the best/favorite romantic comedy of all time. I was saddened and disgusted when all of my favorites were either knocked out of the park or not even mentioned (Princess Bride where WERE you). So since it's Sunday, and may very well be movie night in some households tonight, I thought I would share my favorites that are, as a bonus, mostly very male-friendly. All of these are Todd-tested, Todd-approved.

In no particular order:

Pride and Prejudice

This wasn't even a contender over on PW's site, which left me shocked and appalled. I'd say it was perhaps due to not using literary adaptations, but another of my favorite's 10 Things I Hate About You was on the list, and that is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, so still I sit shocked and appalled.

Todd loves this movie by the way. Less for the romance, though he can appreciate a kiss after months and months of sexual tension as well as any female can, and far, far more for the celver dialogue or as he puts it, insulting the shit out of someone all while sounding very elegant. It's also why Alan Rickman's Snape is his favorite Harry Potter character.

This particular adaptation is an exquisite and very thorough companion to Austen's novel. And hello, Colin Firth! The chemistry between Firth and Jennifer Ehle is a masterpiece, and silly old Bingley is adorbs as can be. Men will enjoy Mr. Bennett's dry and witty criticisms of Mrs. Bennett, and will enjoy the fact that they are not married to Mrs. Bennett. Everyone will laugh at Lady Katherine De Berg.


I love, love, love this movie. There is not only hilarious dialogue, but beautiful, poignant dialogue.

"A bride without a head!"
"A wolf without a foot!"

"... like moonlight in a martini."

Funny AND beautiful:
"I see a wolf in everybody and I see a wolf in you."
"Yeah, well you know what I see in you?"
"The girl I married."

There are so many little storylines going on here, but the most central to the movie is of course the love blossoming between Loretta and her fiance Cosmo's brother Ronny. But what I love about this movie is that it's not two hard-bodied gym rats taking their clothes off and finding chemistry out of absolutely nowhere (Hello, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days). There is more tenderness and love and romance in the scene where two old married kids, wrinkled and grey, get a little frisky in the bedroom, and the moonlight, while they remember themselves as young lovers, than there is in many of the contemporary romantic comedies out today. It's actually giving me goosebumps, remembering that particular scene. This is not some vapid movie for women who just want the two protagonists to get together, not in my opinion anyway. This is a love story that revels in new relationships and old ones, happy unions and troubled ones. And it's also hilarious.

It Happened One Night

I knew Todd would love old black and white movies because he is an old-fashioned kind of guy, but it's taken some time. We both adored IHON, however, and for that reason it goes up on the list. Talk about witty dialogue!

"Shapely's my name, and that's how I like 'em."

Ha! Plus, this movie has Clark Gable in it! It's sort of like Roman Holiday in that there's a rich girl and a reporter here. But the hijinx of Ellie and Peter are a little more kooky, including a charmingly funny hitch hiking scene (back when that shit was still safe I guess). It's a sweet little movie, men and women alike will enjoy the old school dialogue and wit, and once you see it you can see where a lot of other movies might have gotten the idea, sort of like...

French Kiss

Now, Kate is not a rich heiress and Luc is not a reporter, but she's on her own little mission and he's there to take advantage of the situation, until... Well, you know what will likely happen. Love! Amour! Le Romance!

I love, love, love this movie, and honestly, no offense to Meg Ryan who, as we know, is a Romantic Comedy alum, but I think this movie is made by Kevin Kline as the swarthy Frenchman Luc. And of course, his and Ryan's chemistry is absoltuely wonderful to watch. But there is such funny dialogue, too. Add in a great soundtrack and the amazing backdrop of Paris and the French countryside and Riveria and you're hooked.


Here's another one that is absolutely sold on the man's performance. Based on the play Cyrano de Bergerac, this movie is a tale of a man with a huge nose who falls for the prettiest gal in town, Roxanne who also happens to be, get this, a goddamn rocket scientist. Anyways, she is played by the lovely Daryl Hannah, and she is played well, but come on, when the main man is Steve Martin? You can't hold a candle.

Anyways, he's CD, the fire chief in a small town (get it with the initials of his name?) , and he is in love with Roxanne, but is too chicken to tell her, and too self concsious of his shnoz. So when she falls for the super hunky Chris, played by I Don't Care Who, who also happens to be completely inept with women, CD decides he can pour out his love in steamy, sexy, intelligent letters that he will write on behalf of Chris. Why, yes, mayhem does ensue.

Roman Holiday

Oh, this movie!! I saw this awhile back and don't remember too, too much of it, but Audrey Hepburn is a fed up princess who runs away from her duties while in Rome in order to get a chance to be a normal person. Gregory Peck plays the reporter, hot on her trail for a great story about a good girl gone MIA. Guess what happens? With these two amazing actors and a cute plot, plus the Rome of yesteryear (not BC, I mean like when they like, had black and white movies, like), it's charming, funny, and a little bittersweet.

Princess Bride

This is probably the one movie in this post that needs no introduction, explanation or justification for being billed a Kick Ass Romantic Comedy. This movie is one love story that no man complains about, because it is so fucking awesome. Enough said.

10 Things I Hate About You

"There's a difference between like and love. I like my Skecher sneakers, but I love my Prada backpack."
"But I love my Skecher sneakers."
"That's because you don't have a Prada backpack."

This movie is chock full of one liners and hilarity. It was actually difficult picking just one. I love so many members of this cast and not just because they're all so pretty. As I said before, this movie is based on Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew, and it's an excellent adaptation. Smart, funny and adorable, it's one of the first romantic comedies that I thrust upon Todd and he loved it enough to say, once it was over, "So, some of these chick flicks aren't so bad. What else do you have?" 

And I died.

When Harry Met Sally

I'm sorry, but this movie is king. It's the ultimate rom com. Unlike a lot of movies out there, it has a message about relationships between men and women and whether or not you agree with that message, you still have to admit that the movie does a great job of arguing the case. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are absolute perfection. The way they personify the male and female perspective is honest and realistic and you feel for each of them, sympathize with their individual struggles. They're also so incredibly funny. Watching their journeys, both together and separately, is an absolute joy. To me, this movie is the pinnacle of romantic comedies, and it achieves what they all set out to do, what so many fail to do. Well done, Rob Reiner. Well done.

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