Renegade Cinema Staff Picks
Best Romantic Comedies
Caliber Winfield: I was going to go with Shaun of the Dead, but I wanted to bring a little love to a lesser known film, Adam Carolla’s The Hammer. A fantastic movie about Jerry, a man who just turned 40 that’s never gone for his dreams. While trying out for the Olympic boxing team, Jerry meets a student in his boxing class that he falls for, and includes her in his attempt to rebuild his life into something worth living.
It’s funny, it’s smart, and one of the best independent films I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it to you all. Also, disregard the fact it’s rated R. You could honestly show this to 5th graders, no problem.
Eric Norcross: Philadelphia set Rom-Com featuring Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall. I gravitate towards the idea of an artist falling in love with his creation and his creation coming to life to love him back. AMAZING. Also, the soundtrack is kick-ass.
500 Days of Summer
Brandon Groppi: 500 Days of Summer has to be one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen in years. The art direction is beautiful and taking the romantic side from the guys perspective is also well done. Marc Webb did a fantastic job on the film. The one sequence that embodied what it’s like being with the girl of your dreams in the film is when Joseph Gordon Levitt is dancing to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Comes True”
One of my favorite romantic comedies in a while.
James Cochrane: I love Romantic Comedies but I don’t tend to own any. I find that after I have seen one I don’t feel like reliving the film again. Except for Knocked Up. I own Knocked Up on Blu-ray and I watch it often. I consider it to be a perfect film. The story is fun, fresh. The characters are relatable and believable. It is funny as hell, and then does something that most romantic comedies don’t do- it shows you how hard romance really is. With a great cast of memorable secondary characters you cant help but find some fun in here, and then when it is all over, feel like you learned quite a bit about relationships, new or waning.
Wrist Cutters: A Love Story / Defending Your Life
Ruby Le Rouge: Most of the time I am not a fan of romantic comedies, they often come off as trite, and feed into annoying stereotypes, but I do like dark comedies that have romantic elements. I’m torn between 2, Wrist Cutters: A Love Story and Defending Your Life. Both have a lot of rewatch value for me, both take place in the afterlife (go figure), both end with the guy getting the girl (It’s a romantic comedy, is that really a spoiler?)
Shawn S. Lealos: This was a fantastic French movie that really showed that Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a master filmmaker, Alien Resurrection be damned. Amelie was a waitress who only had one goal in her life – to make other people happy, without any thoughts to her own love life itself. The movie was quirky in all the right ways and it was bitingly funny. This isn’t the sweet innocent movie you might think if you never saw it. Hell, there is a scene at the beginning where she admits one of her favorite things to do is stand outside and listen to the people of her city have sex. Honestly, this movie shocked the hell out of me. I thought it would be kind of stupid but it was very smart and amazingly well crafted.
When Harry Met Sally…
Derek Johns: I’ve never been crazy about romantic comedies so I was surprised how hard of a decision this turned out to be for me. In the end though, while Say Anything and The Philadelphia Story are worthy runners up the best film for me is When Harry Met Sally. The film has stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan at their comedic best with great chemistry to boot. The film is such a classic that many other romantic comedies have been trying to imitate it ever since (with limited success).
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Bethany Lewis: While I would gladly choose any of the several films starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, this one also features James Stewart who has some terrific chemistry with both of his co-stars. The real star, though, is the classy, smart, and vivacious Hepburn, who proved at a time when it was unpopular for women to be so, that smart and sporty could be just as sexy as classic femininity. The film itself is unusually complex and philosophical for a romantic comedy, giving the audience more to think about than pure “will they won’t they” theory (and the answer is always “they will”). The movie is beautiful to look at, smart to listen to, and witty to watch – so different from the mindless gags and inane romance of modern romantic comedies. The Philadelphia Story has class, and that is something rarely found in the genre these days.
Crazy Stupid Love
Caleb Masters: I generally avoid rom coms, but every year it seems like there are two or three that break the rules of the money grubbing formula audiences can’t seem to get enough of. My recent favorite has to be “Crazy Stupid Love” starring Steve Carrel, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone.
“Crazy Stupid Love” isn’t a movie about a couple that fall in love, but rather about what love looks like as it ages, matures, and sometimes falls apart. It’s an anthology that follows four different story lines that slowly build and come together until love brings all of these people together in one of the most glorious train wrecks I’ve ever seen on the big screen. It’s funny, honest, and features “lightning in a bottle” chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Love is hard, complicated, and messy and “Crazy Stupid Love” doesn’t shy away away from difficult truth, but also never fails to deliver on the laughs and poignant moments we all like to see. I rarely re-watch romantic comedies, but I’ve seen this underrated gem at least four times.
All About Steve
LJAY: Sandra Bullock is one of the funniest women that doesn’t have a big comedy background. Another thing I liked about this movie is that it has an underrated cast. Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong had not hit the peak of their careers but showed you their acting potential. All About Steve may not be the greatest romcom but how can you dislike a movie where a woman falls down a well and has the ugliest boots known to mankind?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
D-Rock: One would think a movie about a guy stuck in a depressed state after a breakup wouldn’t be a very funny movie. Not with Jason Siegel. Watching this guy weep, drink away his heartbreak, and work on getting over his girlfriend is just downright hilarious in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This happens all throughout this movie with things you wouldn’t figure being comedic and Siegel just humiliating himself for the greater good of laughter. Plus, this was the first film that introduced us to Russell Brand’s character Elvis Snow, leading to one of my favorite comedies ever, Get Him to the Greek. I love 5OO Days of Summer and Crazy Stupid Love, but Forgetting Sarah Marshall just gets me.