The Flix List – Valentine Edition: 10 Romantic Comedies I LOVE

It’s Valentine’s Day eve! Guys, did you order your flowers yet? 😀

Photo courtesy of Princess Ashley on Flickr

Romantic comedies or rom-com for short, gets a bad rep these days. Obviously a lot of them deserve it, i.e. When in Rome, Leap Year, The Ugly Truth, etc. which can’t even be included in the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. Alas, year after year, Hollywood keeps churning out one banal rom-com after another. But of course, not all rom-coms are created equal, when the ‘chemistry’ is right, that is when the cast, dialog, direction, etc. all mesh together well, we’ve got ourselves a movie that warm the heart. They make us laugh and cry tears of joy and we can always go back to them whenever we need a dose of romance in the movies. So, here are ten rom-coms that I certainly don’t mind watching over and over again (in alphabetical order):

  1. Amélie
    A delightful gem that beguiles me from the start with its unabashed kookiness. Audrey Tatou is perfectly cast in this winning French movie, it proves that a love story can be charming and sweet without being sickeningly saccharine. A delicate balance surely, but director Jean-Pierre Jeunet pulled it off beautifully (check out my full review)
  2. Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Is it wonder this British rom-com was such worldwide box office hit? The highest-grossing British film in cinema history boast a fabulous cast, a wonderfully witty dialog and a realistic portrayal of unrequited love. Witty, funny, delightful… if only there are more rom-coms like this one. This scene alone with Kristin Scott Thomas deserves a place in this list.

  3. Notting Hill
    Ok, I promise you I didn’t pick this one because I have a penchant for floppy-haired Hugh Grant 😀 Let’s face it, who hasn’t dreamed of a scenario like this one, actually having one of our favorite celeb fall in love with us. Yet somehow, despite the lofty potential of cheese, I can’t help but be swept away by the lovely romance between Grant’s everyman and the superstar, played w/ extra megawatt smile by Julia Roberts. The fabulous London location and this inventive changing season scene also play a huge part why I adore this movie!

  4. One Fine Day
    I can’t exactly say I’m a big fan of George Clooney but I’ve got to admit he charms up a storm in this one. He’s got a delightfully effortless chemistry with sexy Michelle Pfeiffer, surprisingly believable as a single mom who’s driven but vulnerable. The New York City setting is as equally appealing as the two leads and definitely adds to the romantic mood. Even the kids in the movie are likable instead of annoying, making this a one fine rom-com.

  5. P.S. I Love You
    Ok, I’m one of those who wants Gerry Butler to get off the rom-com trail, but this is one I actually adore. Initially I thought the usually-serious Hilary Swank was miscast in this, but upon several re-watching, I now think she perfectly captures the essence of a woman mourning the loss of her husband and her bumbling scenes are actually pretty funny. I put this one in my favorite unconventionally-romantic flix list last Valentine’s Day as it doesn’t follow the same formula of girl-meets-boy or a happily-ever-after ending. As I said in that previous post, Butler’s so darn charming you’ll be more than willing to forgive him for his ghastly Irish accent 😀 Not to mention the great supporting cast of Kathy Bates, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Harry Connick Jr., among others.
  6. Return to Me
    If you’ve read this post I titled ‘the beautiful, poignant chickflix nobody’s ever seen.’ There’s a reason David Duchovny and Minnie Driver are one of my fave romantic couples of all time. You just can’t help rooting for them and just want them to find happiness after the circumstances they’ve been through. The classically-tinged soundtrack is awesome, too, especially if you’re a fan of The Rat Pack. I can’t recommend this movie enough, folks, if you haven’t already, put this in your Netflix queue!
  7. Sabrina (1995)
    Last month I listed this movie as one of my favorite remakes. Granted I have not seen the original and Audrey Hepburn’s a tough act to follow. Yet Julia Ormond is enchanting in this Sydney Pollack movie. It’s also surprisingly goofy in parts, and the tone is decidedly fluffy. Like Swank in P.S. I love you, I initially thought Harrison Ford was miscast, but I end up loving him in this role. Greg Kinnear is amusing as always, and he complements Ford’s ‘curmudgeon’ character perfectly. Oh, and if you’re observant, see if you can spot Paul Giamatti as one of the kitchen staff.
  8. Sleepless in Seattle
    Sure the two leads hardly spent more than ten minutes together, but it’s the events leading up to it that is just so fun to watch. This is definitely one of the best of Meg Ryan‘s abundant rom-coms (she’s practically a sub-genre!) and Tom Hanks is as endearing and funny as ever. Lots of iconic NYC scenes and landmarks in this one that no doubt still inspire lovebirds on Valentine’s Day. The supporting cast is great: Rob Reiner, Victor Garber, Hanks’s own wife Rita Wilson, and even Rosie O’Donnell were delightful. Again, the music is one of the best thing of this. In fact, I still play the soundtrack from time to time.
  9. Roman Holiday
    Who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn? Pair such a lovable icon with an equally winsome Gregory Peck and you’ve got a recipe for a marvelous classic. The Italian setting also piles on the charm and is almost the ‘star’ of the film itself, but of course the charismatic leads can’t be outdone by even the most beautiful scenery. This is also in my favorite unconventionally-romantic flix list, and as I said in that post, the best love story is the unexpected kind.
  10. The American President
    Speaking of unexpected, who’d have thought a movie about a widowed US president be so romantic? But that’s exactly what you get in this Rob Reiner rom-com starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening as the unlikely couple. I’m not much into political movies, but I was able to get past all the rhetoric and just focus on the sweet romance. I love the first time Sydney Wade hangs up on the prez because she thought it was a prank phone call, and the cute first kiss in the China Room. No doubt Andrew Shepherd is on my list of memorable movie presidents.

Honorable Mentions

10 Things I Hate About You, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kate & Leopold, Serendipity, Some Kind of Wonderful, While You Were Sleeping, You’ve Got Mail, (500) Days of Summer, What Women Want, When Harry Met Sally.

The rom-com still on my must-watch list: Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934) Well I finally saw it, read my full review.

Here’s wishing you all a lovely Valentine’s day! So what are some of your favorite rom-coms? Viewing suggestions welcome!

63 thoughts on “The Flix List – Valentine Edition: 10 Romantic Comedies I LOVE

  1. Ted S.

    Not a genre I watch regularly but I did see You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, The American President and 500 Days of Summer from your list. I think I enjoyed You’ve Got Mail the most, not sure why. Maybe it’s because of the fake NY in the movie where everyone was nice to each other and the city actually looked clean. I’ve been to NY several times and was hoping to see that version of NY come but it never happened. Ha ha.

    Also, I thought Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were a cute couple in the movie. In fact, I think it was the last of Meg Ryan’s film that I saw, haven’t watched any of her films since.

    1. I love You’ve Got Mail too, even though the last time I saw it again it was sooo dated, I mean that AOL chime, LOL! Ha..ha.. you’re right about how clean NYC was in that movie, and everything is so enchanting, like in a fairy tale world. But I love the chemistry between Hanks and Ryan, Meg really was the queen of rom-com.

  2. I was planning to do this list for my top-5 post…but I have hard time thinking about the right movies so I dropped the idea and list something else.

    PS I love you is lovely and what a lucky girl Swank was

  3. P.S. I Love You was one of those films I was dragged to kicking and screaming but ended up enjoying. In fact it’s probably my favourite romantic film of recent years.

    Can’t fault Roman Holiday – Hepburn-Peck – what a great couple.

    I hate to admit I love Notting Hill too as well as Four Weddings but as much as I’m a fan of Tom Hanks’ earlier films I’ve never warmed to Sleepless in Seattle.

    …note to self: go get roses now otherwise you’ll be in the “bad books”!

    1. Yay! Thank you for admitting that you enjoyed P.S. I dragged my husband and one of my guy friends to this and they ended up laughing a lot and even tearing up a little.

      So did you get the roses in time for your wife? 😉

    1. You’ve seen Return to Me and like it? [rounds of applause!] Well it’s too bad you didn’t enjoy P.S. Ross, just because GB can’t perfect an Irish accent doesn’t make it terrible. In fact, lots of people can’t tell the difference between Irish & Scottish accent anyway.

      Haven’t seen Green Card (though considering I hold one, I probably should), and like Becky said, BoMC is not exactly a rom-com.

  4. SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLY with Sean Patrick Flanery is my all time favourite when it comes to romantic films, alongside MOULIN ROUGE and LOVE ACTUALLY. I also love watching romcoms with all those actresses most movie cynics hate 🙂 – Aniston, Barrymore, Heigl, J.Lo …. :))

    1. Oh I’ve heard about Simply Irresistible. I like Flannery but not crazy about Sarah Michelle-Gellar, that’s probably why I haven’t seen it. Ha..ha.. you always do swim against the waves, Dezzy, that’s what I love about you.

      1. I will say that for most rom-coms the reason i don’t see them isn’t because of the cast(Although i personally wouldn’t put Geller in the same category with someone like J.Lo or Heigl). Usually its just the concept that doesn’t intrigue. And speaking of Heigl, do the Apatow movies count as rom-coms? Cause if they do, then i would include most of them in my list of fav rom-coms

        1. Hmmm, I think Apatow movies can be considered rom-com? Though I probably won’t categorize 40 Year-Old Virgins as a rom-com, but maybe Knocked Up is one. Maybe someone else can answer that as I’m not an Apatow expert 🙂

      2. yes, I’m not crazy about Gellar either, and I actually had reservations before watching the film … but she was actually nice in it, probably because the film is unusual, mix of magic, love, food, lovely settings – all the things I love 🙂 And now I’ve watched it like ten times at least 🙂

    1. Glad you agree on Notting Hill, never get tired of watching that one. And as I tweeted to you yesterday… Ever After is lovely… Dougray Scott as Prince Henry [swoon] 😀

  5. Rom-coms aren’t usually my thing, but my favorite one is Definitely Maybe. Basically a father tells his 11 year old daughter how he met his mother(If i remember correctly the daughter just learned how babys are born or something like that). The father doesn’t use the real names of the 3 women he had a relationship with, so the daughter and audience had to guess which one is the father.

    I checked it out after it got a good review on the roger-ebert show, and i was not disappointed. All 3 women are interesting and seem like they could be the mother. Overall one of the few i highly recommend.

    And i think you already know about Adrenaline Drive. I checked that one out on a whim and found myself pleasantly surprised. The character development in that one is really well done. One thing that i think really distinguishes it is that the male character grows just as much as the female in the relationship.

    1. Yeah you’ve told me about Definitely Maybe before. After reading the premise, I’m not as intrigued by it. I did remember the cast for the women are pretty impressive, Rachel Weisz was one of them I think, right?

      Anyway, which one was Adrenaline Drive? Was that starring Thomas Drekker?

      1. It has Ryan Reynolds in the lead, and Rachel Weisz does play one of the women. Sorry that the premise doesn’t intrigue you, but i really think its worth checking out. Even my dad who may be even less of a rom-com fan then me liked it. And i could be remembering wrong but i don’t think Ryans character cheats on any of the women.

        And Adrenaline Drive was the asian one. I don’t think Thomas has been in a rom-com yet.

        1. PrairieGirl

          The thing about DM is that I could never conceive of toying with an eleven-year-old girl (or around that age I think) by telling her stories about how her Dad romanced three women and then teases the girl to guess which one is her mother. I know they both thought the game they were playing together was great fun, and it’s fiction, of course, but I could never imagine doing that to that any child, rom-com or not. The stories of the 3 women and the dad are interesting and funny, but not in that context.

  6. I always thought that Jennifer Lopez was the best woman George Clooney was ever paired with. Then I saw Intolerable Cruelty with Catherine Zeta Jones. Now he’s been in a romance movie with la Pfeiffer? I gotta check it out.

    1. Ha..ha.. I guess Out of Sight is probably one of the best J Lo movie. Since then any romantic movies w/ her is just banal.

      You gotta check out One Fine Day if you love la Pfeiffer. She’s gorgeous as always but her vulnerability and a bit of bumbling goofiness is just as endearing.

  7. PrairieGirl

    Totally agree with your list! And do see It Happened One Night ASAP… Didn’t like the premise of Definitely Maybe at all, it would not be anywhere on my list. And I’ll always be a sucker for Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman 😉

    1. Yes, IHON is in my Netflix queue. Can’t believe I haven’t seen it as I love Gable. Plus he’d be so unlike Rhett Butler which makes me want to see it even more.

      Pretty Woman is great, I saw that in the theater and really enjoyed it. Definitely a breakthrough performance from Julia.

  8. Nice list Ruth although I have seen a grand total of two movies (Amelie and Sleepless in Seattle from this list wow! Guess I’m not much of a rom-com expert 😉 I did barely came up with a 5 underrated romantic movies for Valentine’s Day at the last minute ah!

    1. Thanks Castor, but seriously, you need more romance in your viewing list 😀

      Same w/ you Scarlet. Trust me, these are GOOD rom-coms even guys would enjoy.

    1. I have yet to see his other movie, Delicatessen, that my friend Vince recommended. But after reading the premise, I think I’d still like Amelie better.

    1. I have to put The Proposal on my list also now that I think about it. I know you’re not a big fan…but I really enjoyed it. Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Betty White…what’s not to love?!

      1. Oh yeah, The Princes Bride is great! I just didn’t put this here because I think it’s more of a fantasy movie, not a rom-com.

        I did enjoy The Proposal for the most part, just didn’t LOVE it. I like Sandra Bullock so even if I don’t love the movie I still enjoy watching her.

  9. Some brilliant choices on that list! I adore ‘The American President’ and ‘One Fine Day’ both offer something different to other rom-com’s.

    1. Thanks Caz, glad you agree. I think a good rom-com should be able to offer something ‘new’… I feel that all of these do a good job of that.

  10. It’s amazing that the only one on this list I’ve seen is “Sleepless in Seattle”. This is a great list and now I have a nice list to choose from the next time I’m in the mood for a Rom-Com.

    1. Ha..ha.. I’m amazed, too. I know every list is subjective, but I’m confident you can’t go wrong with any of these. For me a good rom-com isn’t just for women to enjoy.

  11. Nice list!!

    As a self confessed Rom Com fan man…yes I am not too proud to cry!.. I love good heart warmer!

    Nice choices in there. Some I wouldnt have chosen but love all the same too!!


  12. Great list, Ruth. I love Amelie! Excellent choice for No.1. And The American President was much underrated, I thought. I love his speech at the end. If only they were really like that.

    I fear we part company on the subject of Richard Curtis movies featuring Hugh Grant. This is the reason everyone thinks we English are all bumbling fops with posh accents. 😉

    1. Hi Richard, glad you like a few of my choices. Yeah, if only the real prez were as charming as Douglas, but of course everything is all rosy in the movies 😉

      Oh now Rich, I for one never think that all Brits are bumbling fops w/ posh accents. I mean you certainly aren’t like that, nor are most Brits I know. I guess I like the two Hugh Grant movies despite of him, not because of him, and the strong script and direction are what I love most about the two movies.

    1. Hi Bluej, a warm welcome to FC! I’m glad you saw Return to Me, it really is a gem that most people overlook. It’s rare to see such a wholesome and warm-hearted rom-com like that these days.

  13. Amelie is absolutely amazing. I LOVE Amelie, I can’t say it enough. It could very well be my favorite film of all!

    My list would be pretty different…but I have to think about it. Maybe I’ll make it a pre-Valentine’s Day post.

    Good read as always!


  14. Love that Return to Me made your list! Grew up LOVING that movie. It’s so different from other romantic movies. Have yet to see Amélie, but want to see it! It doesn’t surprise me that Roman Holiday and Sabrina make your list. My list will be coming out on Tuesday!

    1. Hey, we must be two of a kind aren’t we Kris? 🙂 I LOVE how genuine and sweet that film is, none of the angst and dark, morbid stuff like Blue Valentine. Not that I’m knocking that one but I just think a film doesn’t need to be so dark and depressing to be good and affecting, y’know. Same with Roman Holiday, it’s just a delightful film!

        1. Right, yeah I agree there should be all spectrum represented. I just think there are way more of the darker vibes these days and those films seem to be more embraced by movie bloggers, whilst things that are more wholesome in nature are considered boring or not edgy enough.

  15. Russell

    Unfortunately, I’m not a romantic movie type person so I’ve not actually seen a single movie on this list, BUT, your review of Amelie has coaxed me into wanting to see it. I’ll let you know what I thought!

    1. Hi Caz, glad you like that film too! I think people don’t think of it as a rom-com because of the name, but it really is a sweet love story that shows even presidents can have a little romance 🙂

    1. I haven’t seen the original, though I know it’s so well-loved. I do think that the remake is quite lovely and I like the cast so yeah, I like it enough to be included here.

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