Just because a film is classified as a “chick flick” or romantic comedy doesn’t mean a guy can’t watch it, so don’t be afraid when it’s her turn to choose movie night.
It might be a scary moment for many of you guys, but fear not. This is a chance to open your horizons, and for a movie buff like me, some of the best moments in film come from rom-coms. Also, if you read this list, it can be your opportunity to show off your film knowledge and perhaps even start a conversation about things she is interested in. I know “Hitch” might be your favorite rom-com, after all Will Smith is the man and it’s pre-Paul Blart Kevin James, however, this is the time to make you stand out from all the other guys.
And for women, these movies, in my opinion, are films that you and your boyfriend can watch without feeling guilty at all, which you shouldn’t because, even though “Lord of the Rings” is awesome, it’s still around 12 hours long and you should’ve built up enough goodwill that a guy should watch a rom-com without complaint, even if it’s not on this list.
Before we get started, don’t get offended that “Trainwreck” or “Bridesmaids” isn’t on here because, though they are great films and technically rom-coms, they’re more comedy than romance in my opinion. Most films on here have a perfect mix of both.
“Definitely, Maybe” (2008)
The last of the “more for guys” romantic comedies, “Definitely, Maybe,” is supremely underrated.
Told as a backstory/mystery to his daughter, Ryan Reynolds spins a hilarious and heartfelt tale about all of his relationships up until he met his future wife, who he’s now divorced from. Although initially told to entertain his daughter, the story starts to mean more to Reynolds because he realizes some of his missed opportunities from the past.
Acting-wise, the movie is solid. With a trio of love interests played by Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz, the viewer will not be lacking for compelling storylines that are all told against a 1990s backdrop. Although Reynolds gets a lot more attention for his next rom-com, “The Proposal,” the following year, I think this film is where he gets to shine.
If this movie ends up getting picked for a date night, you will not be disappointed, I guarantee it.
“Love Actually” (2003)
This movie is good and bad for two things.
One, it is a fantastic film that somehow pulls off having the ensemble cast/multiple storylines schtick, most of which is because of director Richard Curtis, who also made “About Time,” but two, it’s bad because now anyone thinks they can do it.
“Valentine’s Day,” “Mother’s Day” and “New Years’ Eve” are knockoffs of this movie and it shows. Yet, because people see those movies, they expect “Love Actually” to be on the same level, and that’s completely false.
It’s a great holiday film with outstanding acting performances from Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightley, Emma Thompson and many others (plus a young Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes in “The Walking Dead.”) Although there is some drama and tension, the movie is fairly lighthearted with one subplot that will make you think differently of Wisconsin after you see it.
Don’t let the other terrible holiday ensemble movies ruin this film for you. It’s great and a must-watch on any Christmas list.
“Mean Girls” (2004)
Yes, I know, I know. It’s not technically a rom-com but this is a film with a mostly female cast that a lot of guys love.
I don’t know if it deserves the label of “chick flick” because so many guys like it. This movie is more accurate about high school than “The Breakfast Club,” and I’m sticking to that opinion. Cliques are something that starts in high school and just escalates in college and the real world. The acting is the strongest part with McAdams again, though it’s a very different McAdams dominating the show. Lindsay Lohan, in her last good acting job, is solid with Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Tina Fey added in as hilarious scene-stealers.
It’s a good movie that never gets old and one that anyone of any age can enjoy.
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)
Jennifer Lawrence is a Godsend in this movie and if anyone says she didn’t deserve the Oscar she won for it, I will stab you in the neck with a knife.
Seriously, J-Law owns this movie that has been described as the “smartest rom-com” ever made. It’s called that because it’s a rom-com disguised as a mental health movie combined with a dancing movie added into a football movie. It’s like if “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” met “Invincible” and “Step Up” but not terrible.
This movie has it all. Bradley Cooper at his peak, revitalized performances from the forgotten ghosts of Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles along with Robert De Niro playing Robert De Niro. Also for all you NFL fans out there, Desean Jackson’s stupidity is immortalized forever in this film so that makes it even better.
The scene in the diner and the dancing competition scenes are the most well-known but for me, this scene with the lulling sounds of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash adding to the ambiance of simple dance practice is one of the most magical moments in cinema.
This movie, more than any other movie on this list, is a great pick for both genders because it is a movie for the whole human race.
“Meh” selection: “The Holiday” (2006)
This movie could be watchable but I just couldn’t include it based on Cameron Diaz’s performance. Jack Black, Kate Winslet and Jude Law are incredible in this movie, but Diaz doesn’t live up to par and it kind of makes the movie seem off the entire time.
Why, you may ask? Diaz, to me, seems to be acting like she’s in a different film than the rest of the cast. When they go right, she goes left. Trust me, there are some Diaz performances I like but this is not one of them. If you can fast-forward through the individual scenes of Diaz, this movie is worth a watch.
Dishonorable selection: “Steel Magnolias” (1989)
I despise this movie.
It is garbage. Yes, I have only seen it once. Does that qualify me to tell other men not to watch it? Yes. Does it qualify me to tell women not to watch it? Yes. Does it qualify me to tell aliens not to watch it for fear they might destroy the human race if they knew we created such a film? Hell yes.
This sad excuse for a movie is the “Mac and Me” of rom-coms. How so? Because it masquerades as having true meaning but in fact has less depth than a daytime soap opera. Part of the reason I do not like Julia Roberts is because of this film. I have never forgiven her for stealing 123 minutes of my life, and most likely never will, unless it is destroyed.
If one watches this movie on date night, it will be the last date night, and I’m not saying that because the guy will be bored to death and leave, I’m saying that because his eyes will literally melt so it doesn’t have to witness it and his ears will wither away so he doesn’t have to hear Dolly Parton’s cackling.