Lars and The Real Girl (2007)
People have done a lot of things with sex dolls, but giving one the starring role in a comedy-drama is surely a first. Lars uses Bianca – an anatomically-correct doll – as a device to gradually cure his social awkwardness and join his community. It's both heart-warming and funny in equal measures – ideal Valentine's viewing.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Relocating Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew to a high school, this is a star-packed delight, teaming up everyone from the Joker (Heath Ledger) to Robin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Julia Styles of Bourne film fame. Keep your eyes peeled for the Shakespeare references, of which there are many.
The Science of Sleep (2006)
A love story about a man (Gael Garcia Bernal) effectively living in his imagination and dreams, while trying to court a French girl. A tale any geek can relate to – and one that's lifted by Michel Gondry's handcrafted, whimsical direction.
I Love You, Man (2009)
When a loner dude (Paul Rudd) needs a best man for his impending nuptials, it selts off a hilarious hunt for a friend begins. Okay, this is more com than rom – but with the likes of Lou Ferrigno, J.K. Simmons, Aziz Ansari and Andy Samburg there’s no way you or your significant other cannot enjoy this.
Despite its clichéd chic flick title, Bridesmaids is actually a rather enjoyable rom com with enough well executed gross out moments to offer plenty of laughs without entering Farrelly brothers territory. IT crowd fans should also get a kick out of seeing Chris O'Dowd as an honest Irish copper – while Matt Lucas also makes an appearance as the sort of flatmate you'd rather do without.
Groundhog Day (1993)
What would you do if you were stuck repeating the same day over and over again? Get thrown in jail? Offend everyone you meet? Steal a treasured furry rodent? How about learning French or Italian or bettering yourself to win the affections of your coworker? Bill Murray does all this and more in this 90s classic. What would you do if you were stuck repeating the same day over and over again? Get thrown in jail? Offend everyone you.....
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Nominated for a healthy brace of Academy Awards this year, Silver Linings Playbook sees The Hangover's Bradley Cooper don a more serious hat to play a recently released mental patient whose sole aim is to reunite with his ex wife – restraining orders be damned. With a beautiful yet similarly problematic love interest in the form of Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Nero and Chris Tucker thrown into the mix, you have a unique take on the classic rom com formula that'll get your grey matter working a little more than you'd expect.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris sees Hollywood writer and struggling novelist Gil travel away with his demanding fiancée Inez and her family to Paris. Wowed by the city, Giz falls increasingly in love with the place - especially when at midnight he is transported back to the 1920s era. As Allen's first film to gross US$100 million, it was happy endings all around.
The Graduate (1967)
Love can prove complicated at best but perhaps not quite as complicated as it does for college graduate Benjamin Braddock, who finds himself stuck in an affair with Mrs Robinson ("Are you trying to seduce me?"), wife to his father's business partner. Braddock then ends up falling in love with Mrs Robinson's daughter Elaine – cue a big soppy ending that's been parodied in everything from The Simpsons to Wayne's World 2.
Some Like it Hot (1959)
You shouldn't need much convincing to watch director Billy Wilder's Some Like it Hot. It features Marilyn Monroe, for starters, and it's one of the funniest rom coms around. When Chicago musicians Joe and Jerry witness a massacre on Valentine's Day, it becomes necessary to hide away from gangster tough guy Spats Colombo. How best to hide, you ask? By dressing disguising themselves as Josephine and Daphne, two replacement band members.
His Girl Friday (1940)
Break-ups are never fun, but it seems some people take them better than others. In His Girl Friday, newspaper editor Walter Burns is distraught at the fact his ex wife Hildy Johnson is engaged and will soon marry Bruce Baldwin. Rather than sit back idly, though, Burns decides to fight back quite deviously to win back the one he loves. A screwball classic packed with rapid-fire dialogue from stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Not only was Roman Holiday the first American film to be entirely shot in Italy, it would secure Audrey Hepburn an Oscar playing as Princess Anne, a young royal who falls in love with an American news reporter by the name of Joe Bradley on a visit to Rome. Princess Anne learns to love her new, less sheltered lifestyle but knows it cannot last. And so the scene is set for a mixture of tears and laughter.
The Tall Guy (1989)
If you are expecting a rom com in which the plot doesn't involve a bloke messing up and then trying to win back a lady's affections, look elsewhere. Mel Smith's The Tall Guy sees Dexter King, a bit of a loser, try to woo nurse Kate Lemon. It's all going swimmingly until his romance with a co-star is revealed. And so a fight to get his true love back ensues.
Lost In Translation (2003)
The film that cemented Scarlett Johansson as an A-list talent, absolved Sofia Coppola for her much-derided turn in Godfather Part III, and reminded anyone who’d forgotten that Bill Murray is totally amazing in every way. Lost In Translation is a touching, quirky story of two Americans that form an unlikely bond when they both find themselves listless and lost in Tokyo. The Park Hyatt hotel, the backdrop for the bulk of the movie, now offers a cocktail inspired by the film: the L.I.T.
City Lights (1931)
Orson Welles cited this early romantic comedy, in which Chaplin’s tramp falls in love with a blind flower seller, as his favourite film ever made. Despite being made after sound had become a movie mainstay, City Lights remained a silent film due to Charlie Chaplin’s insistence – and the set played host to Winston Churchill at one point; Chaplin halted production to make a short film with him.
It Happened One Night (1934)
This battle-of-the-sexes forerunner to the screwball comedy pits Clark Gable’s recently-fired reporter against Claudette Colbert’s spoilt brat heiress. Sparks fly when the two meet on a night bus to New York and become embroiled in a series of sass-laden capers. Do they end up falling in love? Well, what do you th0i00nk?
Dustin Hoffman’s out of work actor manages to find a soap opera role – by pretending to be a woman called Dorothy Michaels. All sorts of romantic chaos ensues as Hoffman falls for his female co-star and several men fall for Dorothy, but what could so easily end up as lazy, unfunny farce becomes gold due to Hoffman’s superb performance (for which he was Oscar nominated; his co-star Jessica Lange won, however).
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Howard Hawks’ absurd screwball comedy is certainly of its time, but retains a healthy dose of charm through the inspired casting of Cary Grant and particularly Katherine Hepburn, who play two decidedly unmatched characters who end up falling for each other after a series of madcap antics concerning leopards, dogs and a travelling circus. It was remade – with less than impressive results – in 1987 as Who’s That Girl? (yes, the Madonna movie).
High Fidelity (2000)
This adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel may trade London for Chicago and have the slightly-too-goodlooking John Cusack as its music-obsessed, commitment-phobic leading man, but Stephen Frears manages to retain the book’s heart and themes, specifically: when is it time to grow up? We suspect there’s something in there with which most men of a certain age can identify. Cusack, to his credit, co-wrote the screenplay.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are the quirksome couple in this offbeat romcom, which riffed nicely on the latter’s status as a certain kind of guy’s “manic pixie dream girl” by having her play one. And it goes against the romcom grain by ending on a downer and reminding us that life isn’t a movie (ironic we know) and sometimes your dream girl doesn’t find herself irrevocably changed by your unique charms after 90 minutes. Happy Valentine's Day!
Chasing Amy (1997)
Finding out the woman you love doesn't love you is heartbreaking, but at least it's not as embarrassing as finding out she is in fact a lesbian – a fate that befalls Ben Affleck's comic book writer Holden in Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy. Following two films about 20something slackers, Smith steps up to the plate to deliver a more mature take on relationships – the highlight of which is his lengthy monologue as Silent Bob, in which the title of the film is explained.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar Wright's zom-rom-com may have more gore than your average relationship drama, but there's a rather endearing romance at its heart, as Simon Pegg's feckless Shaun mans up and sorts out his relationship with Liz (Kate Ashfield). After all, there's nothing like an apocalyptic outbreak to bring a couple together, right?
Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton's films are usually strange and dark in equal measure. Corpse Bride is no different, but this odd romantic story does at least come with a happy ending. Victor, who is about to marry Victoria, ends up marrying the enchanted corpse bride by accident. Upon realising he actually loves Victoria, Victor has to fight his way back from the land of the dead to find true happiness.
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