For years, men have had to endure sugary-sweet romance films, because they had to. You know the scene – girl cries into her popcorn at the fairy-tale ending; man rolls his eyes, and gives her the requisite close hug and kiss. Often times, these movies have accomplished two very harmful things — one, they set unrealistic expectations and two, the man is tortured having to watch these sappy excuses for films. Enter the modern-day romantic comedy which, when done right can create movie magic that both she, and he, can enjoy. With the right mix of love, humor and, sometimes, action and adventure, the right movie will have the perfect combination of elements that makes neither party want to off themselves. So, while most men say that they will watch just about any movie for a woman they love, perhaps we should just save our viewings of “The Notebook” for girls’ night. Below are just a few of our favorite romantic comedies men and women alike can enjoy.
1. “When Harry Met Sally”
“I’ll have what she’s having.” This is the romantic comedy to which all other romantic comedies aspire. Women love it because in just a single scene, Meg Ryan conveyed women’s longstanding frustration with mediocre sex. Men love it because they can relate to the hilariously brilliant Billy Crystal.
2. “Bridget Jones’ Diary”
“But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.” Very rarely does a movie do the book justice, but fans of the book can agree that Zellweger nailed the role, both spiritually and physically. Women love it for the eye candy of the delicious Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, while men will enjoy their witty banter and dry wit.
3. “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”
“Is it true if you don’t use it, you lose it?” Director Judd Apatow single-handedly brought back the romantic comedy genre with this movie, starring Steve Carell and Katherine Keener, by infusing it with the perfect amount of low-brow humor, love and genuineness.
4. “High Fidelity”
“I used to dream I’d be surrounded by exotic women’s underwear forever and ever. Now I know they just save their best pairs for the nights they know they’re going to sleep with somebody.” John Cusack is so likeable; he somehow always manages to make love look cool, dating all the way back to “Say Anything.” He continues the trend in this movie, complete with an insightful screenplay and the background of a great soundtrack. She’ll love watching Cusack realize his true love, and he’ll be able to relate to this everyday guy sort through the complicated world of sex, breakups and love.
5. “You’ve Got Mail”
“The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? ‘Leave the gun, take the cannoli.’ What day of the week is it? ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday’.” Men will love the repeated references to “The Godfather.” Women will feast on the the chemistry between Hanks and Ryan, and the final scene when Ryan’s character tells Hanks’ character, “I wanted it to be you.”
6. “Knocked Up”
“Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.” This movie will make regular men think they can score a hot girl like Katherine Heigl, and everyone will laugh at this cinematic gem by director Judd Apatow. It is hilarious, largely due to an amazing supporting cast that includes Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and Jonah Hill.
7. “The Princess Bride”
“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” Part fairytale, part modern-day romantic comedy, part swashbuckling adventure and, the answer to Fred Savage’s question in the movie: “Is this a kissing book?”-part kissing book. And that’s perfectly okay with us.
8. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
“How you served five years under her, I don’t know. You deserve a medal, or a holiday or at least a cuddle from somebody.” Judd Apatow makes this list a few times, but that’s just because he gets it right so often. Russell Brand’s memorable performance, alone, makes this movie a can’t-miss romantic movie.
9. “Annie Hall”
“That sex was the most fun I’ve ever had without laughing.” Woody Allen’s brilliant, bittersweet ode to love contains witty banter between Allen and the brilliant Diane Keaton, making this a classic that transcends time.
10. “Crazy, Stupid, Love”
“I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?” This movie features Ryan Gosling. This movie also features Ryan Gosling’s abs. Why do men love this movie, too? It also contains amazing performances by Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Marisa Tomei. We had all but given up on the genre, and then this movie about a middle-aged man getting his groove back got us back on track. Oh yeah, and Ryan Gosling’s in it.
11. “Wedding Crashers”
“I apologize to you if I don’t seem real eager to jump into a forced awkward intimate situation that people like to call dating.” Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have mastered that very tricky line, where women want to date them, and men want to hang out with them. They’re funny, they know how to party and, in the end, they’re not immune to falling in love.
“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” First, because Humphrey Bogart was just so effortlessly cool. Second, because it’s an American movie classic, with some of the most memorable movie quotes of all time. And finally, the kind of raw chemistry that so rarely comes along. Need we say more?