Not Your Mom’s Rom-Coms: Top Ten List
There are countless romantic comedies. So many, that you can fill the month of February with non-stop romantic movie watching and still not see them all. In recent years, movie makers have gone out on a limb with traditional rom-com formula. Changing social standings allow for different stories and characters. It’s exciting and new, and I for one love the new perspectives. If you are looking for something different to watch, check out the top 10 unique and modern romantic comedies.
10. Boy Meets Girl (2014)
Ricky is a transgender woman living in a small town. She works as a barista and spends most of her time with her best friend, Robby. Romance ensues when a new girl, names Francesca, comes to town. This love story is sweet and heartfelt. The writing is genuine, and the acting is superb. There is some great comedy, but the movie leans towards the drama side at times. All in all, I highly recommend this movie as an empowering tale of owning your sexuality.
9. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Don’t let Ryan Gosling fool you; this is not your typical romantic comedy. Gosling puts away his abs of steel and whips out his quirky side. Gosling stars as Lars, a man living in a small Wisconsin town with strong social anxiety. Lars is quiet and shy and avoids most contact with people. He surprises his family with a visit from his new girlfriend, Bianca, a lifelike sex doll. I know this sounds weird, but hear me out. Lars relies on his companion more for emotional support than sex. There are some unexpected laughs, and the need for human connection is real.
8. Chasing Amy (1997)
Back before Ben Affleck was deemed “Batfleck,” there was Chasing Amy. Affleck stars as Holden, a comic book artist. Holden meets Alyssa, a fellow comic book artist and lesbian, and a deep friendship blossoms. Some crazy antics go down, Holden and Alyssa begin a relationship, and it mostly ends in disaster. If you aren’t familiar with Kevin Smith’s comedy, then this might not be for you. The humor is crass at times, but the center of the story is love between two people despite previously identified sexuality. It sends the message that you fall for the person, no matter their gender or preference.
7. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
Cameron Diaz is a cool, sexy chick that every guy wants to be with. Ben Stiller is her high school prom date who gets his scrotum stuck in his zipper. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only pain Stiller’s character feels throughout this movie. This movie has always been one of my favorites, and it is, in my opinion, one of the best comedies of all time. Most people remember this film for the “hair gel” that Diaz whips through her blond strands, but the wacky comedy offers more than just cringe-worthy dating disasters. There’s Something About Mary will make you laugh out loud and say “Awwww” at the same time.
6. The Big Sick (2017)
The Big Sick is written by Emily V. Gordon and her husband, comedian Kumail Nanjian. The film is based on their real-life courtship. Cultural differences and awkward new relationship vibes make for a hilarious story. Nanjian stars in the movie as himself and Zoe Kazan plays his wife. The writing is fresh, and the love story is more endearing with the biographical aspect.
5. Isn’t it Romantic (2019)
This movie just debuted with positive reviews. Isn’t it Romantic stars Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth (of the Aussie Hemsworth golden gods). The story pokes fun at the typical romantic comedy stereotypes. Wilson’s character wakes up in a rom-com world with dancing, singing, and no F-bombs allowed. It does get a little cheesy at times, but the chemistry of the actors and the clever writing makes it a must-see.
4. Juno (2007)
“He is the cheese to my macaroni.” With quotes like that, how can you not love the movie, Juno? Ellen Page knocked this one out of the park as the sarcastic pregnant teen. Michael Cera does what he does best as the awkward Pauly Bleeker. When Diablo Cody wrote this film, she brought a whole new set of random phrases like “Cheese and rice.” Like most great rom-coms, this movie whips out the funny, and it pulls at your heartstrings.
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand, this movie keeps you laughing. Segel as Peter Bretter, is a music composer of the same crime show that his girlfriend Sarah Marshall stars in (Bell). After Sarah breaks up with Peter, his lack of coping skills leads him on a random trip to Hawaii. Once he arrives, he realizes Sarah is also staying at the same hotel with her new beau. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has vampire puppet musicals, an oblivious Russell Brand, and much more.
2. Love, Simon (2018)
Based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, to say this movie is adorable is an understatement. Nick Robinson stars as Simon, a closeted gay teen. Simon painfully attempts to hide the truth from his friends and family, for fear of rejection. He finds comfort in writing messages to an anonymous gay teen at his school. Neither knows who the other is, which provides a safe haven for both boys to share their feelings. The humor is subtle, but the excitement of Simon’s secret pen pal’s identity makes for a fun mystery.
1. Imagine Me & You (2005)
This amazing film opens with the wedding day of Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Hector (Matthew Goode). As Rachel is walking down the aisle, she shares a brief spark with Luce (Lena Heady) who is the florist at her wedding. All it takes is a simple glance. The movie takes off from there, with Luce and Rachel becoming fast friends. The painful part of this movie is how much you want Rachel and Hector to stay together. They were best friends and lovers, and unlike most rom-coms, Hector is in no way the villain in this story. Imagine Me & You is about the power of love at first sight. Rachel has lived her life as a straight woman, even finds herself in unfamiliar territory by being a lesbian. What I love, even more, is the label of gay, straight, or bisexual is not Rachel’s focus. She simply loves Luce, and that’s all there is to it.