Sunday, May 27, 2012

Top 10 Romantic Comedies for an Enjoyable Long Weekend (Or, Why We Love Julia Roberts)

Although rom-coms aren't exactly in line with all that Memorial Day represents and stands for, long weekends provide good opportunities to settle in and watch some sappy chick flicks. Shelle and I have recently been testing the limits of our frugality, and we've had to get pretty creative in feeding our movie addiction. We love a good $5 bin at Walmart, garage sales are a must, and it really doesn't get better than borrowing movies from the public library. Shelle even has a coworker with a movie collection to rival the higher-ups at IMDB, which we plan on taking full advantage of this summer. Even with cheap (and free!) access to a variety of films, we often find ourselves returning to some old stand-bys that have been in our collections for years. May we present our list of the Top Ten Romantic Comedies for an Enjoyable Long Weekend:

Shelle says: Why is Pretty Woman the best movie ever? Because it just is! It’s an unlikely pair. You think it’s going to be about sex, but it isn’t. Sex ends up being the last thing in the movie that anybody ever cares about. I think my favorite scene is when she’s got the old school walkman and she’s in the bathtub singing at the top of her lungs and he’s just sitting in the bathroom laughing at her. If you haven’t seen it, go out and get it now. It’s worth the money (we’ll teach you how to save and make up for it later.) I think part of the reason I love this movie so much is because my Grandma does. We used to live next door to each other and for a while she was my best friend. I would come home form school and she would bake cookie bars (which were NASTY, she’d put raisins and cinnamon and what ever shit she had laying around in them and they were always overdone and crispy) and we would watch Pretty Woman together. Richard Gere is one of Grandma’s great loves, and she’s definitely passed that attraction on to me.

Amanda says: Hookers, people. She’s a prostitute. PROSTITUTE. I love Julia Roberts as much as the next girl, but this number one choice was hotly contested. (As always, Shelle got her way and I settled for #2.) My little brother got the DVD for Shelle for Christmas, and I was promptly forced to watch it. I don’t believe I stayed awake through the whole thing, but the parts I did see made me feel super skeevy and uncomfortable. Hookers, folks. Hookers. Great. Now we’re probably going to get some weird ads popping up on this thing.

Amanda says: Now this is the Julia Roberts I know and love. It’s charming and adorable and there’s Hugh Grant’s accent and nobody’s paying for sex! Hugh Grant’s character’s book store is the kind of place that I’d like to go someday, the friends at the dinner parties are the kinds I’d like to have someday, and basically, if I could pick up and move to Notting Hill, I totally would. There’s a fine line between protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to get what you want, and I think Julia Roberts portrays this beautifully. These characters certainly aren’t perfect and they make a whole lot of mistakes along the way, but the real romance (and comedy, really) comes as they slowly learn to move forward and past their mistakes.

Shelle says: The only thing I remember about Notting Hill is the creepy roommate. How good can the movie really be if there’s a creepy roommate with no job who’s always in his underwear?

Shelle says: I think the only thing comedic is when Charlotte poops her pants. It’s an amazing movie and I loved every minute of it. I loved the fashion, I loved the story of the friendship, I thought that it was great to kind of see them be there for each other when times got tough. But who doesn’t love a little Mr. Big?

Amanda says: For once in my life, I completely agree with Shelle! This movie is one of my all-time favorites, and probably would have fallen higher on the list if it were more the romantic aspects of it that appealed to me (or if Julia Roberts was in it, obviously). I wasn’t familiar with the series before I watched the movie the first time, but I was quickly drawn in and hooked on these characters. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a little when Carrie and Big see each other on the street outside the library at the wedding-that-wasn’t, or on New Year’s Eve when Carrie and Miranda share Chinese food and watch the ball drop. Love this movie.

Shelle says: This movie’s amazing. I love how it starts out with that little wedding scene, and how when I first saw the movie I was singing it into a hairbrush. It’s predictable – you know exactly what’s going to happen, probably because it’s a Julia Roberts rom-com – but it doesn’t matter, you can see the passion between Julia Roberts’ character and that guy’s character (he’s clearly not as important). Plus, it helps that I hate Cameron Diaz and the fact that she’s left at the alter makes it so much better.

Amanda says: I know I like this movie, but I can’t honestly remember the details. I know there’s a convertible, and an elevator scene, but honestly, I’m pretty sure half of my memories of this movie are confused with Runaway Bride. What I do know is that my father does a wonderful impression of those bridesmaids in the beginning scene. His “Wishin’ and Hopin’” puts theirs to shame.

Shelle says: Well, I’ve never seen this movie, but everyone raves about it. So while we are enjoying our relaxing long weekend, I think I’ll watch it.

Amanda says: It’s true, Sleepless in Seattle made the list at my urging (and because Shelle probably thinks it’ll sound classy). It’s probably one of the more romantic comedies on our list, at least in my opinion, and I think that’s saying something given that the two main characters don’t even officially meet each other until the last minutes of the movie. The concept makes up for any shortcomings, however, and you really can’t go wrong with Tom Hanks (oddly enough, however, I’ve never been impressed with a movie that features both Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts). The close-but-not-quite meetings, the Empire State Building, and the call-in radio show provide almost more romance than I can handle, and they just don’t make them like that anymore. Do they even still have call-in radio shows? I’m not sure that a movie based on the missed connections on Craig’s List would have quite the same effect – I don’t picture too many people lining up for the premiere of “Behind You In Line at Walmart, Chobani Yogurt Lady.”

Shelle says: I thought the movie was really well written, I enjoyed that there was sort of four story lines that came together at the end in a way that I didn’t expect. I thought it was really interesting to see how each of the men’s characters kind of learned from each other. Steve Carrell got his swagger back, Ryan Gosling turned out to be a good guy. Overall, it was a good movie. Made me feel old. Not old, classy. It’s a good movie to watch while you have a glass bottle of wine.

Amanda says: I, too, appreciated the interconnectedness of the story lines throughout this movie, and especially enjoyed that they weren’t all apparent from the get-go but were slowly revealed to the characters at the same time they were revealed to us. This is probably one of the better movies I’ve seen in awhile, and I believe it truly fits the list as a romantic (yet still appropriately cynical) comedy. The ending is just ambiguous enough to keep you thinking, but still reaffirmed my belief in true love and soul mates. That’s the mark of a good rom-com, if you ask me.

Shelle says: I like the movie because it’s never the girl with the “wobbly bits” who gets to choose between two hot men. She smokes too much, she drinks too much, she can’t do her makeup to save her life, but she still gets two men to choose between. What the hell? Maybe I really don’t like this movie.

Amanda says: Again, this is another one of those movies to which I don’t have any particular attachment. (I realize I helped make this list and should probably know and like all of the movies on it, but you don’t know Shelle. Very persuasive.) I know that it’s somehow related to Pride and Prejudice, which made me really excited to watch it initially, but I didn’t really get the connection. Hugh Grant still has the accent though, which is always good. And Shelle once made me watch the Youtube scene where Bridget wears that large underwear as a way to explain her hysterical laughter after an unfortunate moment in which she failed to knock.

Amanda says: I liked this movie, I think. I watched it once, and I remember thinking, “I’ll have to watch that again and try to make some sense out of it,” but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Like Crazy Stupid Love, I enjoyed how the stories melded together and pretty soon everything was interrelated. That being said, some of the story lines were much better than others (the Taylor Swift/high school kids comes quickly to mind as one of the ‘others’), but hey, Julia Roberts. I think by now you know that equals major bonus points in our book.

Shelle says: I thought this was a great chick flick. I mean, I cannot stand Ashton Kutcher and I think the movie would have been better without him but I liked that there were a bunch of different story lines, I never got sick of the annoying girl wanting her best friend, or the man who sleeps around because we didn’t spend a ton of time with any one person. It’s sort of like family, they are amazing if you spend twenty minutes with them, but when you start adding up the hours…that’s when the trouble happens!

Shelle says: This move was okay, if I were making this list myself, it probably wouln’t have made the cut. But it is all about compromise and Amanda loves it. The one thing this movie has going for it is Patrick Dempsey. As you get to know me, you will start to see that I am utterly obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy. So basically, if PDemp thought it was worthy to star in, it can’t be too bad. It’s a cheesy love story, and that’s about it.

Amanda says: Ah, Patrick Dempsey. My aunt met him once, you know. But regardless of his dreaminess, this is a quality movie. All the classic Disney feel with a touch of modern-day snark, it seamlessly combines the two and makes for a truly enjoyable movie watching experience. As much as I love Idina Menzel (and I do – I once dreamed she was my mother, actually, which was both weird and awesome), you can’t help but root for Amy Adams’ and Patrick Dempsey’s characters to get it together and, well, get together.

Amanda says: I need to tell you something about Meryl Streep. She’s my soul mate. I may have dreamed Idina Menzel was my mother, but just the other night I dreamed that I was Meryl Streep (for the record, Shelle was Diane Lane and we were at an Oscar party together (it was held in our old high school)). Despite my undying love for the incomparable Ms. Streep, however, I didn’t love the movie. It made our top ten list, clearly, and it had its moments, but overall it left me feeling kind of uncomfortable. Sort of like Pretty Woman (hookers, people, hookers), the whole theme of sleeping around and whatnot just made me feel a little icky.

Shelle says: Maybe this makes me weird, but the older person sex didn’t bother me. I mean it isn’t like they showed anything. I thought it was a really cute story between Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin’s characters. I bet it happens more often that we think that a divorced couple rekindles their love. I also enjoyed all of the baked goods from Jane’s (Meryl’s character) bakery. I do have to say, I feel a little bad for Steve Martin’s character. Meryl is such a heart breaker…

What are your favorite romantic comedies?  Any plans to watch movies this weekend?  Pretty Woman or Notting Hill?  Sound off in the comments below!

No comments:

Post a Comment