20 Rom-Com classics blokes will love
Rom coms are my guilty pleasure, I love ’em, especially if Ryan Gosling’s stripped to the waist flashing his six-pack. Are we even allowed to say that anymore? Just did. The question is, are there any films about lurrrrve that men actually enjoy. Quick WhatsApp poll of my male pals and the results are in: they only watch them to keep their other half sweet, many of them hoped it would lead to sex and, in some cases, they’re fans of the genre. But there is one rule – it has to be more com than rom. So here’s 20 laughter-filled movies about love.
Hollywood super-producer Judd Apatow’s mitts are all over the goofy, blokey humour of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Composer Peter (Jason Segal) bares his heart, soul and lunchbox to his actress girlfriend (Kristen Bell), only to be dumped after five years together. He hotfoots it to Hawaii for a break-up blow out, chats up the hot, cool receptionist (Mila Kunis). But his ex is on holiday there too, with her ridiculous musician boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) – delirious from a 24hour shagathon. You’ll appreciate Aldous’s cock rock anthem Inside You.
On paper, a film about a bunch of women organising a hen do and shopping for a wedding gown is not going get fellas rushing to press play, but Bridesmaids is no ordinary film. It’s funny, smart, brutal, and brilliantly cast. Co-written and starring Kristen Wiig, she plays 30something Annie who’s bakery biz has gone bust and she’s been asked to be maid of honour at her BFF’s wedding. The true horror of being a bridesmaid is laid bare. It’s got overtones of The Hangover, knock out performances from Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd and the poo gag in the bridal store is never not going to be funny.
You’ll have him at Jack Nicholson – I mean the guy won an Oscar for his performance as obsessive-compulsive novelist Melvin Udall in the 1997 hit As Good As It Gets and his co-star Helen Hunt won one too. Directed by James L. Brooks (Broadcast News, Jerry Maguire), Melvin is a grumpy old man, avoiding the cracks in the pavement, who falls in love with a waitress as his local diner (Hunt) and befriends his gay neighbour (Greg Kinnear). It’s packed full of smart dialogue and flawless acting that perks up the rom-com genre.
Approach with caution… if you’re in the 40 zone and married, this could make for some pretty uncomfortable viewing. It’s all so painfully real. Another Judd Apatow film, This Is 40 stars Paul Rudd, as Pete, a harassed middle-aged bloke who runs his own record label and Leslie Mann, in the role of Pete’s wife, Debbie. His business is about to topple off a fiscal cliff and her clothing store is being robbed by one of its employees. But Pete and Debbie soldier on, slinking off for a romantic resort weekend that only backfires when the strain shows. Apatow is a master at exposing cracks in relationships and is probably the only director to portray rectal monitoring as a form of closeness
Hubba hubba. OK so Ryan Gosling’s more of a screen treat for you, but in Crazy Stupid Love Gosling plays Jacob, a man so beautiful he makes men and women fall at his feet or drop their undies. Throw in Emma Stone who has one of the best lines (‘F***! Seriously? It’s like you’re photoshopped!’), Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon and the film’s got serious star power. It’s not a challenging storyline, but Carrell and Stone bring the laughs and Gosling brings the body. enough said.
Bill Murray’s best movie ever! If you can get your head around the twisty alternate timelines, Harold Ramis’s comic masterpiece is a classic rom-com. Yes, you may well be braindead after the 167th repeat of the same day, but in order to release himself from this timeline torture, Murray’s cantankerous weatherman Phil Connors needs to see the error of his ways. Then and only then will he get the firl – news producer Andie MacDowell. The chemistry is so good between the two of them, sparks fly.
As soon as the word ‘wedding’ appears in a title, men generally come out in hives. But The Wedding Singer starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is a mindless rom-com with plenty of gags, 80s soundtrack, dodgy wardrobe and some seriously questionable hairdos. Sandler plays the titular character, the beaten-down wedding singer who falls for Barrymore’s Julia, a similarly down-on-her-luck waitress who’s engaged to a cheating muppet. It’s a surprise hit.
Can Juno be classed as a rom-com? Ain’t nothing romantic about an unplanned pregnancy, but Juno (Ellen Page) is a sharp, cynical 16-year-old who, after cherry popping night of pash with her bestie, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), finds herself unexpectedly up the duff. Her cheerleading BFF Leah (Olivia Thirlby) suggests ‘it’s probably just a food baby. Did you have a big lunch?’ – but a series of pregnancy tests produce positive results. Rather than abortion Juno chooses to give the child to a couple desperate to adopt. Where’s the love? Granted it’s subtle, but from her baby daddy to the soon-to-be father of her child, there’s plenty of fuzzy and funny moments.
Jerry Maguire is part classic rom-com and part bromance. In fact, the most successful love in is between sports agent Jerry (Tom Cruise) and his sole client, pro footballer Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jnr.). While Jerry’s killing it at work, his love life looks a bit meh. Rod, on the other hand, is dragging his bottom on the football pitch but gets an A* for loving husband and dad. Together they’re pure ‘Show me the money’ dynamite. OK, so Renée Zellweger as single mum Dorothy earns her chuck of change, but it’s Jerry and Rod who complete each other.
An alt rom-com, Grosse Point Blank, starring Jack Cusack and Minnie Driver, has got the love and laughter nailed on, but it ticks the box for blokes because it’s also got plenty of guns and bloodshed. Let’s be honest, othing says ‘I love you’ like a hitman at his high school reunion trying to win back his childhood sweetheart.
Eddie Murphy ruled the 80s and made some of the era’s great comedies—Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hrs.—but this is really the only one where luuurve rules supreme. Quick recap? Murphy plays the prince of a fictional African nation. Unsure about his arranged marriage, he heads to greener pastures in search of his queen – Queens, New York, to be precise. Essentially slumming it with his best friend (Arsenio Hall), Murphy’s character finds work flipping burgers where he falls in love with the owner’s daughter. Simple story. laugh-out-loud funny, and a clever send-up of class and race.
Who can forget Ben Stiller’s ‘franks and beans’ scene when he gets his privates caught in his zipper? Or Cameron Diaz’s hair gel? There’s Something About Mary is packed full of puerile humour and magic moments that, regardless of your age, are still freaking hilarious today. The Farrelly Brothers set out to make a near the knuckle comedy for adults and they succeeded – 22 years later it’s s fresh as a daisy. If it wasn’t for Stiller’s ouch moment, perma-tanned Magda, who looks like Gandhi’s leather sandal and lavishes a little too much love on her dog, would steal the show.
Don’t be fooled by the title this is a rom com masquerading as a film about friends use each other for no strings sex. Although the men in your life will happily sit and watch without much convincing. Mila Kunis’s Jamie and Justin Timberlake’s Dylan hook up and vow to not fall in love while doing so. They mock the genre – shouting at film ads ‘Shut up, Katherine Heigl, you big liar!’, blah blah blahing about the emotionally manipulative music, but Jamie secretly loves them, imposes a rom-com cliche “five-date rule” and falls in love with her bedroom buddy. Worth it for Timberlake’s karaoke of Kriss Kross’s Jump.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out the storyline. Knocked Up is about a woman who finds herself pregnant after a drunken one-night stand, only she decides to keep the baby. At first Alison (Katherine Heigl) and Ben (Seth Rogen) don’t seem to work, but by the end of the movie, you’ll be sold. If you’re a fan of the stoner comedy, consider this your gateway to romantic comedies.
Often cited as the blueprint for rom-com greats like When Harry Met Sally, Woody Allen’s 1977 movie Annie Hall, starring himself and Diane Keaton, shines a light on the old women are from Venus and men are from Mars philosophy. They just don’t understand each other. But here, using jokes and every trick Allen can find in his cinematic kit bag he gets right under the skin of it. It’s a dazzling display of the creative imagination’s ability to turn heartbreak into universally relatable art.
There are two scenes in Along Came Polly that never cease to make me LOL. IBS suffering Ben Stiller’s introduction to spicy food and his awkward salsa dance. His facial expressions in both are almost as good as his Blue Steel in Zoolander. When Reuben’s wife (Debra Messing) runs off with her scuba instructor, Reuben (Stiller) starts dating his free-spirited, old classmate Polly (Jen Aniston) and tries to get the buttoned-up insurance underwriter to live a little.
Broadcast News is an absolute cult classic (especially if you’ve worked at a media company, be it TV, print, or digital news). On the surface, it’s a workplace comedy about an office love triangle. Reporter Aaron (Albert Brooks) likes new producer Jane (Holly Hunter), who likes newbie Tom (William Hurt), who mostly likes himself. The result is a comic masterpiece in glorious blurryvision.
An oldie but a goodie, if you can convince your other half to go back to the golden age of cinema. Pillow Talk is both a conventional rom-com and most likable. Doris Day plays a fiercely independent decorator forced to share a phone line with Hudson, a notorious playboy tying up the line night and day with his sweet-talking the ladies. While Doris’s high neck nightie isn’t going to set pulses racing, you’ll enjoy the interior inspo and Hudson’s charming rogue character.
Wedding Crashers is definitely tipping the scales on the comedy. Packed with A-list Hiollywood talent (Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, and Bradley Cooper) the film follows two friends who crash weddings (and funerals) to meet women and drink for free until real love throws a spanner in the works. The batsh** crazies in this film, Isla Fisher as the bridesmaid and her mum Jane Seymour, almost steal the show.,
Finally is you’re after a love story that dials down the romance, (500) Days Of Summer should do it. Starring Zooey Deschanel (one of Mr M’s lust-worthy leading ladies) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film became an instant indie classic for being the antithesis to your average rom-com. Instead of showcasing a blossoming relationship, it depicts the main character’s memories of his recently failed relationship with Summer (Deschanel). It is raw, real, and even a little painful to watch. If you’re with someone, thank your lucky stars you’re not dating. If you’re single, perhaps give it a miss.