Last week’s post about dance movies got me pondering those rare films that are targeted toward women yet captivate audiences of any gender. The most stereotypically female genre is probably romantic comedy, and, although most movies of this ilk are little more than vehicles for selling clothes and hair dye, there are some gems that weave memorable stories and create iconic characters that both men and women can be proud to include in their pop-culture lexicons. In order to fit this bill a great romantic comedy should not only keep you laughing and entertained while viewing, but should also deal with love/sexual politics in a provocative way that keeps you talking long after the closing credits. The following are my top picks for a date night filled with microwave-popcorn and great conversation…
- “Some Like It Hot” (1959) – Marilyn Monroe playing the ukulele while Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon befriend her in drag…Need I say more? Okay, if you insist, the cases of mistaken identity and gender bending in this flick make for what is possibly the best comedy ever.
- “Hitch” (2005) – Will Smith stars as a love doctor who could use a dose of his own medicine in this film of stellar physical comedy. To sweeten the deal, Smith has amazing chemistry with Eva Mendes and there’s a bromance with Kevin James that ain’t bad either.
- “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) – Oh, the banter. It doesn’t come better than this. And actresses don’t come any more fiery and charismatic than Katherine Hepburn, who plays a divorcee that must deal with conniving paparazzi and an irreverent ex-husband on the eve of marrying her new beau…Don’t let the date of this film fool you; it’s as funny now as I can only imagine it was back then.
- “He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009) – I thought I would hate this movie (it was inspired by a self-help book, after all), but it is filled with such an array of endearing and enraging love stories that it kept my boyfriend and me talking days after seeing it. The ensemble cast gives spot-on performances and the editing is flawless, which combines to get you laughing and crying in all the right places.
- “Annie Hall” (1977) – Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are a famous onscreen duo thanks to numerous movies together, but this one is my favorite. You’re guaranteed to laugh at Allen’s neuroses and root for Keaton’s sweet character, and male viewers are bound to earn bonus points from their ladies for citing fault in Alvy Singer’s antics.
Psst: Care to share any other romantic favorites that get you laughing and talking?