Romantic comedies often gets brushed aside because the characters seem shallow and the story lines unrealistic. However, some of the most timeless and entertaining films are rom-coms. On this Valentine’s Day, try one of these films with a significant other, a friend or even alone — it’s just another day — and see the genre as you’ve never seen it before.
“Funny Face” (1957)
“Funny Face” stars Audrey Hepburn as a bookshop clerk and Fred Astaire as a fashion photographer for a fictional fashion magazine, “Quality.” Astaire’s character, Dick Avery, is sent on a mission to go find “one of those sinister” bookstores as a backdrop for a fashion shoot. There, we meet Audrey Hepburn. “Funny Face” has laughs, Fred Astaire dancing and a love story that is sweet and innocent. The best scene is when Dick finds Jo (Hepburn), who was a hipster before being hipster was cool, in a cafe full of French existentialist types, and Jo proclaims that she feels like expressing herself, proceeding to perform this amazing dance number. It’s an Audrey Hepburn movie not to be missed.
Another wonderful romantic comedy set in Paris is the French film “Amélie.” “Amélie” is the whimsical tale of the title character, played by the always lovely Audrey Tautou, and her life working in a Parisian cafe full of its own whimsical characters. Amélie is always being mischievous — enacting her own sense of justice on the brutish grocery store owner, helping others fall in love or helping her own love interest solve the mystery of the phantom man from the photo booth. Audrey Tautou is a dream to watch, and the movie is both touching and laugh-out-loud funny.
“When Harry Met Sally…” (1989)
This film may be the quintessential romantic comedy. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal star as two people who claim to be just friends, but the movie shows how sometimes men and women can’t have a strictly platonic relationship. Ryan and Crystal’s chemistry on camera is excellent, and the movie speaks truth to how men and women view love and relationships. Also, who can forget the diner scene? “I’ll have what she’s having.”
“Annie Hall” (1977)
As with “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Annie Hall” captures the essence of a relationship between man and woman. “Annie Hall,” starring Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, is one of Allen’s best films. As Keaton explained at this year’s Golden Globes, Allen really does have a way of capturing the woman’s voice and writing roles for women that prove relatable to the viewer. In “Annie Hall,” Allen writes a script that is both comedic and poignant — and like all Woody Allen films, this one does not stray from our natural angst as human beings, especially when it comes to our relationship with the opposite sex. Allen and Keaton’s chemistry is palpable on camera and makes for a really great movie-watching experience as we see them fall in and out of love.
“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)
The film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” stars Julia Stiles as the stubborn Kat Stratford and Heath Ledger as outcast Patrick Verona. When new kid Cameron James, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, decides to ask out Kat’s younger sister, he must also find Kat a date per the girls’ father’s strict rules. As Cameron’s plan unfolds, hilarity and a coming-of-age tale ensues.
“Pretty in Pink” (1986)
This list would not be complete without a John Hughes movie. Don’t be fooled by its feminine title; “Pretty in Pink” is very much a universal movie, with the sleazy popular kid, the dorky sidekick, the quiet popular kid and, of course, the heroine who takes crap from no one. There are so many great scenes, the best being Duckie lip-synching and dancing around a record shop to Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness,” which you may recognize from Jay-Z and Kanye’s song “Otis.”
Don’t disregard the romantic comedy because it’s considered “girly.” There’s something in each of these movies to which anyone can relate. They’ll make you laugh, they’ll may make you cry and they’ll make for the best Valentine’s night in you could ask for.