I am a huge fan of romantic comedies, from cheezy to well done ones. Below are my top ten romantic comedies. This was hard to chose.
1. “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003)
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, Frances McDormand and Jon Favreau.
Director: Nancy Meyers (“What Women Want” “The Holiday” “The Intern” “The Parent Trap” (1998))
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Premise: A swinger (Jack Nicholson) on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman (Diane Keaton) closer to his age.
Mini Review: One of my all-time favorite films thanks to the genius of Nancy Meyers. This romantic comedy is sharply written and perfectly acted, with an Oscar nominated performance from Diane Keaton.
2. “Pretty Woman” (1990)
Cast: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Jason Alexander, Hector Elizondo and Laura San Giacomo.
Director: Garry Marshall (“Valentine’s Day” “Runaway Bride” “Beaches”)
Writer: J.F. Lawton (“Under Siege”)
Premise: A man (Richard Gere) in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute (Julia Roberts) he meets.
Mini Review: This will go down in history as Garry Marshall’s best film. It’s funny, charming and well acted. Julia Roberts earned a well deserved Oscar nomination for her role.
3. “Enough Said” (2013)
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Catherine Keener and Ben Falcone.
Director: Nicole Holofcener (“Lovely & Amazing” “Friends With Money”)
Writer: Nicole Holofcener
Premise: A divorced woman (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who decides to pursue the man (James Gandolfini) she’s interested in learns he’s her new friend’s (Catherine Keener) ex-husband.
Mini Review: This is Nicole Holofcener’s best film to date. It features a smart screenplay, beautiful chemistry between the leads and an interesting premise.
4. “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997)
Cast: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco, Rachel Griffiths and Susan Sullivan.
Director: P.J. Hogan (“Muriel’s Wedding” “Confessions of a Shopaholic”)
Writer: Ronald Bass (“Rain Man” “Sleeping with the Enemy” “Stepmom”)
Premise: When a woman’s (Julia Roberts) long-time friend (Dermot Mulroney) says he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself…and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.
Mini Review: This like a classic to me. Great cast, many laughs and a little musical number that will be in your head for a long time.
5. “It’s Complicated” (2009)
Cast: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, Alexandra Wentworth, Hunter Parrish, Zoe Kazan and Caitlin FitzGerald.
Director: Nancy Meyers (“Something’s Gotta Give” “The Holiday” “What Women Wants” “The Intern”)
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Premise: When attending their son’s graduation, a couple (Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin) reignite the spark in their relationship…but the complicated fact is they’re divorced, and he’s remarried.
Mini Review: Another winner from Nancy Meyers thanks to another fine screenplay, winning performances from Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin and beautiful music.
6. “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (2011)
Cast: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Analeigh Tipton, John Carroll Lynch and Josh Groban.
Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Focus” “I Love Phillip Morris”)
Writer: Dan Fogelman (“The Guilt Trip” “Last Vegas” “Danny Collins”)
Mini Review: Smart, funny and well acted…this is a hilarious and fun romantic comedy that features some memorable moments.
7. “Clueless” (1995)
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Dan Hedaya, Wallace Shawn and Twink Caplan.
Director: Amy Heckerling (“Look Who’s Talking” “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” “Loser”)
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Premise: A rich high school student (Alicia Silverstone) tries to boost a new pupil’s (Brittany Murphy) popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.
Mini Review: A classic 90s romantic comedy with catchy dialogue, a winning ensemble and Beverly Hills fashion. It never gets old.
8. “As Good as it Gets” (2012)
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Director: James L. Brooks (“Spanglish” “Terms of Endearment” “Broadcast News”)
Writers: Mark Andrus (“And So It Goes” “Life as a House” “Georgia Rule”) and James L. Brooks
Premise: A single mother/waitress (Helen Hunt), misanthropic author (Jack Nicholson), and a gay artist (Greg Kinnear) form an unlikely friendship after the artist is in an accident.
Mini Review: I wish James L. Brooks and Mark Andrus could create something this good again. The film won two Oscars (Best Actress – Helen Hunt and Best Actor – Jack Nicholson), featured a smart screenplay and became a classic.
9. “Notting Hill” (1999)
Cast: Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Director: Roger Michell (“Le Week-End” “Morning Glory” “Hyde Park on Hudson”)
Writer: Richard Curtis (“About Time” “War Horse” “Love Actually” “Bridget Jones’s Diary”)
Premise: The life a simple bookshop owner (Hugh Grant) changes when he meets the most famous film star (Julia Roberts) in the world.
Mini Review: Wonderfully written and acted. Richard Curtis is a smart romantic comedy writer who adds depth and smarts to his screenplays.
10. “When Harry Met Sally” (1989)
Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby, Steven Ford and Lisa Jane Persky.
Director: Rob Reiner (“Stand by Me” “The Princess Bride” “Misery” “The Story of Us”)
Writer: Nora Ephron (“Silkwood” “Heartburn” “Sleepless in Seattle” “You’ve Got Mail” “Julie & Julia”)
Premise: Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.
Mini Review: Nora Ephron’s screenplay and the chemistry between Crystal and Ryan is what really makes this film shine. I think it’s one of the most talked about romantic comedies of all-time.
Honorable Mentions: “Silver Linings Playbook” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” “You’ve Got Mail” “Sleepless in Seattle” “What Women Want” “The Holiday” “Annie Hall” “Love Actually”