Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but now it’s time to break out those discounted chocolates you bought days after the holiday and marathon some of my favorite romantic comedies! Being a hopeless romantic with a slight chocolate addiction myself, I decided it was high time to share my top five all-time favorite romantic comedies for all my other die-hard rom com fans. Let’s get into it!
At number five I have 27 Dresses. This was a close call with While You Were Sleeping, but the overall bubbly and infectious nature of 27 Dresses quite literally took the cake. Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) is a chronic bridesmaid who can’t say no to helping those she loves, and Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) is a cynical wedding column writer who refuses to believe the fluffy romance stories he writes. When Jane’s sister Tess gets engaged to her long-time crush, Kevin reports on the wedding while secretly writing a column on Jane’s 27 instances as a bridesmaid. What could go wrong?
Next on my list is Ever After. I understand that there have been enough Cinderella remakes to last a lifetime – even Cinderella is technically a remake – but the 1998 Drew Barrymore rendition of this fairytale should always be on your watch list. Ever After’s Cinderella, or Danielle de Barbarac in this case, is the fantasy heroine we always needed growing up but possibly didn’t have. This movie at the cusp of our generation was a true hidden gem.
At number three, to hopefully no one’s surprise, is Crazy Rich Asians. I first saw this movie by accident after running late to the premier of Bohemian Rhapsody in Boston where some of the cast would have been present – sad. But! With such great luck I stumbled onto Crazy Rich Asians. This rom com is reminiscent of the classics that get you hooked on the genre, but puts past movies to shame with its music, decadence, and amazing humor. The cast is stacked with A-list actors, led by Constance Wu as NYU professor Rachel Chu and Henry Golding as the most coveted billionaire bachelor in Singapore, Nick Young. The final wedding scene in this rom com will push your hypothetical wedding budget to $40 million; who doesn’t want to walk down the aisle in a small river?
At number two, we have the rom com that stayed in U.S. theaters for a whole year (longer than Titanic) after its release: My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This is the self-love movie we all need to remind us that you don’t need to have a rom com movie make-over to impress the love interest, but can have one just for yourself (an absolutely wild concept for 2002). Toula Portokalos, played by the movie’s director Nia Vardalos, begins to date Ian Miller, portrayed by John Corbett. This is a forbidden romance as her Greek family bases themselves on three key principles for a Greek woman: “marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone.” There are so many great quotes in this movie that you will be repeating for years to come. If you are to watch any movie on this list, please let it be this one.
Cue the drumroll please… At number one on my list I have Pride & Prejudice! Hopefully this is not a let down, but I swear this movie (the 2005 Keira Knightley version, of course) will destroy your relationship standards. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) is superior in the enemies-to-lovers category as a dark and brooding male love interest. There is so much to love in this movie – not only the storyline, but the cinematography, the acting, the costumes, the hair; Pride & Prejudice is timeless. I know period pieces aren’t for everyone, but Elizabeth Bennet as an unspoken heroine that refuses to conform to social norms is what rightfully keeps Jane Austen relevant in the romance world, year after year.
As my list comes to a close, I shall roll the credits of my honorable mentions (in no particular order)! She’s the Man, 50 First Dates, Legally Blonde, The Proposal, The Wedding Singer, 10 Things I Hate About You, Pretty Woman, The Wedding Date, While You Were Sleeping, The Wedding Planner, Stardust, The Princess Bride, Letters to Juliet, and Moonstruck.