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Jen's favourite Rom Coms

Today's guest is blogger and reviewer Jen of the WELL READ blog, sharing her favourite rom com movies with us. Can I confess to a couple of these being on *my* top list as well? :)


You would think, wouldn’t you, that because I love romance novels I would also love romance films.  Well, no, not really. I’m more of a swords and scorcery/fantasy/all action/sci-fi  type of girl when it come to my films.  I never take a trip to the cinema to watch a romantic comedy, feeling that paying the ridiculous prices they charge at the cinema these days needs to be spent on a film with major special effects - something which many rom coms lack, not do I often buy them on DVD.  When I do like a rom com, it’s often a bit odd and quirky and doesn’t fit the ideal image that many Hollywood film producers have about what makes a successful rom com.  So what would be my top five  favourite romance films?  Let’s have a list in reverse order.

5. The Truth About Cats and Dogs

This is one of those little known rom coms which I don’t even think was particularly successful when it was released. I happened to catch it on the TV one evening and bought the DVD because I liked it so much.  Go here for a description of the film. I liked it because the smart, funny but not conventionally beautiful woman wins her man by just being her usual witty self.

4. Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn, looking young, pretty and charmingly naive as a princess who ‘escapes’ and meets up with newsman, Gregory Peck, in Rome.  Very, very romantic but without the conventional HEA that most romance film watchers need.  More details here

3. The Wedding Singer

Worth watching for the 1980’s references alone, this is a slightly more conventional rom com but the likeable leads of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, who have a really good onscreen chemistry, make this a film I watch over and over again.  The scene where Sandler’s Wedding Singer character gets drunk and bawls out Love Stinks at the top of his voice is both funny and deeply sad at the same time.  Find out more here.

2. Notting Hill

Another fairly conventional rom com but it’s so much more than boy/girl fall in love. There’s a terrific set of secondary characters who almost steal the film, especially Hugh Grant’s flat mate played by the outrageous Rhys Ifans. The humour is uniquely British but the usual ‘bumbling Brit’ routine by Grant is offset by Julia Roberts’ sharper personality. I always watch this if I’m feeling under the weather and need cheering up.  More about the film here.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This film is my very favourite romance film. It shows an entirely different side to Jim Carrey. Gone is the gurning and outlandish antics and instead he plays a quiet, introverted man who has recently split from extravert girlfriend Kate Winslet. He discovers that she’s had her mind wiped of him and their relationship and so sets out to do the same for her, before realising that the process shows him how much he loved her.  The story is told almost in reverse and like many Charlie Kaufman films it has twists and turns and unexpected pathways. It’s not always easy to follow but it’s well worth all the puzzling. It makes you think, so those looking for a mindless cheery romance film won’t find it here.  It leaves me with an ache inside – in a good way because the ending, whilst not conventional is still a HFN.  Find out more here.

So there you have it.  My top five romance films.  Do you have a favourite you want to share?

Visit Jen at WELL READ where she regularly chats, reviews (very thoughtfully and well) and shares her love of fiction and entertainment.



From Clare: Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Fancy writing something for the visitors this month? It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.
I'm holding a FREE FICTION DAY on the 28th, so send me new fiction - links to your existing work also welcome! - to clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll post it all then :).


FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:
Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?

Check up on:
Prior years fun HERE and
The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
When I saw the words 'romantic comedy' I have to confess I rolled my eyes a bit because I too prefer films about blokes doing manly things against a backdrop of something going boom. But I should have trusted you, Jen, because I love numbers 5 and 4 on your list and there are things I like about 3 and 2 as well. I haven't seen 1 because I find Carrey so irritating but I'll give it a go.

Can I add a rec of my own? This is a low budget quirky British flick with no stars, a stellar cast of character actors, lots of giggles and at least one absolute howl - Born Romantic, the stories of 3 men seeking 3 women, their tales linked by a salsa club and a sympathetic taxi driver [played by the gorgeous Adrian Lester]. No special effects to speak of and they pared the costs to a minimum but it's still one of my favourite 'night in alone with popcorn' movies.
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Hi Elin

Honestly, you won't even recognise Jim Carrey when you see this film. He play a shy, bumbling young man who is entirely captivated by the brash Kate Winslet. It also has a good set of secondary characters who form a sub-plot involving the man who invented the 'mind wipe' technique. It's great stuff!

I'd not heard of Born Romantic. It looks really good and I'll have to rent the DVD. Thanks for the rec!
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
It's amazing how much we are willing to spend on written romance while not wanting to waste money on films. Maybe it's because we can read anonymously, but can't go to a cinema without risking being seen. :)

I might invest in a DVD or two from your list Jen. (DVDs are nearly as anonymous as books.)
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
Hi Mara

There doesn't seem to be the same embarrassment factor over watching a romantic comedy than there is reading romance novels. I'm not sure why that is. With me it's that going to the cinema these days is a major event involving either a long negotiation over the film - four kids aged 13 down to 8 makes this a problem and I only just managed to persuade the teen to see Puss in Boots a couple of weeks ago. Kissing scenes are definitely OUT at the moment so no rom coms for me :)- or arranging a babysitter, and I'd rather go out for a meal if I'm arranging babysitting :).
(no subject) - marasmine - Jan. 4th, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 5th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
I'm ashamed to say that I do have a favourite--I stay away from them if I possibly can, I used to have a cinema buddy and we'd choose films on alternate weeks. My weeks we would see sci-fi and fantasy and animation and sweeping drama--her weeks we'd go and see Knocked Up, 29 Dresses and things like that. *shudder*

However, my guilty pleasure is The Wedding Planner. I love the way the character develops and the plot isn't all about girl meets boy. I never miss it. *blush*
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like The Wedding Planner too. I really like how the two main characters meet, plus there's all the 'I really fancy you, but you're already taken' twists to the story.
Jan. 4th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
*sigh* I have a houseful of Sons so I've had to suffer all the "Dude, Where's My Car" boy-movies LOL (actually, I quite like that one, and Zoolander, and School of Rock... anyway, that's another post *g*). I rarely get the chance to watch rom coms. But I did like Bridesmaids recently. "Spotless" is a favourite, I like the slightly off-kilter ones, some of which aren't even romance now I come to think of it, like Lost in Translation / Groundhog Day / Vicky Cristina Barcelona...

Oh, and Shelter is one I return to again and again, just a damned sweet film...

*off to look up my DVD collection*
Jan. 4th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
I just watched Shelter last week. I got it from our local library of all places. I was so pissed off at the sister I didn't enjoy it so much. LOL I fast-forwarded through her parts.
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 4th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarah_madison - Jan. 13th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely not much of a Rom Com watcher, especially as you said in theatres. I'm the same, give me some explosions and aliens. I've not seen any of those.

Although Clare mentioned Groundhog Day and I do love Bill Murray, even if Andi McDowell annoys me a bit. When the groundhog is driving the truck... HAHAHAHAHAHA (See, I like the com part more than the rom part.) Oh and Zoolander and School of Rock. LOL Clare and I have similar taste it appears.

Oh there was that movie with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, where they switch houses and Cameron Diaz gets Jude Law and Winslet gets Jack Black. Wait, something got the short end of that stick. Might have been Jude. ;-) I just wanted Kate's tiny little thatch cottage. Appeals to us North Americans.
Jan. 4th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
*sigh* Tam, I do miss you, love xx :)
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 4th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 4th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 4th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 5th, 2012 12:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarah_madison - Jan. 13th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 4th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Great list there. I was watching Notting Hill the other night, but I really need to catch up with the others. I also have a bit of a soft spot for The Holiday. Or for something a little non-traditional but more or less a rom-com, how about Imagine Me and You?
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
I'd not heard of Imagine me and you! It looks good. Thanks for the rec, Stevie :).
Jan. 4th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, I've not seen anything on the list and am now embarassed. While I quite like a love story the practical side of me has little patience for most of the setups involved in the comedy portion of a RomCom.

But here are two you may not have seen:

Catch and Release: After the sudden death of her fiancé, Gray Wheeler finds comfort in the company of his friends: lighthearted and comic Sam, hyper-responsible Dennis, and, oddly enough, his old childhood buddy Fritz, an irresponsible playboy whom she'd previously pegged as one of the least reliable people in the world. As secrets about her supposedly perfect fiancé emerge, Gray comes to see new sides of the man she thought she knew, and at the same time, finds herself drawn to the last man she ever expected to fall for.

And, now, give this one a chance -

Stuck on You: Bob and Walt Tenor are twin brothers, who not only share a passion for life, but also a liver. Thanks to their teamwork, being conjoined twins is not a handicap to them. But, when Walt's dreams of stardom of acting on the screen and Bob's shyness clashes, they both begin to fall out. This doesn't help when Bob's Internet girl arrives in town, unaware of their handicap, and when Walt gains his own TV show with Cher.

Yes, I know. Where's the practical side of me when watching this one, but it's quite good and very funny. :)
Jan. 4th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Eternal Sunshine isn't a rom com, more a romantic drama, so maybe your practical side will like that one, Chrissy :).

Catch and release does sound really good. I shall have to check that one out.

Stuck on You sounds bizarre! I see that it's a Farrelly brothers one and has a very young looking Matt Damon in it. We'll see...I'm not a huge fan of the Farrelly films as I often find the humour a little too silly for my tastes!
Jan. 4th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
I've seen and enjoyed all but one and three. I haven't been in a movie watching mood for... the last several years, so...
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:32 am (UTC)
Oh I definitely recommend 1 if you ever get your movie watching mood back :).
Jan. 5th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
I've seen all but No. 4 & 1. My favourite rom com though is Love Actually, even though for some of the characters it doesn't end well. TBH I'm still upset that Laura Linley's character didn't have a HEA...or even just a night with Mr Cute Graphic Artist. I really related to her family pushing to the fore so often, and I guess I thought if she could have a HEA in spite of family pressures then so can I. Very screwed. So...I just imagine her HEA :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:37 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to say that I really didn't like Love Actually. Not because of the lack of HEA in some of the stories but more I hated the Martine McCutcheon/Hugh Grant storyline.
(no subject) - orannia.blogspot.com - Jan. 5th, 2012 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Helen Pattskyn
Jan. 7th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
Romantic comedies
I've seen all of those *except* your number one pick! (Guess what I'm sending my husband out to rent as soon as I have a free evening!) I adore Jim Carey (in his more serious roles, slapstick isn't my thing), but I don't think I've ever even heard of this one. Thanks!!

My favorites are "The Family Stone" (that IS my mother in law) and "Elizabethtown".
Jan. 10th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Romantic comedies
I liked Elizabethtown too, although I know Orlando Bloom isn't everyone's romantic choice :).

I hope you enjoy Eternal Sunshine. It really does show Jim Carrey in a new and surprising light. I like his quieter roles too. The Trueman Show is another of his films I like a great deal.
Jan. 13th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this interesting list! I'm not a huge romcom fan myself--mostly because they seem to depict people acting deplorably in the name of getting together. That formula just doesn't work for me most of the time--not unless I can connect with the characters in some way.

I tend to go for the quirkier releases myself--I really enjoyed JoBeth Williams in American Dreamer and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal (mostly because her character wasn't likeable for good reasons and she grew up throughout the movie). I enjoyed The Holiday--which was mentioned earlier too. Now I'm going to have to catch up on some these--yay for Netflix!
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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