Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Romantic Comedy

I just watched a film called Suburban Girl because I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy. But it turned out not to be a comedy at all, just a romance. I persevered with it because it starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was of course Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm willing to give Buffy a chance in any film, even though I was fairly unimpressed by her career choice of Scooby-Doo movies.

I enjoyed Suburban Girl but once again felt thwarted in my efforts to find a good romantic comedy. I am starting to suspect that the genre may have peaked with When Harry Met Sally. Maybe there will never be another one as good as that again. Or one that reaches the heights of Annie Hall. Or even Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Actually, I sort of lost the inspiration to look for good romantic comedies around 2003 when I went to see The Sweetest Thing at the cinema. This was meant to be a romantic comedy but it was such a bad film I walked out half way through. At some point in the film, the main characters - one of whom was Cameron Diaz, who might have known better - were all sitting in a restaurant when for no apparent reason they all broke into a 'raunchy' song and dance. The film wasn't actually a musical, but despite this the director apparantly thought it would help things along if the women started singing something called 'the penis song.' This was so bad, and so inappropriate, that I was staggered when it happened. I still regard it as one of the worst scenes I've ever seen in any film.

I was so fed up I left the cinema. When I was walking out I grunted in the direction of the women at the cashier's office, saying something like "This is the worst film ever made." And this woman, who turned out to be the manageress, said "Well perhaps it's not your sort of film…"

I understood why she said that. Before venturing out to the cinema I'd probably been sitting round writing for four or five days and had forgotten to get shaved, or changed, and possibly did not look like the sort of person who enjoyed a good romantic comedy. In fact I may have looked like a tramp who wandered in off the street.

So I said to her that I was a fan of romantic comedies but this one had just been really terrible, and was a disgrace to the genre. And then the manageress smiled in a friendly manner and gave me a voucher to come back to the cinema for free, because I'd hated the film so much. I thought that was good customer service from the Streatham Odeon. I liked that they gave me a free voucher. But the whole incident did make me lose heart about finding romantic comedies I enjoyed.


  1. Have you tried Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence? That's a brilliant romantic comedy...

  2. This is why I now stick to movies with aliens, vampires, demons or fairies, big cars/spaceships crashing and surfing (surf themes always help).

  3. Princess Bride is the standard at my house.

    Donna, if you haven't seen it, it has Rodents of Unusual Size which are pretty good.

  4. stranger than fiction?
    beautiful, off-kilter romantic comedy :)

    it's great a man liking romantic comedies... me and my friends have decided that women shouldn't watch romantic comedies and men shouldn't watch porn... as both just lead to unrealistic expectations!

  5. Johanna - I haven't heard of 'Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence. It looks like a good film, though it's from 1998, so probably hard to find now.

    Donna - I'm quite fond of aliens, vampires, or fairies, big cars/spaceships, unless things get too violent. I am quite a wimp as far as films go.

  6. Stranger Than Fiction is another great film!

    Martin - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Martha-Meet-Frank-Daniel-And-Laurence-DVD-2004-/220729059075?pt=UK_CDsDVDs_DVDs_DVDs_GL&hash=item33647a2703#ht_500wt_1141

    And only 99p at the moment. A snip!

  7. I agree. Good romantic comedies are few and far between these days.

    'TiMER' is pretty good. It stars Emma Caulfield (Anya - woot!) and it's from 2009 so it should be readily available.

    Coincidentally I'm almost at the end of my annual Buffy-thon (which for me includes seasons 1-7 plus season 5 of Angel). That's about all the romantic comedy anyone needs!

  8. Anonymous3:23 am

    I was always greatly amused by The Sure Thing.

    -- Nick

  9. Anonymous10:01 pm

    For me the genre peaked with Harold and Maude.

  10. Anonymous12:07 am

    For me it's been a long spiralling down of the genre since The Awful Truth.

  11. Anonymous5:09 pm

    Martin have you seen Let the Right One In? I watched the original and loved it.

  12. Thanks for this post I am always on the look out for new romantic comedies, I love to have a good cry whilst watching a rom - com :)

  13. Maggie6:53 pm

    Fifty First Dates (if you like Adam Sandler)
    Mean Girls
    10 Things I Hate about You
    As Good as it Gets
    While you were Sleeping

    Seen any of them - they are quite sweet

  14. for a romantic comedy, one of my favourites is The Matchmaker (1997), with Janeane Garafolo, David O'Hara, Miles O'Shea, & Denis Leary. as long as you don't mind swearing, very funny.

  15. I prefer romcoms to be a bit more offbeat and with a bit of bite. Nothing is worse than all those terrible Hollywood star driven conveyor belt so-called romcoms that are neither romantic nor funny. Some of my faves from recent(ish) years are:

    500 Days of Summer (2009)


    Chasing Amy (1997)


    Zack and Miri Make A Porno (2008)



    Shaun of the Dead - a romzomcom.

  16. Maggie10:32 pm

    What about Benny and Joon?