Following the sad death of Nora Ephron (writer; director; producer), tributes are flooding in, all of them mentioning her memorable romantic comedies such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail. These were great films in a genre I don't particularly favour, but she really made both the romance and the comedy work by providing great scripts for both male and female, which were delivered expertly by appealing actors.
I realise the blogosphere will be full of favourite romantic comedy lists, but I am not averse to joining in. Now, the definition is a bit tricky - there are comedies without romance and romances without comedy. I don't consider myself an expert in the field, but I know what I like: both the male and the female leads have to be convincing; there has to be chemistry; the dialogue has to be good, by which obviously for this category we mean funny; and it has to tug at your heartstrings a wee bit.
They are pretty standard, by definition, but I've yet to see a good same-sex romantic comedy - I'm not saying they don't exist; just that I haven't seen one. Perhaps this is because rom-coms are typically light-hearted and a bit fluffy, with a requisite happy ending. While films such as My Beautiful Laundrette or My Summer of Love are excellent, I'm not sure they fit the formula.
5 Favourite Romantic Comedies:
- Almost anything starring Hugh Grant. I know this is a bit of a cop out, but otherwise the entire list would be made up of films such as Four Weddings and A Funeral, Love, Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary, Music and Lyrics, About a Boy, Two Weeks Notice... See, that's the whole list right there!
- Pretty Woman - an absolute classic fairytale with a hooker
- Shakespeare in Love - I don't usually like people messing with Shakespeare, but in this case, I'm fine with it
- Please Don't Eat the Daisies - of all the 'old' films I saw when I was a child, this one from 1960 with Doris Day and David Niven always stuck with me; they did things differently then, and with more than a touch of class
- Working Girl - I'm not sure why, but my mum loves it and it always make me think of her, so that's got to be a good enough reason. Plus it has great acting, really strong roles for women, it's an ode to New York, and has a theme tune that makes me cry. You go girl!