I put in Leap Year before I fell asleep last night. I got up to the point where the car rolls down the hill -- not sure how far in that is, 20-30 minutes? -- and I have had two feelings:
One: Unexpected Adam Scott opens the film as her current boyfriend, and I immediately give the screen like twenty high-fives. IT IS SO GOOD TO SEE HIM MAKING WISE LOVE LIFE CHOICES!
Two: Matthew Goode's character is such an unbelievably pompous JACKASS. I said it before Amy Adams and I have said it every 45 seconds since he appeared. He literally cannot seem to go one minute without doing something jackassy. He is without question THE WORST romcom lead ever introduced.
I am now actually really happy that the role didn't go to someone better, because the possibilities for him to dig himself out of the giant hole he is in are really small at this point. Like, I suppose they could be stranded in the middle of the countryside during freezing rain for hours without shelter, cue gallantry. Or they could find a wounded domestic animal near the side of the road that he could dramatically rescue. Possibly they could get to Dublin and he could punch some guy out for her, ideally one who intends to do her harm. It's going to have to do something pretty spectacular to turn my opinion around, though.
[edit: lol. I decided to check Wikipedia to see if anything could come true, and saw right after that part, "The two eventually reach a bar where they discover the men going through Anna's luggage. Declan punches them." Still probably not good enough! Wikipedia also tells me it comes with a side of Must Pretend To Be Married trope, which, blech, RS NO LIKEY.]
Why is it so hard to find a good rom-com? I could have sworn I had seen many I liked; I have got to build a list -- in fact, I think I did start building a list! But then I decided to make it a top 10 and I was going to add pictures and I immediately got overwhelmed by the amount of effort and chucked it. No, wait, here it is! Let's just go with it, rambly list-style.
Top 10 Romantic Comedies Of All Time
I am not 100% certain that all of these technically count as rom-coms, but I am making them that way. I am 100% certain that I have forgotten some important ones, especially since I opened it up to "all time," because even though I don't see that many my memory space reserved for movies is itty-bitty. Maybe this will give you a better insight into the workings of my brain.
(I kind of love how Abigail Breslin is somebody's daughter in 30% of these. She is an important ingredient in facilitating love stories, okay! And that said, I shun the many classics you will find on typical lists and go for all the shiny new stuff, mostly. It's better.)
10. Runaway Bride
It's been way too long since I've seen it, but I love Julia Roberts and that's pretty much what seals the deal. This one beats Notting Hill only because it's been even longer since I've seen that, and I was relatively young so I remember it boring me, even though Current Me thinks it has a lot of elements - like Hugh Grant - that would improve with my age. ANYWAY. This one has Richard Gere, and words cannot express how difficult it is to find a movie in which I love both leads equally. Maybe half the films on this list manage it.
9. Definitely, Maybe
I have only seen it once and am not sure it would hold up in the longterm, but let's pretend it does because the casting in this is spectacular*. Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher, and in that company Elizabeth Banks can tip from neutrality into the big leagues based on proximity. The divorce is a weak point, but otherwise...
*Also it seemed classier than, say, "Little Black Book." Which I enjoyed very much.
8. 13 Going on 30
Jennifer Garner at her very most adorable. I also enjoy this movie's featured 80s songs of "Jessie's Girl" and "Love is a Battlefield."
7. Raising Helen
Something you should know about me is that single adults taking custody of children due to tragedy at the start of a story is one of my favorite things. That explains everything about this, really...
(actually, Kate Hudson has a gift for picking scripts that appeal to me. If she's in something and it's not Almost Famous, I want to see it)
6. No Reservations
See above. It loses points for featuring chefs/excessively focusing on food and having annoying Italian music throughout, but earns more than the above for a better-chemistry couple and Abigail Breslin being older and an only child, developing a much closer relationship between her & adoptive guardian Catherine Zeta-Jones.
(edit: any fuzziness in my memories about why I love this was immediately dispelled with this wonderful summary of a video. Maybe it should have been higher up?)
5. Legally Blonde
The most comedy-like of the batch, I am actually struggling to remember the romantic portion. It has one, right? Because it's hysterical in every way and I want to count it.
4. Music & Lyrics
Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, snark, snark, and more snark (with awesome music). It is the best. I watched it a good two years ago to pull me out of a depression spiral (worked!) and I'm still as happy about it as the day I saw it.
3. Miss Congeniality
Off #5, another that's more of a laugh-out-loud comedy, but with bonus guns and my other favorite thing, law-enforcement-partner shipping. I think I've seen it roughly a dozen times by this point. I even own it, which is more than I can say for anything else on this list.
MOVIE PERFECTION. Before long it will certainly edge out #1 to become my favorite movie of all time, because Single Dad Patrick Dempsey (with a side of Idina Menzel) + Amy Adams is, and I know I have said this before but, off the charts wonderful. Factor in the literal Disney romance, and it's all I can ask of a love story! I can almost count the number of minutes in this movie that my heart is *not* exploding with adoration.
1. Never Been Kissed
Reigning champ for a decade plus now, it still has my heart since it's clearly where my student/teacher thing began (but she's really 25, so it's ok! ...and thus were my perceptions altered forever). I'm mostly in it for the fabulous going-back-to-high-school aspect, but it gets me EVERY TIME with this scene, which I pared down to a single line on the quote-guessing game for fear it would be too easy, but since it apparently was not... </div></div>
"You have to say that because you're my teacher."
"Actually, I shouldn't say that, because I'm your teacher."
And there we go. I just spent way too long on this superfluous post.
In conclusion: dear John Krasinski, PLEASE GET YOUR HANDS ON A WORTHY SCRIPT ASAP, KTHNXBAI.