Romantic Comedy Movies

Romantic comedy movies are often known by the abbreviations romcoms or rom coms. But no matter what you call them, you can count of the plot centering around a guy and girl who meet, fall in love, and then encounter some manner of relationship-threatening difficulty. In most cases, they wind up together in the end, but you will find the rare romantic comedy movie where the guy doesn’t get the girl.

The following article lists some of my favorite romantic comedy movies produced over the years. Since I’m a guy, I don’t rush out to see everything starring Jennifer Lopez or one of the Sex and the City gals, so I’m hoping this list will provide some alternatives not normally encountered on your average trip to Netflix or the local video store.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) – Mia Farrow plays a lonely New Jersey housewife living through the Great Depression. To pass the time and escape from her tedious existence, she goes to the movies regularly. Imagine her surprise when a hunky on-screen character (Jeff Daniels) breaks the fourth wall and starts speaking directly to her.

Intolerable Cruelty (2003) – The Coen brothers try their hand at making a screwball comedy in this film starring George Clooney as a cynical divorce attorney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a money-hungry divorcee. Sparks fly, and the supporting cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cedric the Entertainer.

Milk Money (1994) – Melanie Griffith stars as a prostitute named “V” who gives three pre-teen boys a ride home and ends up hiding out in a tree house. There’s an immediate attraction between the kind-hearted V and a widower science teacher (Ed Harris), but they’ll have to overcome her rather unfriendly pimp (Casey Siemaszko) before true love can win out.

Ball of Fire (1941) – A group of professors (including Gary Cooper) live in isolation while compiling an encyclopedia of all human knowledge. Due to a freak set of circumstances, they end up taking in a burlesque performer named “Sugarpuss” O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck), and she teaches them all a few new tricks. Meanwhile, she’s being pursued by her mobster boyfriend.

Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) – Fed up with heterosexual relationships that go nowhere, a Jewish copyeditor named Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) replies to a personal ad placed by a bisexual art gallery owner (Heather Juergensen). As their relationship deepens, they face a number of challenges, including Jessica’s reluctance to reveal her relationship to her family.

One Fine Day (1996) – Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney star as single parents who are late to drop their kids off for a school field trip. Both have hectic schedules planned, and they decide to work together to get through the day. Their relationship starts off rocky, but can anyone resist that George Clooney smile for long?

Pat and Mike (1952) – Katharine Hepburn is a promising female athlete, but her fiance always ends up distracting her. When she hires a sports promoter (Spencer Tracy) to assist her, the pair slowly develop an attraction to one another. But can their budding relationship weather an ill-tempered boxer and scores of mobsters?

The Heartbreak Kid (1972) – Voted by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 funniest films ever made, the film stars Charles Grodin as a Jewish sporting goods salesman who leaves his new bride to pursue a blonde coed (Cybill Shepherd) he meets on his honeymoon. Eddie Albert received an Oscar nomination for his role as Shepherd’s over-protective father.

Continental Divide (1981) – The last film made by actor/comedian John Belushi, Continental Divide casts him in the role of a big city newspaper reporter who heads into the Rockies after a story he was working on got him badly beaten by a pair of corrupt cops. There, he meets a spirited researched named Dr. Nell Porter (Blair Brown), and a romance slowly begins to simmer between the bickering duo.

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963) – Glenn Ford plays a widower trying to raise young son Eddie (Ron Howard). Eddie wants his father to be happy, and so he’s always trying to fix him up with various women, with less than successful results. Shirley Jones and Stella Stevens co-star, and the film would inspire the television series starring Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz.

That concludes my look at some excellent romantic comedy movies you may be unfamiliar with. There are plenty more where that came from, however, and modern-day filmmakers like Judd Apatow have certainly put their own stamp on the genre. So no matter what the era, you’re guaranteed to have plenty of rom com goodness to choose from.