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Diehl 40's Top 25 Romantic Comedies

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Annie Hall 5/5
Dir. Woody Allen
Written Woody Allen/ Marshall Brickman
Principal Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelly Duvall,



5/5
Writing in 2002 Roger Ebert claimed that, "Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the best picture Oscar. To show how much things have changed since 1977 many might be surprised that the film it edged out to win the Oscar was Star Wars. I could not see that happening today. Annie hall grossed about 40 million dollars which is less than the budget for many of the "blockbusters" of today.
This film was a watershed moment for Allen. Before then he was principally viewed as a "comedy writer". Annie Hall is a comedy, but is so much more. There are dozens of references to cultural and intellectual trends of the films date. He made popular the Groucho Marx Quote "I would not want to be in a club that would have me as a member". There are references to Marshall McLulan and the films of Fredrico Fellini to name but two.

Alvy Singer follows Allen's Jewish Male neurotic template for his main characters both before and after this film. Keaton also follows a template of many of the love interest in Woody's movies: Pretty,smart, scatterbrained, with genuine affection fading that eventually trails into frustration and exasperation with Woody's characters.
I've mentioned in other reviews that Woody has had his share of genuine inspirations in some of his movies. some of those moments in Annie Hall include a lot of Woody addressing his audience directly through the camera, a sudden departure from the script to quiz local passerby's about his love life. He also interrupts a scene to bring Marshall Mcluhan on screen to directly reply to criticisms from a blowhard pseudo-intellectual pontificating about Fellini's film and McLuhan's book.
One of the funniest scenes involves Woody as a child taking his hostility out in the Bumper card ride and then translating that into a scene where Woody, as an adult, is required to drive in New York without much driving experience. Even if these scenes are derivative of other film makers work, it still comes across fresh for me. Annie Hall is not my favorite Allen film, but there is no denying that it is probably his most successful movies and perhaps his most influential film.



I guess what I should have said is that I would not include the film on MY list of the top 25 romantic comedies.
That's fair enough.

I don't think it would make my top 25 either. My list above is just a collection of romantic comedies I quite like and they are in no particular order. I used the IMDb filters, and I can tell that there are some films that just didn't pop up in my search (and especially a lot of older romantic comedies?). For example, About a Boy and Princess Bride or My Man Godfrey.

Some of them I happen to think are criminally underseen, like Happy Accidents.



I've never even heard of Happy Accidents...just looked it up on the IMDB...Vincent D'onfrio and Marisa Tomei? Seems like an odd pairing. This movie came out 20 years ago, how did it slip under my radar?



@Diehl40

I have one romantic comedy that I think is very worthy of a watch. It's called Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) I think you might like it's unique sense of humor and it's refreshingly candid look at infatuation in a bitter sweet romance.



@Diehl40

I have one romantic comedy that I think is very worthy of a watch. It's called Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) I think you might like it's unique sense of humor and it's refreshingly candid look at infatuation in a bitter sweet romance.



Thanks



I've never even heard of Happy Accidents...just looked it up on the IMDB...Vincent D'onfrio and Marisa Tomei? Seems like an odd pairing. This movie came out 20 years ago, how did it slip under my radar?
I would encourage you to read as little as possible about it before watching it. It's definitely an oddball film. I hope you like it--it's one of those films I feel kind of personally attached to. Not for any thematic or deep reason, I'm just very fond of it.



Some of my favorite romantic comedies (some of which are repeats from posts above)


Practical Magic

Moonstruck

Sleepless in Seattle

I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on Practical Magic. That was a movie I wanted to like but... didn't. It's been a long time so if you can tell me why it was good I'll re-watch it (I'd actually kinda considered anyway that maybe I'd just missed the boat on it).

Moonstruck is a ******* masterpiece, though I probably don't even need to say it.

I feel like Sleepless In Seattle is an under-appreciated film. People kinda write it off as one of those movies but it stands out, strongly, on its own IMO.






Annie Hall 5/5
Dir. Woody Allen
Written Woody Allen/ Marshall Brickman
Principal Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelly Duvall,



5/5
Writing in 2002 Roger Ebert claimed that, "Annie Hall contains more intellectual wit and cultural references than any other movie ever to win the best picture Oscar. To show how much things have changed since 1977 many might be surprised that the film it edged out to win the Oscar was Star Wars. I could not see that happening today.
FWIW, Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Ryan's Privates and The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar (thank god), so it happens sometimes these days too.

Oh, and, yeah, Annie Hall is one of the best movies I've ever seen.



I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on Practical Magic. That was a movie I wanted to like but... didn't. It's been a long time so if you can tell me why it was good I'll re-watch it (I'd actually kinda considered anyway that maybe I'd just missed the boat on it).
Practical Magic for me is tinged with nostalgia. So take that as you will.

To begin with, I enjoy its portrayal of magic, which is to say that it can do some things but character decisions are just as important and magic doesn't just, well, magically fix things.

I think that the sisterly dynamic is well-realized. It's a comedy, but the depiction of Jimmy is genuinely scary, and there's something both funny and horrifying about the fact that their attempt to leave him only makes him more violent and more powerful. I think that, kind of low-key and allegorically, it manages to show that leaving behind an abusive partner isn't as simple as walking out the door.

I've always liked Aiden Quinn, and I like the dynamic between him and Sally as they develop a mutual attraction and he realizes that she's hiding things from him.

Then on the lighter side, I like Wiest and Channing as the aunts. Some of the little setpieces are fun and satisfying, like Gilly helping Sally win the votes to be top of the phone tree. The characters of the daughters are fun and don't veer too far into cutesy territory.

I find it a very, very easy film to watch and it puts a smile on my face.

I feel like Sleepless In Seattle is an under-appreciated film. People kinda write it off as one of those movies but it stands out, strongly, on its own IMO.
I watched it pretty recently for the first time, and I agree. I especially appreciated that it sidestepped the whole trope of the female lead having an abusive or crummy boyfriend, and her respectful breakup with Walter earns the film a lot of points for me. The only real off note, for me, was the character of Victoria. She just never totally made sense to me as someone his character would be with, and she feels very much like a character who is just written to be an impediment. In a film full of more robust characters who make sense in their roles, Victoria is the one piece that doesn't feel like it fits.



I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on Practical Magic. That was a movie I wanted to like but... didn't. It's been a long time so if you can tell me why it was good I'll re-watch it (I'd actually kinda considered anyway that maybe I'd just missed the boat on it).

Moonstruck is a ******* masterpiece, though I probably don't even need to say it.

I feel like Sleepless In Seattle is an under-appreciated film. People kinda write it off as one of those movies but it stands out, strongly, on its own IMO.
I think Moonstruck is overrated...and there's no way Cher deserved the Oscar over Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction




While You Were Sleeping
Dir Jon Tureltaub
Principal actors: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Jack Warden, Peter Poyle, Glynis Johns, and Peter Gallagher.



This is one of my favorite Romantic Comedies in terms of how many times I have seen it. After seeing it several times I have decided that it could have easily been a sicky-sweet mess of a movie, but there was something about the characters that kept me interested.
It did have a good cast who somehow kept it from being to sentimental. The Godfather, Saul (Jack Warden) who discovers Lucy’s (Sandra Bullock) secret early on but keeps quite because he thinks she will be good for the family. Jack (Bill Pullman), who plays his part of the brother who finds himself growing interested in his brothers Fiancé, very well.
Lucy (who works on the Chicago Mass transit system) has her eye on a handsome commuter (Peter Gallahger) finds herself coming to his rescue as he is mugged on the train station platform. He goes into a coma and she accompanies him to the hospital. When the man’s family shows up they mistake her for his fiancé. She does not correct them, and the comedy of errors takes off.
There is a happily ever after involved, but I think the acting kept it from being too sappy at the end. This movie might make into my top 25 Rom Coms, but probably near the bottom of the list.

While You Were Sleeping is one of my all-time favorite movies, and it would be near the top of my favorite rom-coms list.
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These are some of my favorite romantic comedies:

It Happened One Night (1934)
The Awful Truth (1937)

His Girl Friday (1940)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
One Touch of Venus (1948)

Tea for Two (1950)
Roman Holiday (1953)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
Desk Set (1957)
Indiscreet (1958)
Pillow Talk (1959)

If a Man Answers (1962)
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Sunday in New York (1963)
The Thrill of It All (1963)
Irma la Douce (1963)
Move Over, Darling (1963)
Send Me No Flowers (1964)
What a Way to Go! (1964)
Do Not Disturb (1965)
That Funny Feeling (1965)
Marriage on the Rocks (1965)
The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
Barefoot in the Park (1967)

Goodbye Girl (1977)
California Suite (1978)
Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Same Time, Next Year (1978)
Love at First Bite (1979)

Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Kiss Me Goodbye (1982)
The Princess Bride (1987)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
I.Q. (1994)
Only You (1994)
The American President (1995)
Sabrina (1995)
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
You've Got Mail (1998)
Notting Hill (1999)

Return to Me (2000)
Serendipity (2001)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Just Like Heaven (2005)
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Love Is All You Need (2013)
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)



Would definitely endorse a few of those from gbgoodies also. Notably His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia, The Shop Around the Corner, Irma la Douce and the Neil Simon's penned Seems Like Old Times and especially Barefoot in the Park. One of my all time fav romcoms.



Practical Magic for me is tinged with nostalgia. So take that as you will.

To begin with, I enjoy its portrayal of magic, which is to say that it can do some things but character decisions are just as important and magic doesn't just, well, magically fix things.

I think that the sisterly dynamic is well-realized. It's a comedy, but the depiction of Jimmy is genuinely scary, and there's something both funny and horrifying about the fact that their attempt to leave him only makes him more violent and more powerful. I think that, kind of low-key and allegorically, it manages to show that leaving behind an abusive partner isn't as simple as walking out the door.

I've always liked Aiden Quinn, and I like the dynamic between him and Sally as they develop a mutual attraction and he realizes that she's hiding things from him.

Then on the lighter side, I like Wiest and Channing as the aunts. Some of the little setpieces are fun and satisfying, like Gilly helping Sally win the votes to be top of the phone tree. The characters of the daughters are fun and don't veer too far into cutesy territory.

I find it a very, very easy film to watch and it puts a smile on my face.



I watched it pretty recently for the first time, and I agree. I especially appreciated that it sidestepped the whole trope of the female lead having an abusive or crummy boyfriend, and her respectful breakup with Walter earns the film a lot of points for me. The only real off note, for me, was the character of Victoria. She just never totally made sense to me as someone his character would be with, and she feels very much like a character who is just written to be an impediment. In a film full of more robust characters who make sense in their roles, Victoria is the one piece that doesn't feel like it fits.
Well, to be fair, I've been single-but-dating for nearly a decade now after my divorce and I've settled for more than one Victoria in my time, so, from my point of view, she makes perfect sense and is kinda validated by my personal experience. ****, some people say my WIFE was a Victoria.



I think Moonstruck is overrated...and there's no way Cher deserved the Oscar over Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction
Hm. I think of Moonstruck as underrated... as there are still people who either haven't or won't acknowledge its excellence.
As for Cher? Eh, whatever, she was very good and I can't tell you how many times I thought the best performance of the year wasn't even nominated while somebody else walked away with it.



These are some of my favorite romantic comedies:

The Awful Truth (1937)
If someone asked me what my single favorite Romantic Comedy was, this is probably what I'd say.