Ten Great Suck-Up Romantic ComediesSubmitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Friday 15th October 2010
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It’s been a rough year. You’ve been working; she’s been working; and the year just seemed to fly by. And now, here come the holidays. The time when we’re all prone to reassess what we’re doing and who we’re with — but especially SharpWomen — who all seem to get in the mood for romantic chick-flicks with their guys. Need some kiss-up movie suggestions for when the temperature drops and your wallet is empty? Consider renting or buying one of these chick-flick oldies-but-goodies. Sure, with some of these titles you’ll be bored in a few scenes, but you’ll score major points for suggesting an evening in with a sappy film favorite:
One: The African Queen (1951; Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart). OK, this one isn’t just for the SharpWomen. John Huston directed this brilliant film about an uptight missionary spinster and a hard-drinking boat captain. Bogart plays the skipper of a dilapidated little boat called the African Queen. He and Hepburn take to a wild African river, fighting with each other and the Germans of World War I. Hepburn and Bogart give the performances of their lives — and as steamy, sweaty and uncomfortable as the African jungle appears, the two of them seem to be having a great time. DVD not yet released; VHS
Two: Chasing Amy (1997; Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee). Many people feel the realistic, downbeat ending disqualifies this little film as a comedy. But check out the storyline: comic-book-artist-falls-in-love-with-lesbian. The acting is as subtle as the writing and direction of Kevin Smith of Clerks fame. Killer dialogue!
Three: Crossing Delancy (1988; Amy Irving, Reizl Bozyk, Peter Riegert). This one’s all about the SharpWoman-style romance plot. Amy Irving is adorable as a determined single New Yorker who gives into her grandmother’s wishes that she see a matchmaker. The owner of the local pickle stand turns out to be her Prince Charming. Who knew? Not available in DVD; VHS.
Four: His Girl Friday (1940; Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell). This fast-paced romantic-comedy masterpiece was directed by Howard Hawks. The action takes place in a noisy newsroom, when men were men and women had really big shoulders.
Five: It Happened One Night (1934; Clark Cable, Claudette Colbert). Frank Capra’s legendary romance about a bus trip where a reporter and a runaway heiress fall in love. The sheer star power of Clark Gable makes this a winner. The dialogue might seem stilted and dated, but, like listening to Shakespeare, once you get used to it, it ceases to be an issue.
Six: Moonstruck (1987; Cher, Nicholas Cage, Olympia Dukakis). This noteworthy film by director Norman Jewison was honored with three academy awards — Cher for Best Actress, Olympia Dukakis for Best Supporting Actress and John Patrick Shanley for his wonderful script. A young widow agrees to marry an older man and then finds herself falling in love with his younger brother, Ronny, who lost his hand on the bread slicer in his bakery. Watching this movie, it’s hard to believe Cher is not Italian.
Seven: The Philadelphia Story (1949; Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart). Directed by George Cukor, this complicated story of a Philadelphia society girl, her ex-husband and a fast-talking reporter has it all — a great, witty script by Donald Ogden Stewart and three of the most charismatic actors in the history of film. Plus, it’s O.K. to be stinkin’ rich.
Eight: Shakespeare in Love (1998; Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes). Directed to perfection by John Madden, Shakespeare in Love is a funny, cheeky look at what might have happened if Shakespeare had fallen in love right before writing Romeo and Juliet. Glamorous to a fault with beautiful costumes, photography and actors!
Nine: When Harry Met Sally (1989; Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan). Yes, the chick-flick of all time. She loves, it; you know she loves it; so why fight something that works? Written by that old romantic Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner, this is the sweet but bumpy journey of two best friends on their way to falling in love — even though he’s fighting it all the way. Haven’t we all been in this tug-of-war with our opposite-sex best friend?
Ten: You’ve Got Mail (1998; Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan). Another chick-flick favorite in the spirit of When Harry Met Sally. Directed by Nora Ephron, You’ve Got Mail is about two people falling in love by e-mail while ignorant of the fact that they are professional arch-enemies in the cut-throat bookstore industry. The three-hankie sub-plot about Meg Ryan’s character losing the bookstore owned by her mother is well done. Not that guys outside of the entertainment industry care, but watching Tom Hanks reading his e-mail evidences what a great actor he can be. The impulse to overact, knowing that your face is going to fill a zillion movie screens must be enormous (just ask Meg Ryan, who does so many cute twitches while she’s checking her e-mail that you’d swear she was about to have some sort of seizure) — but Tom just looks like he’s sitting around reading. Women love him. And your SharpWoman will love you for the suggestion.This article last updated on Friday 15th October 2010