Top 10 Overlooked Rom Coms

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re rerunning a series of top ten lists dedicated to the film-genre equivalent of those little heart candies: the romantic comedy. Last Thursday, it was classic rom coms. On Tuesday, it was alternative love stories. Today, we continue with ten lesser known romantic comedies that never became classics, cult or otherwise, but that nevertheless deserve our attention and affection.

    1. A Little Romance – Romeo and Juliet, except super cute, sweet, and suicide-free. You’ll be planning a trip to Venice with your honey as soon as it’s over.
    2. L.A. Story – A deep Steve Martin comedy (if you can believe it) about trying to find meaning in life through love in the emotional kiddie pool of America: Los Angeles. It somehow captures the Starbucks zeitgeist pre-Starbucks.
    3. Shirley Valentine – The number of times we’ve mentioned this movie in our writing over the years should have catapulted it to the upper echelons of rom com history. It’s pretty chick-flicky (after all, it’s about a miserable middle-aged woman following her dreams and her orgasms to Greece), but if your boyf is (or you are) a man who’s in touch with his feminine side while secure in his masculinity, we think you both can handle it. Best line: “I said [to my husband] ‘Have you ever heard about the clitoris?’ He didn’t even look up from his paper. ‘Yeh,’ he said, ‘but it doesn’t go as well as the Ford Cortina.”
    4. Dan in Real Life – If you’re a sucker for comedies about big families (the kind you wish you had) gathering for the weekend at a lake house (the kind you wish your family had), then you’ll love this. And if you prefer Steve Carrell in Little Miss Sunshine to him in Get Smart, then the deal is sealed. Sure, the love story is far-fetched and a tad Hallmark-y, but the Sondre Lerche soundtrack makes up for it.
    5. Best Friends – Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn ruin everything by finally getting married and visiting their in-laws for the first time. We know the name “Burt Reynolds” automatically makes you think of cheese whiz, but he and Hawn actually make a great, funny, realistic couple. And there are several scenes throughout that are timeless comedy gold.
    6. The Truth About Cats and Dogs – You have to be a Janeane Garofalo fan first. If you are, then you’ll appreciate what’s probably the best phone sex scene in cinematic history.
    7. Roxanne – A modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac with Daryl Hannah and Steve Martin (we’re not crazy Steve Martin fans, we swear!). You’ll have a love affair with the beautiful location: the cutest, quaintest town in British Columbia.
    8. So I Married an Axe Murderer – Mike Myers is at his most charming in this admittedly silly “thriller.” Best scene: his Scottish father (also played by Myers) does a wedding version of Rod Stewart’s “If You Think I’m Sexy” set to bagpipes.
    9. A Room with a View – This is one of those gorgeous Merchant Ivory productions that actually makes you wish you were born in the time of bustles. It’s about the only thing Julian “Boxing Helena” Sands has ever been good in. Plus, you gotta love anything that has tasteful full frontal male nudity in it. In fact, that’s probably the only reason why it’s not considered a big rom com classic.
    10. Strictly Ballroom – Long before Dancing with the D-Listers, there was this campy Australian comedy by Baz Luhrmann about an ugly duckling turned glitter-wearing swan in the world of competitive ballroom dancing. A Dirty Dancing from Down Under, except good.


  1. I agree Olivia, Strictly Ballroom is horrible and doesn’t project the best image of Australia, but the worst part is that so many kids are made to study it at school for English class, I was one of them years ago and I still don’t see why it was worth my time or how it was educational.

  2. ohhh, Strictly Ballroom is an embarrassment…
    We make some truely shithouse movies down here.

  3. Yess I love Strictly Ballroom. I’ve seen it a million times and it’s wonderful but most people haven’t heard of it. (It’s a wonderful comedy and also I think Baz Luhrmann’s best film.)

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  5. “A Little Romance” has always been a fave of mine, and I’d say I’m not a romantic at all.

  6. Crap, I really need to see #6.

    I do love #8. SIMaAM, and it holds up better to repeat viewings for me than the Austin Powers flicks.

  7. #6 is UNDISPUTEDLY the best phone sex session ever in cinema. I totally want one of those marathon sessions someday…. 🙂

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