Surviving Movie Night: 10 Guy-Friendly Romantic Comedies

Movie night. 

Those two words never fail to strike fear into the heart of every man. It means another boy-meets-girl movie. Or ‘girl moves into small town and happens to sit next to a sparkly vampire with the hots for her’ movie. The kind of movie with like thirty minutes of sappy dialogue and silent staring-into-each-other’s-souls moments. The kind of movie that might just star *shivers*…Hugh Grant.

I know it’s a bit mean to say that all guys like action movies and bloody scenes while all girls like sappy movies with sparkly metrosexuals but one can’t deny that it’s the trend. I, for one, hate rom-coms for three reasons:

  1. Why are they called ‘romantic comedies’ anyway? Some of these movies are more ‘romantic’ than ‘comedy’, and that’s just not cool. False advertising, I tell you.
  2. These movies are geared to trigger a feeling that guys just don’t know how to handle. No one wants to tear up during movie night with their girlfriend.
  3. Some of these movies are just really really bad. I mean seriously.

However, movie night is something that you can’t run away from when you’re in a relationship. And this post isn’t just for guys, by the way. Sure, guys are gonna benefit from this. But girls might be able to use this too–you don’t want to bore your partner to death, do you?

So when your partner tells you that movie night is coming up, rent (or, uh, torrent…*sshhh*) these movies for your viewing pleasure. I promise you will both come out happy (and with only a little bit of emotional scarring).

5o First Dates (2004)

IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

I don’t care what anyone says, this movie is awesome.

Of course, one can argue that this follows the same boy-meets-girl formula, albeit with a little twist. But there’s a twist, and that’s what matters. You should know early on that most of the entries that are gonna be in this post are here because they have excellent twists, which makes the movie itself tolerable.

So what’s the twist in this movie?

In 50 First Dates, Drew Barrymore has a weird illness that makes here forget everything that happened the day before. Adam Sandler is the dude who is in love with her, and has to make her fall in love with him every day, using progressively weirder methods to try to win her over. This movie was done a few years after Sandler left SNL, so most of the SNL cast of that era make weird but very funny cameos.

Rob Schneider is also in the movie as Sandler’s crazy Hawaiian best friend, so there’s that.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

IMDB Rating: 5.7/10

This film got really bad reviews when it came out, and at the time of this writing it only has a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, I absolutely loved this film. There weren’t a lot of sappy dialogue, and Matthew McConaughey played the dashing (but slightly clueless) playboy to the hilt.

In the movie, McConaughey is a rich playboy photographer who changes girl like he changes clothes. In the days leading up to his brother’s wedding, he sees his first love again but thinks it is too late to change his crappy ways. His mind changes after a long night of weird encounters with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, who show him what his life is gonna be like (and how he’s gonna ruin the lives of people around him) if he doesn’t make an effort to change.

It’s like A Christmas Carol meets It’s A Wonderful Life, plus a rom-com crossover.

The best part about the movie are the cameos. There’s Michael Douglas as McConaughey’s horny uncle, Emma Stone as McConaughey’s “first”, Lacey Chabert as the bride-to-be, etc. I promise, it’s a great movie.

Just Friends (2005)

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

Okay, I’m not sure if I like this movie because it’s a good movie or because it features a fat Ryan Reynolds doing really weird stuff.

So I watched the movie again. And it’s actually pretty good, certainly not that cringe-worthy. So let me give you a run-down.

This is about fat Ryan Reynolds and his high school best friend, played by the gorgeous Amy Smart (on whom I’ve always had a crush, so there’s reason #1). Fat Ryan proclaims his love for her but then gets friendzoned in front of everyone he knows and is understandably humiliated. So he moves out of their small town, loses all the weight, and becomes more or less successful. After a cruel twist of fate, he finds himself in his old town once again, and has to deal with the problems he left behind, including the still-gorgeous girl who tore his heart out.

Now, the awesome parts of the movie: (1) Fat Ryan Reynolds, (2) gorgeous Amy Smart, (3) sexy and bubbly Anna Faris plays a small role in the movie, (4) extremely quotable lines like:

What else do you want?

Just Like Heaven (2005)

IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

I’m surprised that so many people don’t know about this movie. For years, this was the only rom-com that I could even sit through.

Just Like Heaven is about a lonely dude (played by The Incredible Hulk) who is trying to get over his dead girlfriend so he tries to shake things up a bit my moving into a new apartment. But surprise! the apartment he moves into has a ghost in it, played by the really bubbly and adorable Reese Witherspoon. And the ghost woman isn’t the groaning, malevolent spirit like in most horror movies. She’s annoying, nagging the poor dude and trying to get him out of her apartment. Romance ensues.

Though the whole thing might seem like the product of some director’s ghost fetish, it’s actually a pretty decent movie with a lot of comedy. It’s awesome, really.

Hitch (2005)

IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

This is near the top of my favorite movies list, and for good reason. One is that it stars Will Smith, and though there have been a lot of hits and misses in his career (I’m looking at you, After Earth), this is one of the awesome ones. And good lord, Kevin James.

The movie is about Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith), a professional matchmaker. In other words, he helps guys make the girls of their dreams fall in love with them and his hundred percent success rate has made him quite famous in the dating field, though not a lot of people know his face. The main plot here is that Hitch falls in love with a girl, but all the techniques he teaches his clients don’t work on the woman. The (hilarious) sub-plot is when funny, clumsy, and nerdy Kevin James hires Hitch to help him get a girl: gorgeous millionaire Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta).

Now, doesn’t that sound like the perfect recipe for an awesome movie?

Warm Bodies (2013)

IMDB Rating: 7/10

Okay, so I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this movie for a while now so last night I gave it a chance. I was skeptical at first because come on, a zombie romance movie? Isn’t that taking the whole undead romance a bit too far? I have never been so wrong.

Sure, the movie flies in the face of every zombie slasher film ever made but it’s actually not that bad once you get past the ‘why is that zombie still able to think?’ part. And Teresa Palmer is gorgeous. Also, Analeigh Tipton.

Here’s the story: The setting is a post-apocalypse world. R is a zombie who can’t quite remember his old name, and he lives in an airport with a shitload of other zombies. They share the airport with ‘skeletons’, or zombies who have given up and now kill anything that movies, without question. R saves Julie from a zombie attack and shelters her from all the other zombies. Romance ensues. Their love stirs something in R and the other zombies, somehow reminding them of their humanity. Now R and Julie have to convince both humans and zombies that they can work together as the skeletons prepare to attack.

Okay, that may have been not-so-spoiler-free but whatever. It’s a good movie. Watch it.

Wall-E (2008)

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

This is one of those movies that have weird premises but somehow make us love ’em in a way that only Pixar can accomplish.

Wall-E is a robot that was accidentally left on after humans vacated Earth (read: the planet turned into a giant landfill). After 700 years of life-experience, he’s become sentient and waits in vain for someone to come for him. Then he finds an actual plant, alive and growing. But suddenly, Eve (a robot scout sent down by a human spaceship to look for vegetation) finds the plant and stores it inside her. Eve is eventually retaken by the spaceship, but Wall-E managed to follow her there. What follows are Wall-E and Eve’s adventures as they try to help humans and gradually form a relationship.

Also, fat humans.

And you just know that it’s a good movie if you find yourself shipping a sentient trash compactor and a weird egg-looking thingy.

Run Fatboy Run (2007)

IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

If you’re not sold yet with that movie poster (you’re a freak, aren’t you?) let me give you a few more reasons.

Simon Pegg is trying to woo his old girlfriend (with whom he has a son) but someone else is moving in on territory he’s already claimed. The new guy (played by a very buff Hank Azaria)  is everything Dennis (Simon Pegg) is not. He’s rich, responsible, great in bed, a good father figure, and he runs marathons for the heck of it. In an attempt to win the girl over and prove that he’s not just an fat, irresponsible dickhead with no future, Dennis signs up for the marathon that Hank Azaria’s also gonna run in. With only a few weeks to train, will he make it and hopefully not die in the attempt?

I’m telling you, this is one of the best Simon Pegg movies out there. It’s right up there with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. And like any Simon Pegg movie, this one’s awesome.

Also, this is directed by David Schwimmer. As in Ross Geller from FRIENDS. 

Love Actually (2003)

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

This is my ultimate feel-g00d film and I watch it all the time around Christmas. Sure, it has a lot of sappy moments, but it’s one of those rom-coms with enough casual nudity, weird encounters, and outright slapstick to balance everything out.

The movie’s about the lives of several people, all of them awesome. Liam Neeson is trying to get over his wife’s death while helping his son impress a girl. Emma Thompson is trying to be a good wife and a good mom to her kids while his husband, the great Alan Rickman, is busy fending off the temptation to be unfaithful with a young vixen in his office. Emma Thompson’s brother, played by Hugh Grant (this dude is in everything), was just elected Prime Minister and is trying to maintain good relations with the US while trying not to fall in love with that hot intern. Bill Nighy is a rockstar trying to get back in the game by releasing a horrible Christmas song and Keira Knightley is about to get married when her fiance’s best friend, Andrew Lincoln (yes, Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead), confesses his love for her.

There are a couple more story lines that I’m too lazy to get to, and I may have made it sound too complicated but trust me, the movie is great. It will make sense as you watch it. Also, Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) makes several hilarious cameos in the film.

There’s also Bill Nighy dancing naked while singing ‘Christmas is All Around’. Up to you how to deal with that.

Princess Bride (1987)

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Okay so I guess I understand why a movie with a title like Princess Bride, made in 1987, might not be the biggest hook for you guys but trust me on this: the movie is awesome.

This is one of those rare romcoms that actually assures guys that they won’t be growing a vagina by watching the movie. At the core of the movie, of course, is the love story of a girl and a farm boy and the words, ‘As you wish.’ But aside from that, there’s a pirate involved, a lot of sword-fighting, giants, wrestlers, giant wrestlers, rodents of unusual sizes, revenge, Sicilians, and the word ‘inconceivable’. 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Now, you’re faced with a choice.

Are you gonna trust my judgment and rent (or, uh, torrent) the movies I picked out, or are you gonna sit through The Notebook one more time?

You decide.

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