Matt’s fiancee’s top five romantic comedies

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Every Valentine’s Day sites around the internet list their top romance films. The problem is that most of these site’s writers aren’t the people that romantic comedies are directed at. No, romantic comedies are directed at people like my fiancee Ashley, who enjoys even the worst film as long as its about a guy and a girl falling in love.

With piles of dreck like The Ugly Truth, Maid in Manhattan and movies made specifically for ABC Family firmly in her “I enjoyed this” list, she is the person that romantic comedies are made for. So I decided to let her choose the top five for Flixist and then make fun of her terrible taste in romantic comedies.

One small hitch: despite choosing to marry me and enjoying some really bad movies, it turns out Ashley has taste.

Every Valentine's Day sites around the internet list their top romance films. The problem is that most of these site's writers aren't the people that romantic comedies are directed at. No, romantic comedies are directed at people like my fiancee Ashley, who enjoys even the worst film as long as its about a guy and a girl falling in love.

With piles of dreck like The Ugly Truth, Maid in Manhattan and movies made specifically for ABC Family firmly in her "I enjoyed this" list, she is the person that romantic comedies are made for. So I decided to let her choose the top five for Flixist and then make fun of her terrible taste in romantic comedies.

One small hitch: despite choosing to marry me and enjoying some really bad movies, it turns out Ashley has taste.{{page_break}}

Pretty Woman

Ashley says: I don’t think there is a single part of this movie that is bad and the chemistry between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere is instantly noticeable. The smile that appears on Edward’s (Richard Gere) face after seeing Vivian’s (Julia Roberts) naturally red hair is the start of his captivation with her and of their love story. The following evening when he realizes the vixen at the hotel bar is Vivian, he comments, “You’re stunning” after she states, “You’re late.” That simple statement is script perfection. Sex on the hotel’s grand piano follows as does their first kiss on the lips a few nights later. The movie ends with Edward saving Vivian, and of course her saving him right back, followed by, without fail, one of the best kisses to ever be seen on the silver screen. There is also an amazing seen at a polo match where everyone is asked to replace the divots. Has nothing to do with love, but ever since I saw it I’ve been dying to go to a match and take place in the ritual. Hint…hint… Matt  😉

Matt says: As long as going shopping on Rodeo Drive isn't the thing Ashley most desperately wants to do from this movie I am fine and dandy.

The hooker with a heart of gold is one of the most frowned upon characters in all of cinema in this day and age, but the reason why is because this movie did it so well that no one else can top it. Despite being as predictable, cliche and stereotypical as any romantic comedy out there, it still works and works wonders. It may be the charm of its screenplay, or Roberts' incredible performance or maybe just Gere looking so damn sexy despite his hideous suits and ties. 

Love Actually

Ashley says: With such a strong ensemble cast and so many amazing stories making up this movie it’s hard to pin point exactly what I like. So below I’ve listed my favorite moments full well knowing that the next time I watch the move I’ll realize I missed a bunch. Best Man Mark (Andrew Lincoln) arranging a choir and band to perform “All You Need is Love” immediately following the wedding of Juliet (Keira Knightley) to Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Harry (Alan Rickman) talking candidly to Sarah (Laura Linney) about everyone knowing who she is crushing hard on. Hugh Grant dancing to the Pointer Sister’s “Jump.” Colin’s (Kris Marshall) entire experience in Wisconsin. As a Wisconsin girl myself, I can confirm that we would go that crazy for a British accent, but I’m pretty sure he’d have to be far more attractive to make, what?…a five-some?…occur. Colin Firth professing his love to Aurelia (Lucia Moniz) in Portuguese only to find out that she has learned English. Actually, their entire story line is wonderful. The final favorite moment I’ll mention is one of the sadder moments of the movie. Mark’s profession of his love to Juliet outside her and Peter’s apartment is definitely a pull at your heart strings moment, but a wonderfully conclusion to their story.

Matt says: There is a perfect reason to hate this movie. The reason is that since it was released we see a half-assed, ensemble cast romantic comedy released every year. For that I may never forgive it. But if I were to forgive it it's very easy to see why it's so likable. Not to be even cheesier than my fiancee, but the reason is because it's about love, actually.

And any movie featuring both Colin Firth and Hugh Grant being charmingly befuddled can't be a bad thing.

How to Lose a Guy In Ten Days

Ashley says: I love this movie not because of the story line or the happy ending, but for the amazing quotes laced throughout. Oh!…and Kate Hudson’s stunning yellow gown. It’s positively gorgeous.

Andie: Our love fern! You let it die!
Ben: No, honey, it's just sleeping.

Andie: Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play?
Ben: Who's Princess Sophia?
[Andie points at his crotch] Andie: Little, big, little, big… I don't know… we will find out!

Andie: [Crying at restaurant after butch waitress asks if everything is okay] My boyfriend thinks I'm fat!
Andie: And I can't eat in front of him! I can't eat in front of you! I have to go to the bathroom.
Ben: [Receives dirty looks from other customers] 

Matt says: Of all the movies Ashley chose this is the easiest one to mock. It's shallow, cliched and relies heavily on almost everything that people hate about romantic comedies. And yet, it's hard to really hate it. Like Ashley discussed it actually has some funny moments in it and as far as romantic comedies go you can do a lot worse (a lot, a lot worse). That isn't to say that I'd put this movie in a good movie category like I would the rest of this list, but there are far worse romantic comedies to use my hate on.

When Harry Met Sally

Ashley says: Can men and women really be friends? Sally’s amazing food ordering skills. “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.” Fake orgasm in the middle of a restaurant. Harry and Sally singing “Surrey With the Fringe On Top” in the middle of an old school Sharper Image. Harry Burns’ amazing soliloquy ending with, “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Sigh…

Matt says: Take a look at the image above. All the other images for this article are of a couple looking at each other lovingly. This is an image of a woman faking an orgasm at a diner. This is why When Harry Met Sally is probably the greatest romantic comedy ever made. By avoiding almost every cliche and still some how nailing every standard of a romantic comedy the movie feels fresh and original every time you watch it. The list of moments Ashley gave as an excuse for loving this movie seems so familiar because this movie established almost every cliche in the book. It's not just a good romantic comedy, it's a great film. Good choice, future wife!

The Proposal

Ashley says: It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud, but from Margaret’s (Sandra Bullock) fire dance to the tune of Lil Jon & Eastside Boyz’s “Get Low” to the strip tease by The Office’s Oscar Nuñez to Margaret and Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) running buck naked into each other…I pretty much laughed half of the movie’s run time. Sandra Bullock is one of America’s sweethearts and Ryan Reynolds is hot/funny/did I mention hot? Together they are adorable and hilarious! The on-screen chemistry is evident and I can only hope that post divorce to their previous significant others they will find happiness in each other and make beautiful babies.

Matt says: While I can't say that Margaret's fire dance was actually humorous as Ashley finds it, I can admit that this is by far one of the best romantic comedies to come out in years. Not only do Bullock and Reynolds have great couple chemistry, but it's actually a funny movie thanks to Reynolds's awesomeness, Betty White's oldness and enough charm to overcome the times it trips into the dreaded trap of predictability. If you're going to be sucked into a sappy romantic comedy then it should have what The Proposal has: strong leads, actual humor and sappy love.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.