Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MEET ME IN MONTAUK:  Vulture attempts to rank the twenty-five best romcoms in the twenty-five years since When Harry Met Sally.  Most shocking omissions? The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Never Been Kissed, and that British film where all the dudes hit on women who work for them.


  1. Maret Orliss2:19 PM

    I haven't seen all of these films but I wouldn't necessarily classify some of them as romantic comedies. Her and Eternal Sunshine are both amazing films but to me they eclipse genre placement in a lot of ways.

  2. Randy2:33 PM

    If some of these movies are romantic comedies, then so is BRING IT ON. And where are the BEFORE movies? Especially BEFORE SUNSET?

    Also, Branagh's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is greater than any of them.

  3. Maret Orliss2:39 PM

    Except for Keanu, the big failure of that version of Much Ado.

  4. Randy2:43 PM

    I will concede that he's the weak link. But the rest of the movie is just so... glorious.

  5. christy in nyc2:50 PM


    Took me a long time to realize how special that one is, having been a teenager when it came out.

    Oh, and The American President!

    They call Bridget Jones miraculous. I think the miracle was the casting of the men. In hindsight it seems inevitable, even cliche, that Hugh Grant and Colin Firth would play those characters. But if I were Helen Fielding 15 years ago I probably would have lost my mind that they actually got them both.

    Along those lines, a recent romcom that I found enjoyable was Austenland. Also mainly because the casting of the two men (and their subsequent performances) worked for me.

  6. Adam B.2:53 PM

    I wrote about MBFW at length here about eleven years ago (sheesh); I just don't think it works, but I find it fascinating.

  7. A few comments:

    1. As Maret says, Her may be very funny, but RomCom??
    2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall would easily be in my top 10, maybe top 5, for this list.
    3. Enough Said really bugs me. The central dilemma in that movie is "can I really be in love with a fat guy??" Offensive.

  8. christy in nyc3:22 PM

    Ooooh, thanks for that link! The reasons it doesn't work for you are mostly the same things I love about it (and took me a while to grok--at age 16 I hadn't seen enough romcoms yet to have known how INSANE it is to have the heroine left with zero love interests at the end), but I obviously agree that it is eminently discussable.

    "Fascinating" is also the exact word I was going to use in a little slightly-related mini-shout-out to this past week's Valentine episode of Big Bang Theory. That show is crazy-uneven in terms of its writing but the super-slow-burn late-in-life coming-of-age element is, to me...well, fascinating.

  9. Love Defending Your Life. I'm a big Albert Brooks fan. (Please don't call me Mr. Scorpion.)

  10. Joseph Finn4:06 PM

    Look, Vulture is ordinarily quite good. But leaving ENCHANTED off this list is simply nuts.

  11. victoria6:21 PM

    You know, I always loved The American President, but I rewatched it recently and was very squicked out by some of the power dynamics I hadn't picked up on years ago. (At several points Bening delivers a really clear, unambiguous 'no' and Douglas runs roughshod over her because, well, President.) The performances are still wonderful, though.

  12. victoria6:22 PM

    Before Sunrise was my big "holy crap, they didn't include ____?!" movie too.

  13. Meghan8:29 PM

    I'd move Bridget Jones's Diary to number 2 in place of Notting Hill, which I'd move to the outer reaches of the universe.

    Am I alone in my love for Sliding Doors?

  14. BarbL11410:41 PM

    Not at all. Sliding Doors is fantastic. I need to rewatch--it's been YEARS.

    I object to About a Boy being on the list, as Hugh Grant's romantic interest isn't the primary story.

  15. I was very disappointed in the lack of diversity on this list. Where is Love and Basketball, The Best Man, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Something New, etc.? It's unconscionable. I also find it odd that My Big Fat Greek Wedding was omitted, considering how popular it was.

    Also, add my vote for Sliding Doors and French Kiss, two of my favorite films.

  16. A lot of odd picks. While You Were Sleeping > The Proposal. 40 Year Old Virgin > Knocked Up. And while I love The Wedding Singer, 3 Adam Sandler movies is too much.

  17. Keanu's weak link is made more prominent because Fran Kranz is so solid in the part in the Whedon version, so it's hard to say "part, not actor."

  18. Genevieve4:30 PM

    I adore Sliding Doors!

  19. Genevieve4:32 PM

    Love and Basketball is fantastic and should absolutely be on the list!

  20. Carrie5:33 PM

    You are not alone, Meghan. Great movie.

  21. Carrie5:34 PM

    Something New, best Valentine's Day movie ever.

  22. gtv20003:35 PM

    I wouldn't call Silver Linings Playbook a romantic comedy.

  23. Emily1:16 PM

    Keanu played Don Jon (played by Sean Maher in Whedon's version). Robert Sean Leonard played Claudio in Branaugh's version. Don Jon should never be the weak link; it's a fun role. Claudio usually is, but I agree that Kranz was great.