If you’re a romance junkie, you’ll know that there are a multitude of different romance genres out there to appeal to the most discerning of tastes. One of my particular favourites is the romcom genre. In fact, romcom movies, possibly more than books, have influenced the type of books I like to write. One of my favourite treats after a busy day is to curl up on the sofa with a glass of red wine and a good romcom movie.
But what exactly is a romcom? If you check online you’ll find several definitions, but for me a romcom is simply a humorous book or movie that focuses on a romance between two characters with a happy ending. I particularly love it if there’s some snappy dialogue between the two main characters.
So I thought I’d share some of my favourites. Although I could include many others, I’ve managed to whittle my list down to seven. Some of these movies are ancient now but still have the magic I look for in a romcom movie. These are ones I can watch over and over and they always warm my heart.
1. The Holiday
Released in 2006 starring Kate Winslett, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law & Jack Black.
The Holiday is one of my all-time favourite romcoms. Quite by coincidence I turned on the TV one night last week and it was on. It features two smart, successful women Iris and Amanda (Kate Winslett and Cameron Diaz) strangers living in different parts of the world.
As their current toxic relationships end they both decide they need a holiday… alone. They go on a house exchange website and end up staying in each other’s homes over the Christmas period. Iris lives in a quaint old cottage in the heart of the English countryside. Amanda lives in an ultra-modern home in Los Angeles, California. How they both cope in each other’s environment provides much of the comedy but there’s plenty of romance (two in fact!)
2. French Kiss
Released in 1995 starring Kevin Kline & Meg Ryan
I’m an unashamed Francophile so with its stunning French scenery I would have probably have enjoyed this movie even without its fun storyline and imperfect, yet endearing, characters. Kevin Kline plays a very convincing Frenchman and Meg Ryan, once the Queen of the Romcom, is at her sparkling best in this delightful film.
Despite her fear of flying, Kate jumps on a plane to cross the Atlantic after her fiancé, Charlie, in Paris for a convention, meets someone else and breaks off their engagement. She’s confident once he sees her he’ll realise his folly and change his mind. On the plane she sits next to a rather uncouth, chatty yet endearing, Frenchman called Luc. What Kate doesn’t realise is that Luc is a crook who smuggles a stolen necklace and a special grapevine into France by hiding them in her bag.
That is the start of a wonderful adventure following this mismatched pair on the trail of stolen bags and the missing fiancé from Paris down to the French Riviera. There’s some hilarious repartee between Kate and Luc culminating in a truly satisfying romantic ending.
2. Paperback Hero
Released in 1999 starring Hugh Jackman & Claudia Carvan
If you love the best friends to lovers romance trope, then you’ll love this romcom. This is an Australian gem close to my heart.
A young and handsome Hugh Jackman plays Jack, a tough road train driver in the Australian outback. But Jack has a secret. He’s written a romance novel and stolen his best girl buddy’s name as his pen name.
When a top publisher arrives in the town to sign “Ruby Vale” up for a publishing contract, Jack has to persuade tomboy Ruby to go along with his deception. She agrees but with conditions…
3. The Truth about Cats and Dogs
Released in 1996 starring Janeanne Garafolo, Uma Thurman & Ben Chaplin
Borrowing a theme from Cyrano de Bergerac, Abby, a veterinarian with a radio talk show, begins a voice-only flirtation with Brian, one of her call-in listeners. But when he tells her he’s coming into the studio to meet her face to face she panics. Convinced he’d never find her attractive, she gets her beautiful friend, Noelle, to pretend to be her.
4. One Fine Day
Released in 1996 starring George Clooney & Michelle Pfeiffer
This one has George Clooney as the hero, need I say more? But this one will strike a chord with all the working mothers out there.
Single mother, Melanie Parker is an architect with an important presentation scheduled that day. Her day turns into a major juggling act when her young son misses a school excursion due to another parent failing to pick him up as arranged. The other parent, single father Jack, a journalist, has urgent work issues of his own to attend to for a major story he’s working on. The two parents, despite not warming to one another, eventually agree to take care of each other’s children in shifts throughout the day so they can both make their meetings. But, as you can expect, their day is far from smooth sailing!
5. Tammy and the Bachelor
Released in 1957 starring Debbie Reynolds & Leslie Nielson.
This is a real oldie and some may consider it a little corny but I still love it! I recently found out that Debbie Reynolds was pregnant during the making of this movie. Check out Leslie Nielson (probably better known for his disaster spoof movies such as “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” series) he was quite the hunk in his youth!
Tammy is an unsophisticated young woman living with her Grandpa on a houseboat on the Mississippi. They rescue a young pilot from a crashed plane and nurse him back to health. When he’s well enough, the pilot, Peter, returns to his family and his fiancée. Later, when Tammy’s grandfather is arrested for making illegal liquor, she goes to Peter for help. He mistakenly believes her grandfather has died and insists she stay with his family. Peter’s family’s snobbish values are put to the test when they find out the truth.
6. Man Up
Released in 2015 starring Simon Pegg & Lake Bell
I only recently watched this movie having read many good reviews about it and I loved it! Simon Pegg isn’t your average romantic hero, but he’s very believable in this film. Kudos to Lake Bell’s very authentic British accent. I’m English by birth and honestly didn’t realise she was American until I started writing this post!
Life-weary Nancy just wants to be left alone during her train ride to London but she gets chatted to by an effervescently optimistic young woman who’s heading to London for a blind date. When Nancy isn’t very nice to her she leaves her a self-help book but Nancy isn’t into self help. So when the train pulls into the station in London Nancy chases after the woman to return the book. Instead she bumps into the woman’s blind date holding a copy of the same book. The man mistakes Nancy for his date. On a whim, Nancy decides to play along. I won’t spoil the story but suffice to say they end up having a very eventful evening in London!
To find out more about these movies, I recommend going to The Internet Movie Database. I’d also love to know what your favourite romcoms are. Drop me a note in the comments below. Maybe there’ll be a part 2 to this post one day!