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10 Romantic Comedies for People Who Hate Romantic Comedies

10 Romantic Comedies for People Who Hate Romantic Comedies


Formulaic "chick flicks" give the genre a bad name, but these films have much more on their minds.

As Valentine's Day approaches, we're inundated with images of all things romantic. This may induce mild nausea among those who don't have a sweetheart -- and even those who do.
The last thing you may want over Valentine's Day weekend is to watch a romantic comedy, and for good reason: Most of them suck. During the past 20 years, the genre has been reduced to formula fare that plays to the romantic fantasies of heterosexual women -- or, at least, the studios' ideas of those fantasies.
Low-budget gay rom-coms offer little solace, since many of them are simply not very good. But a few cinematic gems offer a fresh spin on romance, with characters that are imperfect and complex -- just like the rest of us. They also feature elements that are sure to resonate with LGBT film fans.

10. As Good as It Gets (1997)
Jack Nicholson is a cranky, bigoted writer, Helen Hunt is a waitress with a sick kid, and Greg Kinnear is a gay artist. The hapless trio are thrown together on a road trip that leads to unexpected understanding. Nicholson and Hunt both won Oscars for their prickly performances, and Kinnear's sympathetic gay turn earned him a well-deserved nomination.

9. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan play longtime buddies who worry that sex will ruin their friendship. If you've ever wondered if your platonic BFF may actually be your one and only, you're sure to identify. Ryan's fake orgasm in Katz's Deli has become an iconic moment in movie comedy.

8. His Girl Friday (1940)
Rosalind Russell and the allegedly bisexual Cary Grant sparkle as hard-boiled reporters who happen to be exes in this farcical comedy classic that's based on the play The Front Page. Their snappy repartee crackles like machine-gun fire. Haven't seen it? Netflix it now.

7. Amelie (2001)
Audrey Tautou is enchanting in this whimsical French tale of a woman who playfully engineers the lives of everyone around her -- until she finds herself on a romantic adventure of her own. Anyone who's ever put the romantic needs of others above their own is sure to identify with the winsome heroine.

6. Annie Hall (1977)
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton star as mismatched neurotics in the film that redefined romantic comedy and nearly swept the Oscars. Keaton's funky wardrobe single-handedly triggered the craze for androgynous women's fashion in the '70s.

5. Crazy Stupid Love (2011)
Steve Carell plays a shlub who's transformed by Ryan Gosling's suave pickup artist after his wife (Julianne Moore) dumps him. Emma Stone also stars, Gosling has a jaw-dropping shirtless scene, and the film has the most comically ingenious plot since Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

4. The Graduate (1967)
Dustin Hoffman made his film debut as a young man who's seduced by his parents' friend (the incomparable Anne Bancroft as the iconic Mrs. Robinson), only to fall in love with her daughter (the beautiful Katharine Ross). Director Mike Nichols's masterpiece skewers the hypocrisy of the straight establishment status quo. It's a dark comedy for the ages.

3. Charade (1963)
Audrey Hepburn plays a recent widow who is pursued by bad guys and aided by the suave Cary Grant in this thriller that deftly juggles comedy, romance, and danger. And Hepburn seriously rocks her Givenchy gowns. All this and Paris too!

2. What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal are comic perfection in this screwball comedy that features the film debut of the late, great Madeline Kahn -- and the funniest chase scene through San Francisco that's ever been filmed. The mother of all gay icons meets O'Neal at his dreamiest. What's not to like?

1. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play deeply flawed yet sympathetic characters who are struggling to regain their sanity and rebuild their lives. Gay fave Lawrence won the Oscar -- Cooper should have too. And watching him learn how to dance is worth the price of admission.
Did we leave any of your favorites off the list? If so, which romantic comedies would you recommend for people who hate romantic comedies? Tell us in the Comments below.
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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