Romantic Comedy

[5.0] Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the title character in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Emma Woodhouse takes it upon herself to be a matchmaker for all her friends and neighbors. While her interference tends to do more harm than good, Emma fails to notice that her own opportunity for courtship may be just under her nose. Director Douglas McGrath (Nicholas Nickleby) abides by Miramax …

[5.5] Director Lasse Hallström (The Shipping News, Chocolat) serves up a fluffy, romantic, period piece comedy centered around the antics of legendary lover Casanova in Venice. Heath Ledger plays the promiscuous hero, who early in the film receives a mandate from the ruler of Venice to get married or leave Venice forever. So Casanova goes in search of a wife, beginning a second act rife with mistaken …

[8.0] A bunch of British people fall in love, out of love, and do lovey-dovey things in the month leading up to Christmas. Now, if you’re like me, that’s a description that will keep you from ever wanting to watch Love Actually. But since a hundred different people have insisted I watch it over the last fifteen years since it was released, I finally gave …

[7.5] A curmudgeonly obsessive-compulsive (Jack Nicholson) falls for a charming waitress (Helen Hunt) and strikes up an unlikely friendship with a gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) in As Good as It Gets, another comedy/drama hybrid from the sometimes brilliant mind of James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News). In lesser hands, this one could have turned out a tonal mess, but Brooks and the cast …

[4.5] About two minutes into Punch-Drunk Love, an absurdist romance from Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia), you learn the movie doesn’t really take place in the real world and none of the characters are real, either. It’s all… some other version of reality. A version where Adam Sandler sells toilet plungers out of a warehouse, collects pudding to cash in on sweepstakes, has seven …

[6.0] Tom Hanks and Shelley Long star as an engaged couple who make a hasty mansion purchase, only to discover the building is falling apart and needs more repairs than they can likely afford. The Money Pit takes about twenty minutes to get going, but once the house starts falling apart on Hanks and Long, it’s cute enough. There are a couple of fun Rube …

[6.0] This may be one of the least insufferable John Cusack romantic comedies out there. He’s nauseatingly pussy-whipped like always, willing to drill a hole in his own head to catch a piece of hair pie. When his friend (Anthony Edwards) promises there’s a hot blonde (Nicollette Sheridan) ready to bump uglies out in L.A., Cusack, always sickeningly deranged at the mere hint of poon-tang, …

[8.5] Of the nine films which paired Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, Adam’s Rib is often considered the best. Writers Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin were friends of the famous couple and wrote the film specifically for them. Kate insisted the film be directed by her favorite screen director, George Cukor, who services the brilliant writing and on-screen chemistry with his trademark elegant staging and …

[8.5] Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, Kings of Summer) stars as a closeted high school student who carries on an anonymous email relationship with another closeted student, all while trying to gather the courage to ‘come out’ to his family and friends. There have been many ‘coming out’ stories in independent cinema, but they’re usually sad, dreary affairs. Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti (TV’s Everwood and The …

[4.0] Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell star in this subdued, kinda boring rom-com from Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society, Witness). Depardieu plays a Frenchman trying to enter the U.S. by marrying an American woman. It’s an under-the-counter sort of arrangement that profits both parties, so long as the government doesn’t find out their marriage is a sham. Of course, the government does find out, and …

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