It seems a new romantic movie hits theaters every week, bombarding audiences with the same bland formula. While some girls love spending Friday nights watching the latest hunky celebrity take his shirt off, their boyfriends can’t watch one more Katherine Heigl flick without wanting to puke.
Romantic comedies get a bad reputation for following similar and generic storylines — two complete opposites come together under ridiculous circumstances but somehow work out their differences, after several unrealistic and cliche incidents, and fall in love.
Instead of forcing your boyfriend to sit through another Nicholas Sparks marathon, pick one of these romantic movies that he will enjoy, too.
1. “500 Days of Summer.”
This movie doesn’t exactly end happily ever after for the couple, but then again, the narrator warns viewers in the opening scene that this is not a love story. “500 Days of Summer” is as close to real life love and heartbreak as any romantic movie can get, especially because it balances the touching moments with ones of brutal honesty.
This movie highlights every emotion in a relationship — passion, confusion, trust, hypocrisy, understanding, misunderstanding. Plus, who can resist Zooey Deschanel’s striking blue eyes and Joseph Gorden-Levitt’s charm?
2. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
Who hasn’t wanted their memories erased after a bad breakup? “Eternal Sunshine” makes that happen for its main characters, played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.
As the two go through the erasing process, there’s a part of you that wishes this technology was real. But upon seeing happier times of the couple, the message becomes clear that all failed relationships have good times worth remembering.
3. “The Fountain.”
“The Fountain” is one of the most unique romantic movies in that it blends elements of romance with fantasy, history and science fiction. The film centers on Tom and his wife Izzi, whose lives are told in three storylines, all of which reflect themes of love and mortality.
In each scenario, Tom goes to extreme lengths to save Izzi’s life, whether it’s finding a cure for her cancer, discovering the Tree of Life for his queen or traveling to a far off planet. Time, space and death can’t diminish his love — no matter how corny that sounds.
4. “The Princess Bride.”
This movie speaks to the inner prince in most men. What guy hasn’t dreamed of battling giants, fighting off Rodents of Unusual Size, scaling the Cliffs of Insanity and saving his one true love? The humor is subtle and outlandish, and you can’t help but feel mushy as Wesley and Buttercup share the most passionate, most pure kiss since the invention of the kiss.
“The refreshing narrative helps viewers see
that love can be found in the simplest forms.”
5. “Groundhog Day.”
Bill Murray’s portrayal of a selfish TV meteorologist covering the annual Groundhog Day festivities is unforgettable. As he relives the same day over and over again, his efforts to get closer to his co-worker repeatedly fail.
It’s a nightmare and a dream come true because he gets more than one chance to win the girl over, even though it’s beyond frustrating to constantly wake up to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You, Babe.” Murray’s character exposes a person’s most unflattering flaws as he does some shocking things in the name of love.
6. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
A Hawaiian paradise, a gang of wacky, well-meaning characters and Kristen Bell seem like the traditional makings of a romantic comedy, but “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” explores familiar territory (breakups) in new ways. Can you say “full-frontal male nudity”?
As Peter, played by Jason Segel, overcomes his heartache and finds someone new, we begin to realize that sometimes our past lovers aren’t always as great as we make them out to be.
7. “The Graduate.”
Most people don’t associate “The Graduate” with romance, but then again, most people probably haven’t had a friend’s parent seduce them. Put falling for the seducer’s daughter into the mix and you’ve got romance coming out the yingyang.
Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin, tackles some pretty unusual obstacles to be with Elaine. Sure he sleeps with her mom, takes her to a topless bar on their first date and stalks her on her college campus, but he doesn’t give up. That’s romantic, right?
8. “Say Anything.”
John Cusack, a boombox and Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” — it’s one of the most iconic scenes from an 80s movie. The movie sheds new light on young love, one’s first time and the joy and pain of growing up.
9. “Love Actually.”
A British comedy that combines heartwarming and painful realities, “Love Actually” intertwines the lives of several couples and singles who are all dealing with love’s usual suspects — cheating spouses and unrequited love.
The refreshing narrative helps viewers see that love really is all around and can be found in the simplest forms.
10. “Sex Drive.”
While this may seem like another raunchy teen movie on the surface, underneath it’s a hilarious telling of a teen’s quest to find himself. As Ian sets out on a road trip with his two best friends, one of which he is secretly in love with, to meet his first sexual conquest, mishaps inevitably ensue.
The trio end up learning that what they were looking for was right in front of them the whole time, something most people don’t realize until it’s too late. And if Fallout Boy, a sarcastic Amish farmer (played by Seth Green) and a malfunctioning taco costume don’t say romance, I don’t know what does.