MarshaKatz

What are your Top 10 Favorite Romantic Comedies

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Here are my top 10 favorite romantic comedies.  What are your top 10 picks?

 

1. Annie Hall

2. The Awful Truth

3. Bringing Up Baby

4. The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer

5. The More The Merrier

6. Every Girl Should Be Married

7. Hannah And Her Sisters

8. The Apartment

9. I Was A Male War Bride

10. It Happened One Night

 

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Here's my list:

 

1. BEDTIME STORY (Loretta Young & Fredric March)

2. THE LADY EVE (Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda)

3. I LOVE YOU AGAIN (Myrna Loy & William Powell)

4. SABRINA (Audrey Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart)

5. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (Margaret Sullavan & James Stewart)

6. NO TIME FOR LOVE (Claudette Colbert & Fred MacMurray)

7. IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (Jean Arthur & Herbert Marshall)

8. TELL IT TO THE JUDGE (Rosalind Russell & Robert Cummings)

9. THE LONG, LONG TRAILER (Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz)

10. NOTTING HILL (Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant)

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Awful Truth (Grant \ Dunne)

Devil and Miss Jones (Arthur \ Cummings)

Hands Across the Table (Lombard \ MacMurrary)

Holiday (Grant \ Hepburn)

Lady Eve (Stanwyck \ Fonda)

Libeled Lady (Powell \ Loy \ Harlow \ Tracy)

My Man Godfrey (Lombard \ Powell)

Trouble in Paradise (Francis \ Hopkins \ Marshall)

Midnight (Barrymore \ Colbert)

Women of the Year (Tracy \ Hepburn).

 

Of course some of these are also known as screwball comedies.   

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Of course some of these are also known as screwball comedies. 

 

Pretty much all the romantic comedies I like are screwballs; the genre's somewhat irreverent approach to love and, especially, marriage is kind of the only way I can stomach films focused on romantic courtship.

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Pretty much all the romantic comedies I like are screwballs; the genre's somewhat irreverent approach to love and, especially, marriage is kind of the only way I can stomach films focused on romantic courtship.

I enjoy something like SABRINA more than MY MAN GODFREY. Love doesn't have to be screwy to be fun. It can be charming and exhilarating.

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A lot of "Rom-Coms" as they're sometimes known, can be very predictable and dull.  The ones that stand out for me are the ones that deviate from the standard formula or at least have some element of charm about them. 

 

These are my favorites:

 

1. Sabrina (1954)

2. It Happened One Night 

3. The Philadelphia Story

4. Sixteen Candles

5. The Princess Bride

6. Pretty Woman

7. My Best Friends' Wedding

8. Groundhog Day

9. 10 Things I Hate About You

10. Under the Tuscan Sun

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I do hate to make lists of the best in any genre, because I might not feel the same way the next year.

 

Thanks to TCM, I am just beginning to discover Ernst Lubitsch.

 

And "The Shop Around The Corner" and "Ninotchka" seem to me to be romantic comedies that were spun out of air

 

"The Lubitsch Touch" is, of course, the lightest - and, yet, it is so persuasive - and so very enchanting, too.

 

I recently saw two rather "old" films of his - "The Love Parade" and "The Smiling Lieutenant".

 

They did contain romance and they do embody comedy, but they have have songs in them, so they probably don't qualify as romantic comedies.

 

But, again, both films seemed to me to be spun out of air (possibly sugar-flavored).

 

I envy the man's ability to transform words on the page into such heavenly music.

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Thanks to TCM, I am just beginning to discover Ernst Lubitsch.

 

And "The Shop Around The Corner" and "Ninotchka" seem to me to be romantic comedies that were spun out of air

 

"The Lubitsch Touch" is, of course, the lightest - and, yet, it is so persuasive - and so very enchanting, too.

 

I recently saw two rather "old" films of his - "The Love Parade" and "The Smiling Lieutenant".

 

Don't forget HEAVEN CAN WAIT, which I consider his best one.

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Don't forget HEAVEN CAN WAIT, which I consider his best one.

I would like to see some of his silent films, like "The Student Prince Of Heidelberg".

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1. Dodsworth--with Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor

 

2. An Affair to Remember--with Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr

 

3. Possessed (1931)--with Clark Gable & Joan Crawford

 

4. Valley of Decision--with Gregory Peck & Greer Garson

 

5. The Long, Hot Summer--you'd have to be blind not to see the on and off camera chemistry between soon to be married Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward. Longest Hollywood marriage in history up to Paul's death in 2009.

 

6. Marty--with Ernest Borgnine

 

7. You Can't Take It With You--with James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Lionel Barrymore.

 

8. Blonde Crazy--with James Cagney & Joan Blondell

 

9. Roman Holiday--with Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn and Eddie Rabbit.

 

10. The Philadelphia Story--with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart

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The Long, Hot Summer--you'd have to be blind not to see the on and off camera chemistry between soon to be married Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward. Longest Hollywood marriage in history up to Paul's death in 2009.

 

Nice list, Tisher. I think Joel McCrea & Frances Dee were married longer-- 57 years as opposed to the Newmans' 50 years. Of course, both couples enjoyed long and successful marriages.

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1. Dodsworth--with Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor

 

2. An Affair to Remember--with Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr

 

3. Possessed (1931)--with Clark Gable & Joan Crawford

 

4. Valley of Decision--with Gregory Peck & Greer Garson

 

5. The Long, Hot Summer--you'd have to be blind not to see the on and off camera chemistry between soon to be married Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward. Longest Hollywood marriage in history up to Paul's death in 2009.

 

6. Marty--with Ernest Borgnine

 

7. You Can't Take It With You--with James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Lionel Barrymore.

 

8. Blonde Crazy--with James Cagney & Joan Blondell

 

9. Roman Holiday--with Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn and Eddie Rabbit.

 

10. The Philadelphia Story--with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart

 

Like TB said, this is a very nice list of fine films,  but some,  like Dodsworth, I wouldn't classify as romantic comedies.   While there is the very touching romance between the Dodsworth and the women played by Mary Astor,   there isn't much comedy in the film. 

 

I view films like Dodsworth, Marty and The Long Hot Summer more as romantic dramas. 

 

Either way,  I have seen all of these films and enjoyed them, and some,  like Roman Holiday are my favorites.

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Like TB said, this is a very nice list of fine films,  but some,  like Dodsworth, I wouldn't classify as romantic comedies.   While there is the very touching romance between the Dodsworth and the women played by Mary Astor,   there isn't much comedy in the film. 

Yes, I'd say there is a distinction between romantic comedies and romance dramas (melodramas). 

 

In recent years, Hollywood tries to cover its bases by doing romantic comedy-dramas. But that's because the budgets are so huge now they have to put a little bit of everything into the movies to make them appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

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I agree about Dodsworth, and I was practically cheering when Dodsworth dumped his flighty, adulterous, vain wife. Yeah Dodsworth was not a comedy for sure...

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I was practically cheering when Dodsworth dumped his flighty, adulterous, vain wife. Yeah Dodsworth was not a comedy for sure...

 

The only way DODSWORTH might be seen as a comedy is if we said Ruth Chatterton deliberately overplayed her role as sort of a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the vainglorious bourgeoisie wife.

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I don't about a top 10, but I absolutely love Arthur with Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. I don't watch a lot of romantic comedy, but that one was so good, I've never seen the remake, but it doesn't look half as appealing. For one thing, they took away Hobson (what are your thoughts, Hobson?) and it would never be Arthur without Dudley Moore and the catchy soundtrack.

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Here's my list:

 

1. BEDTIME STORY (Loretta Young & Fredric March)

2. THE LADY EVE (Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda)

3. I LOVE YOU AGAIN (Myrna Loy & William Powell)

4. SABRINA (Audrey Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart)

5. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (Margaret Sullavan & James Stewart)

6. NO TIME FOR LOVE (Claudette Colbert & Fred MacMurray)

7. IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (Jean Arthur & Herbert Marshall)

8. TELL IT TO THE JUDGE (Rosalind Russell & Robert Cummings)

9. THE LONG, LONG TRAILER (Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz)

10. NOTTING HILL (Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant)

I enjoyed Sabrina as well, but I read that Humphrey Bogart said some nasty things about his co-star and that he did not care for Audrey Hepburn, and I can definitely see it in the movie. I do think it is highly superior to most of the cheesy stereotypical romantic films they put out today. I did enjoy that film and I loved Audrey in it. The scene at the beginning where he finds her in the garage is my favorite.

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I enjoyed Sabrina as well, but I read that Humphrey Bogart said some nasty things about his co-star and that he did not care for Audrey Hepburn, and I can definitely see it in the movie. I do think it is highly superior to most of the cheesy stereotypical romantic films they put out today. I did enjoy that film and I loved Audrey in it. The scene at the beginning where he finds her in the garage is my favorite.

 

Bogart's disdain for Hepburn, which seems to come through on screen, can be read as the character's standoffish behavior about becoming romantically involved with a servant's daughter. We could interpret it as his fighting the whole romance, how she just cannot be suitable for him, even if it is not so directly stated in the dialogue. 

 

For the most part, I'm an Audrey Hepburn fan but even I have to admit she's pretty amateurish in some of her films (gliding by on her charm and fashion sense, instead of her characterizations). But this is not the case with SABRINA, where she is still charming and chic but also etches out a strong portrait of a young woman in love-- and maybe that's because Bogart was riding her and she had to prove she was serious about acting, or else there was something in the script she identified with.

 

I do think it's interesting Bogart's character winds up with her. Despite a remake in recent years, if this type of story was pitched in Hollywood today, the studios would insist she wind up with the sexy playboy (who would be made to reform and win her love), not the older, middle-aged brother, unless he was classically handsome too (which, let's face it, Bogart was not-- and nobody besides Lauren Bacall would have picked him in 1954 over Bill Holden).

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I do think it's interesting Bogart's character winds up with her. Despite a remake in recent years, if this type of story was pitched in Hollywood today, the studios would insist she wind up with the sexy playboy (who would be made to reform and win her love), not the older, middle-aged brother, unless he was classically handsome too (which, let's face it, Bogart was not-- and nobody besides Lauren Bacall would have picked him in 1954 over Bill Holden).

Yes, I can agree there! I thought that was nice as well, Audrey was young and pretty and Bogart was, as you said, not. You don't see any romantic leads like that anymore, nowadays, they all have to be fresh and handsome with no flaws. I did feel that Bogart put a lot of emotion into his performance, towards the end when he realizes Audrey is on the boat all alone, he doesn't have to say much to show how he feels, it all shows in his face.

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My top 10....hmmmm......let me think.

 

Well, I'll start with a few of my all-timers, and see where it goes. Although I like some better than others, these are in no particular order:

 

1) The Awful Truth - 1937 Directed by Leo McCarey. Starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant.

 

2) It Happened One Night - 1934 Directed by Frank Capra. Starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable.

 

3) Arsenic And Old Lace - 1944 Directed by Frank Capra. Starring Priscilla Lane and Cary Grant.

 

4) His Girl Friday - 1940 Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant.

 

5) Adam's Rib - 1949 Directed by George Cukor. Starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey.

 

6) Born Yesterday - 1950 Directed by George Cukor. Starring Judy Holiday and William Holden.

 

7) Sabrina - 1954 Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.

 

8) The Philadelphia Story - 1940 Directed by George Cukor. Starring Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart

 

9) Roman Holiday - 1953 Directed by William Wyler. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck

 

10) The Lady Eve - 1941 Directed by Preston Sturges. Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda

 

I have several honorable mentions...most of them filmed more recently than this list...movies like Moonstruck, When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, You've Got Mail (and The Shop Around The Corner), Amelie, My Man Godrey....etc., etc.

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Top 10 Romantic Comedies


1. His Girl Friday


2. The Philadelphia Story


3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s


4. Bringing Up Baby


5. Adam’s Rib


6. Woman of the Year


7. When Harry Met Sally


8. Pillow Talk


9. Tootsie


10. My Man Godfrey


 


Honorable Mentions: Born Yesterday, Christmas in Connecticut, Everyone Says I Love You, Groundhog Day, Heart and Souls, Married to the Mob, The Parent Trap, Pretty Woman, Romancing the Stone, Say Anything, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail

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