Classic romantic comedies bring sweet humor

By Monica Reida 2009

It’s February and that means that Valentine’s season. If you’re not feeling like spending $6.50 on a matinee of the latest romance film at the movie theater, I am ready to aid with a list of classic romantic films that you can rent and curl up with during this month.

1). Roman Holiday
This 1953 film starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn is my favorite romance film. In it, Hepburn plays Ann, the princess of a European country that is visiting Rome. Upon falling asleep from the effects of a sedative, she meets Joe Bradley (Peck), an American journalist that is not aware of her real identity. Together, with Joe’s photographer friend Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert), they share a series of adventures throughout the city, including the famous Vespa ride. My favorite thing about this film is the ending, because nothing is said yet there is so much emotion conveyed by Peck and Hepburn that it pulls at my heart. (Not Rated)

2). Pillow Talk
Another ‘50s romantic comedy, this one from 1959 and starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Day plays Jan Morrow, an interior decorator that shares a party line with the playboy composer Brad Allen (Hudson). While the two squabble quite a bit, they have never met face-to-face, and when they do meet, Allen assumes the pseudonym of Rex Stetson. The two begin dating while Morrow is unaware of Rex and Brad being the same person. After she discovers the truth, she is of course infuriated, but like Roman Holiday, the ending makes the film a real classic. (Not rated)

3). The Princess Bride
While this is the most recent film on this list, The Princess Bride is a 1987 romantic comedy that has something for everyone. The film follows Buttercup (Robin Wright) who falls in love with the farm hand Wesley (Cary Elwes). She receives news that Wesley has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and since no one escapes from the Dread Pirate Roberts, she presumes her beloved dead. Five years later, she is reluctantly engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) but is then kidnapped by three outlaws (Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant). The film features ships, eels, sword fighting, Peter Falk, large rodents and romance. (PG)

4). Singin’ in the Rain
While movie musicals are now becoming a common thing, this 1952 musical comedy is frequently considered to be one of the best movie musicals ever made and features original music and story. In Singin’ in the Rain, silent film star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is tired of the fake romance concocted between him and fellow star Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). He then meets Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), a quiet chorus girl that puts him in his place. Don and Kathy begin to fall in love as the talking picture begins to gain control. The studio’s first talkie, The Dueling Cavalier, is created, only to be a failure due to Lina’s deliciously comedic voice. Don’s friend Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) then suggests that Kathy’s voice is dubbed for Lina’s, which only fuels Lina’s rage with the blossoming romance between Don and Kathy. The film has fantastic musical numbers, a great story and wonderful chemistry between Kelly and Reynolds. (Not Rated)

5). Annie Hall
Frequently considered to be Woody Allen’s finest film, this 1977 romantic comedy follows the story of Alvy Singer (Allen), a neurotic Jewish comedian, and his relationship with the title character (Diane Keaton). After much thought over their relationship, the two realize that they are ultimately incompatible. Allen’s screenplay makes us understand much more about Annie and Alvy as individuals and why they break-up. This is not the formulaic “You’re a jerk, get out of my life” we see in so many romantic comedies. The film spans several years and mixes surrealism with reality in a delightfully blissful manner while simultaneously musing on relationships. (PG)

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