Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top Films: Begrudgingly, Meg's Rom-Coms

The Rom-Com or Romantic Comedy is among the most predictable and “by the numbers” genre of story in existence, and as such it is hard to get excited about watching one, because if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. That being said, there are a few that play with the formula enough, or are simply done well enough that they can be fun to watch. (Or even be instructive.) Three happen to be tied to the same actress, Meg Ryan. (Boy hasn’t she lost something lately?)

When Harry Met Sally (1989) Every relationship has its “how we met” story. For some reason these are almost always fascinating. It is neat to hear how people came to know each other, what they thought, and how they ended up together. This film is interspersed with “real” couples telling theirs, but the main story is a twelve year journey of Harry and Sally going from acquaintances to people who don’t like each other to best friends. It is really the story of a man’s (long, slow) emotional maturation process.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) When given some thought, this movie is dangerous and downright silly. However, it is an emotionally charming movie if watched just for the love story, which is what Rom-Coms are for after all. What makes this movie worth the watch is the way it effectively plays with the formula. The leads don’t really even meet until the end, and only share about two minutes together on screen. Other Rom-Coms since have tried to mess with the formula although none really break away from the basic “boy meets girl, boy losses girl, boy gets girl back.”

French Kiss (1995) In Harry Met Sally, we see a man having to grow up before he can truly love his best friend. Here we get to see a female character have a similar maturing experience. Kate has planned out her entire life and feels safe in her plans. When her fiancée throws a wrench in the works by breaking up with her, she must win him back or die. In the adventure of trying to win him back she meets Luc and discovers that life is enjoyed best when it is experienced, not planned.


  1. Oh man! I was hoping that it was a good movie. I might still have to watch it. :)

  2. Well, I do have them all listed as "Top Films." Which one are you talking about?

  3. I can't help myself...I know rom coms are all by the numbers but I still want to see boy and girl get together at the end. So maybe the genre speaks to a deeper need than just entertainment, but the need to have a happy ending.

  4. Oh, sorry, whatever the new movie is that just came out. Did you even list that one? Ha!


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