Just the other day, I was telling my friend how I would love to watch a good rom-com (short for romantic comedy) and how they are so hard to come by these days. The concept practically does not exist in Bollywood and Hollywood keeps churning out these really indistinguishable movies in the name of the genre that inevitably star the same uninteresting and deadpan faces like Katherine Heigl and Amy Adams.
- One Fine Day: This one’s got George Clooney. Need I say more? But seriously, this movie is funny and sweet. The story of two single parents – Michelle Pfeiffer and Clooney – who are unexpectedly thrown together with their kids on – you got it – one fine day. They are opposites, like in most romances – she is ultra-organized and efficient and he is a reporter who just might lose his job and reputation soon. They end up taking care of each other’s kids along with their own for different parts of the same day. She manages to lose his daughter and he lets her son push a marble up his nose. But all’s well that ends well, right? So, it does. Oh, I must mention the last sequence, where Michelle changes what seem like a dozen outfits so that she can look good for Clooney who has shown up at her door with his daughter and the intention to romance her. She finally gets the desired effect and walks out to her living room only to find the tired father fast asleep on the couch. She sits on the couch, rests her head on his shoulder and goes to sleep herself. Ain’t that sweet? Perfect with so many beautiful possibilities left unsaid.
- While You Were Sleeping: Sandra Bullock is the lonely, single girl in the big city, who works the ticket counter at the subway station and spends her free time with her cat. And oh, she day-dreams about the tall, dark and handsome stranger in business suits, until the day she saves him from being crushed by a train. Start of a beautiful love story, right? Not quite. What follows is a quirky tale of the fairytales we think we want and the fairytales we actually meet. Lucy finds love alright but not quite where she expected it to. One of my most watched movies. Plus, it has Bill Pullman looking quite cute.
- Never Been Kissed: This Drew Barrymore starrer is fun, frothy and fresh. It’s the story of a journalist who at the ripe age of 25 has never been kissed. A number of reasons for that – the most glaring been that her erstwhile frumpy, geeky high-school self was rebuffed and ridiculed on the prom night by the hottest guy in school. Enough to leave anyone scarred, some would say. But in romcoms, poetic justice is never hard to come by. She goes undercover as a student in a hep high-school, and this time around is a star. She dates the hottest guy in school, is considered an insider in the cool circles, becomes the prom queen and manages to fall in love with the handsome English teacher, who ultimately gives her, her first kiss in on a baseball pitch, cheered on by thousands of spectators. When I watch this movie, I do not think how improbable all of this is. I only fall for the really high cuteness factor of the movie, Barrymore and the English teacher. By the way, did I mention that there is a most romantic Ferris wheel ride sequence? Sigh.
- Pretty Woman: He is a heartless tycoon. She is a hooker. And when the twain meet, there are fireworks. Julia Roberts’ first movie has her playing the role of a prostitute, who wants to better herself and never kisses a client on the mouth. Only she did not factor in the charm of suave and dashing Gere, who picks her up for a night and then offers her a deal to stay with him for a week. So that she can play his hostess (among other things, no saint the man is) in the city, where he has come to execute a hostile takeover. What follow are a magical seven days, where she transforms from an uncouth, loud and decidedly vulgarly dressed call girl to a “pretty woman”. She brings out the humane part in him, teaches him that sometimes emotions make perfect business sense. Of course, there is a happy ever after, once they both realize that they have more than a business deal between them. Plus, the movie has some good music, including the title track and Roxette’s It must have been love.
- Aladdin: Yes, I know that it is an animation movie. But it’s funny and it’s romantic. A Whole New World is one of the most incredible love songs ever. Who would not want to be serenaded with this song while on a magic carpet ride? Aladdin is the street rat and Jasmine, the beautiful princess. He lies to her in order to win her love. She is hurt by his deception. How can they ever find happiness together? But that is the beauty of fairy tales. You find love in most unimaginable places and with the most unexpected person. My favourite Disney movie.
- Notting Hill: All the cinegoers in the world have a favourite star - the one they dream about meeting and enjoying a happy ever after with. So does a small travel book store owner in London, played by the charmingly goofy, bumbling and reticent Hugh Grant. One day the most famous movie star in the world steps inside his book store to escape unwanted attention. What follows is an unlikely and lovely love story between a famous movie actress and a common man. The movie is made unforgettable by not just the lead characters but the extended cast of friends and family, their camaraderie, witty banter and obvious love for each other. This gang includes a disabled best friend of our hero, her husband, the hero's quirky sister and her even weirder lover, who also happens to be Grant's roommate. The climax sequence is delightful, involving a mad car ride and a press conference unlike any other. Add Ronan Keating crooning When You Say Nothing at All. The result: a movie that successfully withstands endless repeats on movie channels without losing its appeal.