2011 is already well underway – shockingly, it’s almost half over – but the romantic comedies this year have barely scratched the surface! This year, romantic offerings seem to have one thing in common: they may finally be remembering that the genre Romantic Comedy actually does have Comedy in the title. From this list to baby Jesus’ ears.
If they gave supporting actor Oscars to the most surprisingly funny performance of the year, Melissa McCarthy would win one for her laugh out loud turn in Bridesmaids. A strong female cast – led by SNL alumni Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph – is allowed the privilege of being genuinely funny. Wiig – easily the funniest thing on SNL since Amy Poehler departed – also does co-write duties. Mad Men’s Jon Hamm proves once again that he’s good at comedy – and also, douchebaggery. In a nutshell, this is like Caddyshack for chicks.
2). Something Borrowed
It seems like Kate Hudson thought, “I wonder if it’s possible to make Bride Wars again, but not have it suck,” and then this script, based on Emily Giffin’s first two novels, came to her. The criminally adorable Ginnifer Goodwin plays a girl who decides to pursue the “one that got away” only after he announces his engagement to her best friend. But we probably aren’t going to feel too sorry for Kate Hudson, since it doesn’t seem like she loves him much anyway. Great reasons to tune in are what are sure to be outstanding comic performances by John Krasinski and Reba alum Steve Howey.
3). Friends with Benefits
This is like that Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman movie, No Strings, though hopefully, it will not bomb quite so spectacularly. At least, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis hope so. Though if you think about, Timberlake and Kunis are kind of like, Bizarro World versions of Kutcher and Portman. Oh my God, you guys, are we in a parallel dimension right now? I guess we’ll find out for sure when this movie comes out. OR WILL WE?
4). Gnomeo and Juliet
It’s a film about garden gnomes living out the story of Romeo and Juliet and set to the tune of Elton John’s greatest hits. Sure, it might be the sort of movie that started out because someone said “Haha, Gnomeo and Juliet. That would be a good title” and then it snowballed. But a talented voice cast – including James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as the titular doomed gnomes – elevates the tale and – spoiler alert – gives it a much happier ending than the original.
5). Just Go With It
Try to stay with me: Adam Sandler plays a man who likes one night stands. But bitches be clingy, yo! So he’s found both foolproof bait, and next-day woman repellant, all in one handy item: a wedding ring. Because bitches love shit they can’t have, yo! But then bitches be guilty. Meanwhile, he meets the girl of his dreams – only she finds the wedding ring he never put on in his bag! Damn, bitches be snooping through your shit, yo. Cue Jennifer Aniston, Sandler’s employee, who has to pretend to be his soon-to-be-ex-wife so the new girlfriend will not feel guilty about boning him. Then everybody goes to Hawaii, probably because it’s a lot nicer to film there.
6). One Day
And the award for “most improbable RomCom contrivance” goes to… this movie, where the always delightful Anne Hathaway stars alongside the “was in that Julie Tambour movie with the Beatles songs” Jim Sturgess as star-crossed lovers who spend one day together each year. At no point, apparently, do they ever say, “Hey, let’s just do a weekend at your place, see what happens.” I suppose it does cut down on most of the issues couples fight about, with the exception of, “You never spend any time with me.”
7). New Year’s Eve
If you loved Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s day, buy your tickets now for New Year’s Eve, its spiritual sequel. It boasts another whos-who of romantic comedy idols – such as Valentine’s Day stars Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Beil, as well as Katherine Heigl, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lea Michele, and some fresh face RomCom star called Robert DeNiro. It also hopefully boasts at least two genuinely well-done story strands. I always secretly hope these movies will be as good as Love Actually and they never, ever are. Fingers crossed!
Jennifer Aniston did me wrong twice last year – with the awful movie “The Switch” and the even more awful movie, “The Bounty Hunter.” But I just can’t help myself: I love the crazy beeyotch. I also love Paul Rudd. Wanderlust will supposedly supplant their somewhat yuppie-inspired, NYC couple into the land of hippies, communes, and marijuana. Rumors abound that Jennifer Aniston shows her boobs at one point, so this one’s for you, gentlemen.
9). Bad Teacher
I will admit: I am totally there because I think it’s awesome when people who used to go out with each other in real life are later forced to work together in awkward romantic situations. Witness: the case of Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz. It looks like he’s a nerdy school teacher and she’s some kind of drunken whore. I admit the sound was off when I watched the trailer, so this assessment is based solely on the visuals. Though now that I attempt to combine the visuals with the title, I bet Cameron Diaz is the “bad teacher.” Well done, moviemakers.
10). Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen strikes again! Just when you thought he was only going to make stilted, serious dramas where the actors stare at one another seriously until someone is murdered toward the end, the genius director returns to his romantic comedy roots. Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson both appear, though hopefully, the presence of Marion Cotillard will prevent this from being anything like Wedding Crashers.