These are the romantic comedies everyone actually needs to see
Rom-coms tend to get a bad rep. Mostly, because they are largely unrealistic and full of overdone narratives and awful stereotypes. Romantic comedies are cliche city.
But, every once in awhile, someone subverts the genre and create a romantic comedy where you only laugh at the funniest parts — and not at the absurdities throughout the movie.
Comedies, in general, have largely unrealistic capers like rushing to stop weddings at the last minute or hiding under the table when your ex walks in a restaurant — that’s what makes them lol-worthy, but when it comes to the romance aspect there has to be an err of relatability. Especially when the circumstances are high key ridiculous.
Some films actually do this successfully.
I grew up idolizing Meg Ryan and the romantic comedy genre, but now I see them for what most of them are: modern day fairytales. I’ve made it my personal (ongoing) mission to find the ones that feel authentic. Basically, the ones that aren’t all sunshines and rainbows, because that’s life gurl.
Here are some realistic funny love stories I’ve found along the way:
1. Funny Girl
This is mostly realistic because it’s based on a true story, but also because it shows the very real scenario where a guy looks like he has his ish together, but really he’s just hiding behind that ruffled suit (over priced vintage T-shirt). In reality, sometimes the most well put together men have their own inner demons and can’t deal with female success.
Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein, what a beautiful name — and what a beautifully tragic love story. *Spoiler Alert* It doesn’t work out. And sometimes that happens, even when you try really hard, but you cry-sing a power ballad and you power through.
2. When Harry Met Sally
I think if anyone has a huge complaint with this movie it’s because they firmly believe that women and men can be friends without sex, and this movie makes it seem like they cannot. Well, I’m not here to get into that debate with you, but this portrayal of friends falling in love is pretty realistic. They have sexual tension, adorable banter and they seemingly balance each other out.
Had this been an unrealistic representation of friends becoming more than friends, then after their initial romp, that morning-after scene would have probably gone A LOT differently. Harry probably would have cuddled up to Sally with absolutely no hesitation, fulfilling our romantic happy ending sans complications. But instead he gave this panicked look (see photo above) and questioned everything.
Sure, the grand romantic gesture came shortly after, but it felt more authentic because the coupling didn’t happen as smoothly as fantasy often allows.
3. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
If you can get past the extremely unrealistic plot of the movie and look solely at the relationship between Clementine and Joel then you just may find some similarities to one of your own ill-fated past relationships. Prepare to be reminded of the trials of loving someone and hating them at the same time, wanting it to work out, but also wishing you’ve never met them.
Although back then, they didn’t even have to worry about the intricacies of social media! They were just worried about coming across old photos or being tempted to call the other up.
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4. My Best Friend’s Wedding
Bb Cameron Diaz and queen Julia Roberts came together for this classic 90’s romantic comedy. With fun sing-a-long and an accurate portrayal of that infamous loneliness induced regret, this movie holds up on a rainy day. It’s hard seeing someone you could’ve led that picture-perfect-picket-fence-style life with, actually doing it with someone else, even if that’s never ever been the life you’ve wanted for yourself, it’s likely to bring up some type of feelz.
THAT feeling is accurately depicted in the movie.
It’s that trick your mind plays on you. So, alas Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, but did she even want him in the first place? Probably not. Plus her and her BFF have cute ending of their own, proving she didn’t even need him anyway.
And for all you When Harry Met Sally naysayers, this movie shows a depiction of men and women choosing to be friends.
5. The Big Sick
The Big Sick is still in theaters so I won’t spoil it for you. Basically, two people from different worlds fall in love and it almost doesn’t work, but because of a major event (it’s a coma. Sry!) they are forced to reassess their feelings.
It sounds absurd, but it’s actually based off a true story — and as they say opposites do attract, it’s not that insane. Plus, it shows the very realistic complications of trying to blend two different worlds.
Plus, it’s motherluvin’ hilarious.
6. Obvious Child
Indie dream queen Jenny Slate kills it in this romantic comedy that you’ve probably never seen, but should add to your list immediately. It’s a tale as old as time, girl meets boy, girl has one night stand with boy, girl gets pregnant. It sounds similar to Knocked Up, but it’s way better— trust! It’s take the cliche and flips it into something fresh.
This is one of the more unique rom-coms out there because (*spoiler alert*) the happy ending involves an abortion. But nevertheless the ending is happy and not forced. The love story is funny and often times ridiculous, but not unheard of.
There’s virtually no fantasy apparent in this film: from getting dumped, to scheduling an abortion around your mom’s birthday, to navigating unemployment, this movie is almost too real. But that’s why it’s great.
7. Annie Hall
The character Annie Hall is widely believed to be a manic pixie dream girl, who was dreamed up in Woody Allen’s mind to exist only as the magical spirit who brings the main character out of his funk. Although, Allen has said that the character was crafted largely after the quirky Keaton herself.
Like most of Allen’s film, Annie Hall is particularly dialogue heavy. There are A LOT of conversations. Through these walk and talks, you see an undeniable chemistry between the two, and a true, but still warm and fuzzy kind of love.
The on screen relationship was real in it’s whirlwind like romance and inevitable demise due to Alvy’s unwillingness to accept his own happiness.