10 romcoms for guys

These aren’t chick-flicks, they’re dick-fli… wait, never mind.

1. High Fidelity

Who’s in it?

Long before Nick & Norah’s Infinite Shitlist, there is High Fidelity; based on the book by Nick Hornby, John Cusack plays a record store owner obsessed with Top 5 lists, so much so that he ranks his Top 5 Most Memorable Break Ups and then hunts down his exes in a ‘what does it all mean?’ stage. I think anyone who has a particular passion for music, playing or listening, will enjoy this one mainly cos it has such a kick ass soundtrack as well as exploring the connection between pop music and emotion. It’s been sickeningly sold as ‘Bridget Jones for men!’, which is only partially correct. One for the DVD collection.

The opening line is: Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

2. Chasing Amy

Who’s in it?

Chasing Amy is a story about friendship, self identity and turning lesbians straight. This film exposes men when we’re at our worst – when we’re insecure about ourselves, and can’t get over our partner’s past. It’s a lesson on how to screw up a great friendship by going too far. Also, Jason Lee is wickedly funny.

The opening line: I don’t know. I love Chow Yun Fat. I just don’t see him playing Batman.

3. Garden State

Who’s in it?

A lot of us guys have no idea who we are, or what we’re going to be, and I think we all want that one person to help us find home. Or, you know, whatever. Anyway, Garden State tells this sort of quirky story about an actor coming home to find a different town (OR MAYBE HE IS THE ONE WHO HAS CHANGED, INTERESTING). He falls in lo-, well, falls in something for Natalie Portman who’s the total opposite to him, and a compulsive liar. Lotsa chuckles, bitsa drama and a soundtrack that’s actually better than any album in the top 40 (bite me.)

Opening Line: We are going down! Repeat, engines two and… L.A. Tower, this is… Mayday! Mayday!

4. Annie Hall

Who’s in it?

In 1977, Annie Hall set the benchmark for all future romcom movies. It’s chocka block full of moments everyone can relate to, but what’s brilliant is how honest and real the characters are; even now it feels so refreshingly unconventional after seeing the same guy meets girl story with the same guy and the same girl so many times. It’s well-observed and it has jokes in too. It’s universally relatable, intrinsically relatable, and gets to the heart of what makes a relationship work.

Instead of the opening line, here’s a clip from the film when a geeky looking guy chatting up a girl dressed in man’s clothes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLblwVUEHyw

5. Punch Drunk Love

Who’s in it?

One of my favourite films of all time; visually gorgeous, so anyone who does or likes art will appreciate the Magritte like set pieces. Punch Drunk Love is proof that romcoms can be romantic and funny without being so overly sentimental and cheesy it makes you vomit. Adam Sandler proves his best performance in one of the most original American films, with unique dialogue, made in recent years.

Example line: I’m lookin’ at your face and I just wanna smash it. I just wanna fuckin’ smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You’re so pretty.

6. Anything Else

Who’s in it?

Massively underrated intelligent and charming comedy with, like all the other films here, a great male lead. About a writer in New York who marries young to his friend’s girlfriend, but then begins to realise more that maybe he made the wrong choice and rushed into things. Not to everyone’s taste, but if you’ve ever caught yourself doing something and thought ‘god, this makes me feel old’ then this is for you nostalgic chums.

Opening line: There’s an old joke about a prizefighter in the ring. He’s getting his brains beat out. And his mother’s in the audience, and she’s watching him getting beaten up. There’s a priest next to her and she says, ‘Father, pray for him.’ And the priest says, ‘I will, but if he could punch, it would help.’

7. I Love You, Man

Who’s in it?

You had to see this one coming, perhaps the ultimate in bromancic comedies (despite at times feeling heavily watered down for girls). This movie really works because of the genuine comradery between Paul Rudd and Jason Segel in all their natural funniness. Chances are you’ve seen it, so go watch High Fidelity.

8. There’s Something About Mary

Who’s in it?

More com than rom, this is one of only 2 movies by those oh-so-hee-larious Farrelly Brothers that’s actually funny (guess the other one). Most of the time the humour is daymn crude, but it’s the physical performances from the superb cast that really seperates Mary from the other films of it’s type (you know the type).

Opening line: When I was 16 years old, I fell in love.

9. A Woman is a Woman

One of the most effortlessly cool films of all time, this French (bare with me) comedy musical breaks all the rules. Compared to most generic monochromatic romcoms nowadays, lighting and costumes are used to create an explosion of blues and reds to a typically Hollywood musical score that the characters are very aware of (‘Before acting out our little farce, we bow to the audience’), Godard brings epic theatre to the screen. Highly influential on the best of today’s quirky romcoms (ahem, 500 Days), and if you don’t fall in love with Anna Karina by the end there’s something wrong with you. Oh, and it’s all on Youtube, so…basically, go and see some art you uncultured bastards.

10. Submarine

Who’s in it?

Film of the year. Real, surreal, charming, repulsive, cool, uncool, funny funny funny. Watch this.

Opening line: Most people think of themselves as individuals; that there’s no one else on the planet like them. This thought motivates them to get out of bed, eat food, and walk around like nothing’s wrong. My name is Oliver Tate.

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