They say summer is the season of love, and that’s why we here at Goliath are bringing you a list of romantic movies that we’re convinced you’ll love as much as your significant other. There’s plenty of guys out there who suffer from great fear of chick flicks; fear not, because the movies we’ve listed below rise above the mediocre standards of the typical rom-com to deliver laughs, lust and, most important, love, in abundance. They’re great films, and we’re sure these will win you some major points with your lady or fella of choice.
11. Jerry Maguire (1996)
It’s not often Tom Cruise makes a film without explosions, but when he does take the time to make one, they always seem to turn out pretty well. Perhaps the best example of this is 1996’s Jerry Maguire, a film which sees Cruise starring as the titular character, a disposed sports agent who strikes out on his own with but one client, a snarky wide receiver played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The romance comes into play when the viewer is introduced to single mom Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) and her precocious son (Jonathon Lipnicki), a pair who quickly win Jerry’s heart. The film that gave us the oft-parodied “You…complete…me” line, along with the classic “SHOW ME THE MONEY,” Jerry Maguire holds up well upon repeat viewings and is a great flick for those who want to cuddle up with their significant other for the evening.
10. Easy A (2010)
The “teen comedy” genre has historically been very hit or miss. For every American Pie (1999), there’s an American Wedding (2003). See what we did there? Fortunately, a good one comes along now and again, and 2010’s Easy A, starring Emma Stone, Penn Badgely and Amanda Bynes, is most definitely a good one. Eschewing the gross-out humor of the previous decade for a John Hughes-Esque approach (heavy on the pop culture humor, with some legitimate emotion tossed in), Easy A was directed by Will Gluck and follows young Olive Penderghast (Stone) as she navigates the complex social setting of her high school. The script is surprisingly clever, the morals of the story surprisingly astute, and Stone is more than charming enough as the film’s lead. For a romantic evening with a little ’80s throwback, you could do a lot worse than Easy A.
9. She’s All That (1999)
Ahhhhh, the ’90s. A simpler time, no? A time when using three names was all the rage…Sarah Michelle Gellar…Jennifer Love Hewitt…Rachael Leigh Cook…Freddie Prinze Jr… That list could go on for much longer, but the last two on there were the stars of 1999’s She’s All That, so we’ll stop there. A film whose plot became so infamous most of you probably recognize it from 2002’s Not Another Teen Movie, She’s All That follows uber-popular Zack Siler (Prinze Jr.) as he attempts to turn nerdy, un-cool girl Laney Boggs (Leigh Cook) into a prom queen to win a bet against his best friend, played by the late Paul Walker. This is a movie with more heart than you’d expect, especially if you can look past the cheese that is the 1990s. It’s got a killer soundtrack, complete with Sixpence None the Richer (remember them?) providing the movie’s theme. Another great throwback film to check out with your lady (or fella) when you want something classic.
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
Some days we’re convinced we’re the only ones who saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) when it came out in 2010; after a little research, we found out the film has a small but devoted fan base, and for good reason. It’s awesome. Seriously, it’s one of the most underrated, original and hilarious films to come along in a very long time. Featuring an absurd plotline wherein Scott Pilgrim (played perfectly by Michael Cera) must fight the seven evil exes of his new girlfriend (the beautiful Mary Elizabeth Winstead) before he is allowed to date her, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is another film with an incredibly smart script, really unique visuals and a dynamite soundtrack composed by Grammy Award winner Beck (the music in this movie rocks, for real). If you haven’t seen it already, boot it up and settle in with your significant other for a great watch that’ll have you both howling in no time.
7. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
This sobering film has everything you could ever want in a romantic comedy; it’s wickedly funny, brutally honest and has a soundtrack that perfectly meshes with the film. Both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are spectacular (with Deschanel in particular toning down her “pixie girl” schtick for a much more realistic character), and the film’s supporting cast of Chloe Grace Moretz, Geoffrey Arend, and Matthew Gray Gubler are all downright hilarious. This is one of the few films on this list that strives for a realistic portrayal of love and romance, and the “Expectations vs. Reality” scene remains one of the truly heartbreaking moments in cinema. Released to rave reviews and widespread commercial success, (500) Days of Summer is one of the most original films on this list and a worthwhile watch for any couple.
6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as the ultimate “romantic comedy for guys,” 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall was directed by Nicholas Stoller and stars Jason Segel (who also wrote the film) as Peter Bretter, the recently single composer who takes a vacation to Hawaii only to find his ex-girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) on vacation with her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand in a star-making turn). Heavy on the laughs and surprisingly astute in its musings on romance and how it relates to men, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the kind of movie that gets better every viewing, as you catch all the clever one-liners and jokes inserted into the flick. With a hilarious supporting cast that includes Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill (who is laugh out loud spectacular), this is a can’t miss a movie that you must check out with whomever you choose to watch flicks with.
5. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
The quintessential ’90s teen film, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is the movie that made Heath Ledger a star. Also starring Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Larisa Oleynik, this modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew sees Ledger’s Patrick Verona attempt to woo Stiles’ Kat Stratford so Gordon-Levitt’s Cameron James can date Kat’s younger sister Bianca. It’s a classic plot (obviously, it’s Shakespeare) wrapped in teen comedy trappings, and the result is a spectacularly enjoyable film that doesn’t suffer from the ’90s cheese that many other films from the era do. It holds up well to this day and makes for a great watch for a couple looking to soak in some quality performances and the unending charm of Heath.
4. Annie Hall (1977)
Let’s get one thing straight; Annie Hall was the original when it comes to romantic comedies built for both sexes. It’s smart, funny and confronts issues of romance, lust, stagnation, and attraction in alarmingly adult terms (would you expect anything else from Woody Allen?). Featuring the unending comic talents of Allen himself, along with the always charming Diane Keaton, this film almost swept the Academy Awards (it won Best Picture, Best Director [Woody Allen], Best Screenplay [Woody Allen], Best Actress in a Leading Role [Diane Keaton] and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role [Woody Allen]) and maintains an enduring legacy and influence over the silver screen to this day. This is a must-watch film period, although it makes for an excellent date movie due to the film’s truthful depictions of growing together (and growing apart) in a relationship.
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind (2004) is one of the rare movies that every human on the planet should be allowed to watch. It’s a movie that, to quote one very poignant review, “shows us who we are now and who we’re likely, for better or worse, forever to be.” Routinely cited as one of the greatest films ever made, this incredibly touching story of love and loss takes a story rooted firmly in science fiction (in the near future, erasing memories is possible and is often used to remove the pain of a breakup) and turns it into an incredibly human tale about how it really is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. A simple message wrapped up in a beautiful screenplay by the master himself (Charlie Kaufman), with a star-studded ensemble cast who all give incredible performances (this is Jim Carrey’s dramatic legacy, right here), Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind is the ultimate meditation on romance in the 21st (and beyond?) century.
2. High Fidelity (2000)
High Fidelity (2000) remains the best-disguised romantic comedy of all time, a chick flick that’s been dressed up (or down, if you prefer) to resemble a guy’s movie. Starring John Cusack as Rob Gordon, a confessed audiophile and sole proprietor of Championship Vinyl, a record store in Chicago, High Fidelity sees Gordon navigating his way through his “Top 5 All-Time Breakups,” ending with his most recent one (Laura, played by Iben Hjejle). With a supporting cast featuring Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Catherine Zeta-Jones (and a dynamite cameo from none other than the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen), High Fidelity takes the male psyche and explores it through the familiar genre of the romantic comedy, a highly successful experiment that results in a great and historically underrated film. Oh yeah, and it has a rocking soundtrack (it’s a film about music, after all).
1. The Princess Bride (1987)
This whole list is about avoiding the tired chick flick genre and finding love-centric movies that both sexes can enjoy, right? How about a movie EVERYONE enjoys? 1987’s The Princess Bride remains the ultimate date night movie, a film so wrapped up in cliché and nostalgia that we here at Goliath truly believe there’s not a soul alive who doesn’t get a kick out of this charmer starring Carey Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant. One of the most beloved and oft-quoted movies to ever be released, The Princess Bride is best described as a “postmodern fairy tale” that knowingly plays with genre, stereotypes, and expectations to hilarious effect. It’s impossible not to root for Westley on his quest to regain the love of Princess Buttercup; it’s impossible not to root for Inigo Montoya as he hunts for his father’s killer; and it’s impossible not to howl laughing while Billy Crystal does some of his best improv work as “Mad” Max the magician. If you haven’t seen it, watch it, and do it with someone you love. There are few better ways to spend an evening.