Clearbox celebrates Valentine’s Day with our top romantic comedy picks...
Cupid is circling Northern Ireland as we speak, bringing chocolate hearts, red roses and messages of love to all around. What better way to pay tribute to this fun-loving holiday than by recommending our top rom-com films? The Clearbox team has out done itself with a wide range of films certain to make you laugh, cry, smile and feel great about that crazy little thing called L-O-V-E. Enjoy but beware of the spoilers!
Rachel Reilly – Crazy Rich Asians
“You have a cocktail dress in your trunk?”
My favourite rom-com has to be Crazy Rich Asians, the movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel. I am always in awe at the wedding march scene, when Araminta (the bride) walks down the aisle to an acoustic rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, as water and lily pads flood ahead of her, so that she’s actually walking on water. This scene never fails to give me goosebumps, and I low-key want to replicate this at my own wedding (a girl can dream).
Darryl Campbell – Love, Simon
“You get to exhale now, Simon.”
I absolutely hate rom-coms. I generally think they’re cheesy, poorly written, not very well executed and overdone. The kind of rom-com I enjoy is the love a murderous monster has for the taste of blood… you get me? I will say this. I saw ‘Love, Simon’ at the cinema a few years ago, giving in to immense peer pressure from friends. I was blown away. It was the first time I saw a rom-com from a perspective I could understand and relate to, and it hit me differently. I cried so hard that a woman sitting behind me (who was a complete stranger that was apparently saddened by my use of a jumper sleeve as a tissue), leaned forward to offer me a tissue and gently pat my back. Please watch it if you haven’t already but pack some tissues. It’s an emotional rollercoaster (pun intended… you’ll see).
Claire Hamilton – Just Friends
“It's like the Michael Bolton starter kit.”
I LOVE a good romantic comedy and could easily rank my top ten, but I decided to give Just Friends a shout-out because it is one of the most underrated rom-coms out there. This movie has it all – musical outbursts, a star-studded cast, full belly laughs, shout outs to New Jersey, an amazing soundtrack and big romantic gestures. It is also a really sweet and heart-warming story about two childhood friends that finally find their way together.
Anna Irwin – Bridget Jones’s Diary
“To Bridget, who cannot cook, but we who we love…just as she is.”
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a good rom-com. If it stars Jennifer Lopez, even better!
My favourite rom-com would have to be Bridget Jones’s Diary. And if you ask me which one I’ll go with the one featuring Derek Shepherd. Because, well, it features Derek Shepherd.
Amy Robinson – Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
“'Anyone can see I'm a stuffed olive.”
My favourite romantic comedies are the ones that transport me back to being a teenager and having sleepovers with my best friends. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a fave because it’s infinitely quotable and down to earth (we’re all a little bit Georgia, if we’re honest). It also predates Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s strange phase, when he was a proper English heartthrob for teenage girls all over the UK. Wild Child is up there too, because back in the day I couldn’t resist Alex Pettyfer’s wonderfully flicky hair and quaint accent. Like Angus Thongs, it has a great cast of female characters with flawed and lovely friendships, and the love story between Poppy and Freddie barely (if even) trumps the one about the girls and their gang. Angus Thongs is wrong though...boys do like girls for being funny.
Charlotte O’Neill – My Best Friend’s Wedding
“He’s got you on a pedestal, and me in his arms.”
Peak Julia Roberts, peak Rupert Everett, PEAK Dermot Mulroney. It also has one of the best soundtracks of all time, and an impromptu Dionne Warwick musical number thrown in.
Julia Roberts is the anti-hero who doesn’t actually get the guy in the end. It’s smart and funny, and your heart genuinely aches for each of the characters at one point or another. It’s the full package!
Alex Symington – 13 Going on 30
“Thirty and flirty and thriving.”
This is a really tough one for me as I absolutely LOVE rom-coms. But I’m going to go with 13 Going on 30. Me and my friends were obsessed with this movie when it came out and still are. It’s got everything you need for a perfect teenage rom-com, the dream life in New York City you imagine you’ll be able to afford when you grow up (and realise very quickly at 22 you will not), the most AMAZING walk-in wardrobe, the resolution of becoming the 'it girl' after being shunned at school by the cool girls and of course, the fairy-tale ending of falling in love with your best friend and living happily ever after in a dream house, which, to top it all off, IS PINK!
Honourable mentions go to:
Sweet Home Alabama
John Tucker Must Die
Friends with Benefits
500 Days of Summer
Any movie with Hugh Grant, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon in it
Basically, any rom-com EVER made. Don’t @ me.
Vicci Keenan – The Holiday
“Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady…”
My favourite rom-com has to be The Holiday, a movie about two girls who swap homes and countries for the holidays to try and get away from their relationship issues. I love this film as it shows that love can turn up when and where you least expect it. And sometimes love can show up when you aren’t in search of it. This movie also explores the different types of love; the love a father has for his children, the love and compassion a lady has for her new elderly neighbour and the love that flourishes from a friendship of two girls that have never met. It’s such a heart-warming watch.
Claire Best – Pretty Woman
“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”
For me, it has to be Pretty Woman. When the movie came out in 1990, it played a key role in the birth of the rom-com movement, shaping what we think of as a romantic comedy.
The movie has so many iconic moments, from Julia Roberts blasting out Prince’s “Kiss” in the bathtub, that shopping trip, to the modern-day fairy tale ending when Edward rolls up with the flowers to “rescue” Vivian… I could watch it over and over!
Also, fun fact: the scene where Richard Gere snaps the jewellery box on Julia Robert’s fingers was actually filmed as a practical joke intended for the film’s gag reel, at the last moment of editing they decided to use the scene in the final movie and it became one of the film's trademarks. ❤️
Dani Hibbert – Groundhog Day
“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”
First, I absolutely LOVE Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. A dynamic duo with great chemistry. I also love that anyone can enjoy it, it isn’t just a rom-com film for women or men. An extra bonus is that the film is under two-hours, so it isn’t too long and always leaves you with a smile.
Mollie McLernon – How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days
“Our love fern! You let it die!”
My favourite Rom Com is How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. It’s an easy watch and actually gets better each time you watch it. LOVE Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson together - they’re so aesthetically pleasing, let's be honest. Plus, Kate’s (Andy) exaggeration of the ‘annoying’ girlfriend role, makes for a very entertaining watch!