Today I saw “Scott Pilgrim vs The World”. If you haven’t seen it already, do yourself a favour and watch it as soon as you can! After laughing my way through this movie and loving it, I thought I’d throw together a list of my current top 10 favourite “unconventional” rom-coms.
You might be able to deduce from the list why I say they’re unconventional. While they all meet the standard requirements of the Romantic Comedy genre, they tell their stories in a unique and interesting way. To me, love is an unpredictable creature, that can be found in the ost unexpected places and will reveal itself to us in ways we may never see coming. The things we will do to win the heart of our love and the things we are willing and/or able to endure for their affection and attention can be extreme, embarrassing or downright crazy; and the movies that make up my list are my favourite examples of how things may not always go according to plan, but there is always an adventure to be had in the endeavour!
10. Yes Man
The story of a man (Carl Allen) who, after a divorce, is convinced by a high school friend to start saying “Yes” instead of “No”. I found it to be a hilarious tale of how even a half-hearted determination can grow into something new and exciting, opening doors and expanding minds along the way. We’ve all felt the sting of a broken heart and sometimes the only way to get the ball rolling again is to do something crazy! Every aspect of Carl’s life is turned upside down when he decides that there can be no harm in trying something outlandish, and the results were nothing short of spectacular. Naturally, Jim Carrey was at his comedic best in this flick and I found it delightfully hilarious and heartwarming. Of course, Zooey Deschanel only increased the movie’s appeal to me..
9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith
The boring veneer of an everyday marriage is blown to smithereens when Mr & Mrs Smith both discover that their partner is an elite assassin! If this isn’t bad enough, their respective organisations have tasked them with eliminating each other! This movie is a fast-paced, quality action romance peppered with comedic buckshot from beginning to end. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt do an excellent job in their killer roles, and Vince Vaughn provides quality one liners and the humourous perspective of a jaded offsider.
8. 50 First Dates
Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is a committment-phobic veterenarian living in Hawaii and living his social life by fulfilling the fantasies of vacationing women as they come and go. When he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore), his heart takes a feet-first plunge into love and Henry is sure that he has found the woman with whom he will share his life. Their initial encounter goes remarkably well, however when he meets her again she doesn’t recognise him at all – she has short-term memory loss and forgets everything the very next day! This movie is a rollicking journey following one man’s quest to win his love’s heart afresh every single day.
7. How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Business comes first for many people, and in the case of Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) and Ben Barry (Matthew McConaughy), business is the ultimate priority. When each is tasked with an opposing goal, the resulting actions are extremely humourous exploration of how far people will go for their career – and how love can quash even the most determined resistance. Anyone who has been in a relationship will find themselves laughing and shaking their head in equal measure as Ben and Andie work harder than they ever had to before to get to the final outcome.
6. Chasing Amy
Comic book artist and average guy Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) meets Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) and his life is turned around. The only real difficulty here is – Alyssa is a lesbian. A friendship develops between the two and naturally, one thing leads to another. While it isn’t the cutesy, super-happy ending kind of rom-com that is so popular, Chasing Amy is still a great movie. Definitely worth the watch in this guy’s opinion.
5. Shaun of the Dead
An absolute cracker of a movie, this one chronicles the adventures of Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) as they amble through their lives. Shaun’s relationship is in real trouble from the start, but luckily he receives the inspiration he needs to turn his life and his relationship around – the dead have begun to walk the Earth! Within a day, Shaun’s dead-end life becomes an ultimate battle for respect, love and survival as both he and Ed stand up to defend themselves and their loved ones from the mindless gnawing of the undead. All they have to do is make it to the Winchester…
4. The Princess Bride
When the beautiful princess Buttercup (Robyn Wright) is taken prisoner and promised against her will to an evil prince, only her one true love can come to her rescue. Enter Westley (Cary Elwes), who steps in heroically to pursue Buttercup’s captors and save her from a terrible marriage. Swashbuckling, genius kidnappers, kind-hearted giants “just doing their job”, the evil prince’s army and even rodents of unusual size won’t stand in the way of True Love! Anyone not being thoroughly entertained by this movie? Inconceivable!
Amelie (Audrey Tautou) has led a sheltered life in Paris, and as a result spends just as much time living in fantasy as she does living in reality. One good deed, however, sets in motion an adventure of fantastic proportions, leading Amelie on an uplifting and extremely amusing adventure into romance. Looking at the World from a unique perspective, Amelie finds joy and humour in the smallest things; and it is these things that form the beautiful and imaginative basis for her pursuit of love.
2. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
What do you do when you and your lifelong friend need some cash to pay your bills? Ask your parents or friends for a loan? No! Make a porno! Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) have been friends since high school and when times get tough, they go to their reunion. After an inspiring conversation with the boyfriend of one of their schoolmates, Zack proposes that the cure for their financial woes is pornography. Miri gets onboard and after deciding on the title, the pair get together with their misfit cast in order to make a quick buck. Their comical endeavours provide a very interesting backdrop to the creation of something more than just an adult movie.
1. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a young man living an awesome life. He plays bass for the Sex Bob-ombs while he’s “between jobs” and is currently dating a high-school girl. Things change though when he chances upon Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and his life is transformed by instant infatuation. Often, the path to true love is not as easy to walk as we would like and unfortunately, the road to Ramona’s heart is guarded by her seven evil exes! Scott soon finds himself in a battle for his life as he sets out to win the woman of his dreams – it’s on like Donkey Kong!
So that’s my list; my top 10 movies that are romantic comedies with a slightly different approach. Of course there are the classics, but these ones I think are a little more fun. Mind you, I haven’t seen too many “unconventional” rom-coms, so if you think I’ve missed one or more that should get a mention, feel free to add a comment!