We enjoy romcoms because romance and humour are a match made in heaven. After all, what could be funnier than a couple in love? Whether it’s writing saccharine love songs, making grand public displays of affection (remember marriage proposal flash mobs? ), or being trapped in an eternal time-loop in the Pennsylvanian town of Punxsutawney re-living the same day over and over again to endear themselves to the object of their affection, love makes people do the strangest things.
While traditional romance films do an excellent job of communicating this, romantic comedies recognise that when two people fall in love, there is a comedy to be discovered. For decades, romcoms have pleased and entertained us. Many films with heartbreaking love stories demonstrate that the genre is far from dead. Even still, snobs may scoff at the romcom, and with good reason: many of them have been disastrously poor. The truth is, a good romcom necessitates more than simply romance and comedy; it necessitates an alchemical blend of the two, which is difficult to achieve.
The romcoms on this list are the cream of the crop, the red roses among the prosecco, and include everything from Notting Hill to When Harry Met Sally. They all have one thing in common, though: they’re all freaking great. So, without further ado, here are the greatest romantic comedies of all time.
1. Normal Heart
The onset of the HIV-AIDS pandemic in New York in the early 1980s prompted the formation of homosexual activists. They strive to increase awareness about the disease with the help of the medical community.
2. Baaton Baaton Mein
In Hindi cinema, the 1970s were a golden era for romantic comedies, and Amol Palekar was a part of it. Nancy and Tony meet on their everyday journey to work and gradually fall in love in this film. However, Nancy’s mother begins seeking a suitor for her daughter after Tony expresses reservations about marriage. The rom-com is straightforward, pleasant, and humorous.
3. Choti Si Baat
Arun Pradeep (Amol Palekar), a mild-mannered accountant, is smitten by lovely young Prabha Narayan (Vidya Sinha), but his introverted personality prevents him from asserting himself. When the smooth-talking Nagesh Shastri (Asrani) sets his sights on Prabha, Arun realises he must act quickly or risk losing her. He enlists the services of love expert Col. Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh (Ashok Kumar) to acquire a crash course in romance and tries to win the girl of his dreams. The comedy in this film is subtle at times and outright insane at others. The romance is developing slowly, but it’s fascinating to watch.
4. Annie Hall
What is one to do with Annie Hall, an undeniable masterpiece? There’s no way to divorce the art from the artist in this situation; Annie Hall is Woody Allen whole and through, from the narration—equal parts lofty philosophy and Catskills-inflected humour—to the female characters, who are divided into two categories: dream girls and nightmares. (On two occasions, Diane Keaton gets to play both roles, providing her trademark performance.)
Despite this, the picture has a certain enchantment about it, with a melancholy sweetness underpinning its wonderfully quotable gags, completing what could have been an episodic collection of (very good) punch lines. Longing for a simpler time and place, when love was closer at hand and you didn’t know as much as you do today.
Shivnath (Harindranath Chattopadhyay) is the patriarch of the Sharma family, who are so abrasive that they’ve managed to drive away every cook they’ve ever hired. Nobody expects plucky new chef Raghu (Rajesh Khanna) to stay long when he arrives. To their surprise, he demonstrates a remarkable ability to meet everyone’s independent demands. As soon as they believe he is their saviour, all of their jewellery vanishes. This is an amazing, clever, and witty story.
6. The Princess Bride
A fantasy adventure about a lovely young woman and her true love. And this film proves one thing: you can never be too old for fairytales. After a long separation, he must track her down and save her. To be reunited with one other, they must combat the dangers of the mythological realm of Florin.
Based on the novel “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman, which has its own devoted following. It’s the romance that sweeps the audience off their feet and makes them want to believe in something bigger than fate and circumstance, something that says if they can find love in such dire circumstances, so can you.
7. Sleepless in Seattle
Come see Nora Ephron’s first film as a director, this unusual romantic comedy from 1993, which opens with Tom Hanks grieving the loss of his loving wife and mother. He eventually finds a second chance at love thanks to a radio show that pays homage to An Affair to Remember and a manipulative 8-year-old performed with aplomb by Ross Malinger.
Keep an eye out for a young Gaby Hoffmann and her clever pre-iChat vocabulary, as well as Annie’s (Meg Ryan) journalistic persistence, which allows her to track down Mr Sleepless in Seattle even before Google and LexisNexis. Annie’s desire to cross the country in search of her true love borders on stalker territory, but Hanks is spot-on as the devastated husband and doting father.
8. Naram Garam
Ramprasad, a young man, allows Kusum and her father to remain at his boss’s home. They get into difficulties, however, when Kusum is sought by a slew of suitors, including his employer. Naram Garam, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, is a must-see romantic comedy.
9. When Harry Met Sally
In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) take a tense automobile ride from Chicago to New York, during which they debate whether men and women can ever truly be platonic friends.
After ten years apart, Harry and Sally reunite at a bookstore, where they try to stay friends without sex becoming an issue with the help of their respective best friends, Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher). Even if realism is an ancient concept, if it can still rock, then believing in meant to be finding their way back, they will meet again, and wishful thinking will rock as well.
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