Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Ten Romantic Comedies

AFI's list of the top ten in romantic comedy.

1. City Lights
2. Annie Hall
3. It Happened One Night
4. Roman Holiday
5. The Philadelphia Story
6. When Harry Met Sally
7. Adam's Rib
8. Moonstruck
9. Harold and Maude

10. sleepless in seattle

The first six entries make a perfect list for romantic comedy. After that the list is a bit shaky for me. I personally would have put Annie Hall at number 1 but City Lights is definitely worthy of the top spot. Actually, I am thrilled that Charlie Chaplin's work is being recognized and given the respect it deserves but that thrill is punctured by the inclusion of such a bad film at number 10. How does sleepless in seattle make this list? Can someone explain to me why it is a "romantic" film in any sense? When Harry Met Sally is a romantic film, so palpably real and human that anyone who has ever been in love can relate to it. It Happened One Night is romantic because it shows us the silly journey two people take to fall in love when they can barely stand one another and it totally works without one kiss. sleepless in seattle is completely unreal, unromantic, unwatchable, and gives credence to Oprah-watching, unhappy housewives who think when they feel sorry for a widower and he makes them cry they are "in love" with him! There is no conflict, no obstacle overcome, no teamwork, no unifying example of relationship building, there's just syrupy music and "fate" and two seconds on top of the Empire State building with no dialogue and THAT is supposed to be love? Whatever! I have always wanted to see the next five minutes of the movie which I would call the "cab ride scene" where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan actually have to speak to one another and realize they have NOTHING in common (like he's a Cubs fan and she hates baseball, etc.) She exits the cab forlorn and realizes she will have to crawl back to her long suffering fiance on her knees. I can only dream.

For my money the most romantic film of all time and certainly in the comedy category is The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. More creative than half of this list and more full of emotion, pain, romance, and triumph than any on this list, Eternal Sunshine's omission is a crime. But I wouldn't be surprised if many of the AFI voters haven't even seen it. Oh well, like I said, at least Chaplin got his due.

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