Romantic comedies: the genre we love, but don’t always like to admit we love. Let’s take a look back through all the countless meet-cutes, misunderstandings, and happily-ever-afters, and see how far we’ve come.
It Happened One Night
We like to call this the “O.G. romantic comedy.” Released in 1934 and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, this film established the blueprint for all future rom-coms. It was also the first film to get a grand slam at the Oscars – Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Best of all? It still holds up today! (And it’s streaming on Amazon Prime now, so go watch it).
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
These two were paramours on screen and off. Perhaps that’s why their romantic comedies with each other were so great. They paired up for a bunch of them in the 1940s and 50s (the best being 1942’s Woman of the Year) and perfected that whole opposites attract, bickering/bantering thing we’ve come to know and love in all our modern day rom-coms.
Rom-Coms Go Dark
The 1960s saw the rise of the dark romantic comedy. i.e.- The Apartment and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They’re romantic, they’re comedic, but they’re touched with some sadness, too.
Doris Day and Rock Hudson
Conversely, the 1960s also saw the popularity of light, wholesome romantic comedies starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Their 1959 film Pillow Talk kicked things off.
The neurotic auteur put his own stamp on the genre in the 1970s with flicks like Annie Hall. But while we won’t be taking romantic advice from Woody Allen any time soon, we will be taking fashion cues from Diane Keaton.
Meg Ryan and the Faux Orgasm
We’ll have what she’s having. Meg Ryan single-handedly revitalized the genre with that famous scene in 1989’s When Harry Met Sally. She continued to be America’s rom-com darling all through the 90s alongside Tom Hanks in films like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.
Pretty Woman was one of the biggest moneymakers of 1990 and remains one of the most successful films of the genre. Julia Roberts stars as a hooker with a heart of gold, who finds love with the rich businessman who initially hires her as an escort. Ya know, just your classic fairytale romance.
The Pre-McConaissance Rom-Com
Before True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club established Matthew McConaughey as a “serious” actor, he was the go-to male lead in a slew of frivolous yet enjoyable romantic comedies including The Wedding Planner, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Never forget…
The Ensemble Rom-Com
Like a regular romantic comedy, only with a billion famous people and just as many flimsy plotlines. Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve are what we like to refer to as ensemble rom-coms. Really, it’s like 15 rom-coms for the price of one.
The Critically-Acclaimed Awards-Bait Rom-Com
A rare breed to be sure, but 2012's Silver Linings Playbook proved these films do exist. It wasn't explicitly billed as a romantic comedy, but anyone who’s seen the film knows that’s exactly what it was. Only, you know, slightly better than average with a side of Jennifer Lawrence.
Indie Romantic Comedies
Rom-coms for the more artistic set, where the structure isn’t always linear and the endings aren’t always happy. Films like (500) Days of Summer, Celeste and Jesse Forever, and Obvious Child fit the bill. We predict more of these in the genre’s future.
What's YOUR favorite moment in romantic comedy history? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow hosted a slew of celebrities including guest of honour U.S. President Barack Obama at her Los Angeles home on Thursday night (09Oct14) as a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. Actors including Julia Roberts and The West Wing's Bradley Whitford were among the guests at Paltrow's sprawling Brentwood home, which was one of the first stops on the U.S. leader's California tour.
According to TheWrap.com, Obama addressed the crowd with several casual remarks before giving a brief speech on more political topics such as the crisis with ISIS and the current Ebola scare.
He insisted the deadly disease will not reach an extreme like it has in Africa, saying, "I want to assure everybody that the likelihood of an epidemic here in the United States is extraordinarily small.
"But there's a humanitarian crisis that's happening right now in West Africa where children not much older, and in some cases younger than Apple and Moses (Paltrow's children) are dying on the streets alone."
It is the second time Paltrow has helmed a campaign event for President Obama - she co-hosted an Victory Fund dinner in London with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and designer Tom Ford in 2012.
Notting Hill screenwriter Richard Curtis has credited veteran singer/songwriter Tom Waits as the inspiration for his hit 1999 romantic comedy. The romance featuring Hugh Grant as a bookshop owner who falls in love with a movie star played by Julia Roberts is one of Curtis' most beloved films, and the moviemaker admits it was influenced by Waits' track Downtown Train.
Curtis tells U.K. newspaper the Gloucestershire Echo, "There's a version of Downtown Train by Tom Waits performed by Everything But The Girl and when I was writing Notting Hill, that was all I listened to.
"There was something I sensed in the background and in the tone and in the mood of that song which is what I wanted to reach at the best moment of the film. Songs have always been an incredibly important bit of the inspiration for me."
Curtis explains that another of his films, Love Actually, was indirectly influenced by Mariah Carey and her holiday classic All I Want For Christmas Is You, which was featured in the film's finale.
He continues, "What you are doing is hoping by telling a story and arranging a certain sequence of events that some particular moment you will be able to reach the thing a song does in three minutes.
"To take a very trite example, the Mariah Carey song All I Want For Christmas Is You seems to me to completely say how you want to feel about how extraordinary Christmas is. In a way, Love Actually was also a stab at trying to be as good as Mariah... I failed!"
You’d be surprised to find out how many actors work together multiple times. There are so many people in Hollywood and even more trying to break onto the scene, but these actors just love working together multiple times.
For the sake of not listing every Adam Sandler movie ever (that guy does movies with the same 5 people) or creating a Matt Damon/Ben Affleck bro-list, this list is strictly a man and a woman who have worked together. In most cases, the man and woman have always played love interests, or at least good friends (or co-crime fighters who protect the Earth from Aliens and HYDRA).
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio
GIPHY/20th Century Fox
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
You’ve Got Mail
Sleepless in Seattle
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere
Adam Sandler and Drew Berrymore
The Wedding Singer
GIPHY/New Line Cinema
50 First Dates
Scarlet Johansson and Chris Evans
The Perfect Score
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Nanny Diaries
GIPHY/the Weinstein Company
Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley
Brother and sister in a dystopian world.
The Fault In Our Stars
GIPHY/20th Century Fox
Love interests. Both movies were released in the same year, in case you forgot or didn't know.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence
Silver Linings Playbook
GIPHY/The Weinstein Company
Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm
Friends With Kids
Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
And basically every other Tim Burton movie, ever.
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Thor star Tom Hiddleston has landed the lead role in King Kong prequel Skull Island. The Brit will team up with filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who made his directorial debut last year (13) with indie hit The Kings of Summer, for the project.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Over the course of her career, Cameron Diaz has played everything from an ogre princess to a crime-fighting angel to the most irresponsible teacher of all time. But though she's best known for starring in goofy, raunchy comedies, Diaz's resume is filled with varied compelling roles that don't get talked about nearly as much as her underwear dance in Charlie's Angels. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that over the course of her career, Diaz has steadily delivered surprising, awards-worthy performances that often get overlooked by both the press and the public. In honor of her latest film, Sex Tape, arriving in theaters Friday, we've taken a look back at Diaz's life and career to pinpoint every single performance that shocked, moved, and impressed us... and, in a just world, would have impressed the Academy as well.
The CounselorLet’s get this out of the way: yes, Diaz’s character does have sex with a car. It’s a shame, though, that the hubbub surrounding that scene overshadowed everything else about her performance, which is insane in the best possible way. As Malkina, the calculating girlfriend/partner in crime to Javier Bardem’s Reiner, Diaz turned everything up to 11 to give an over-the-top, off-the-wall performance that is more entertaining than attempting to figure out what’s happening with Bardem’s hair. Despite a star-studded cast and a script by Cormac McCarthy, Diaz was easily the most memorable thing about The Counselor, as well as the most compelling.
ShrekOkay, so the Oscars don’t honor voice over work. That doesn’t mean that Diaz’s work as Princess Fiona isn’t worthy of praise. With anyone else voicing her, Fiona would probably turn out to be another cookie-cutter animated princess – kooky, sure but not downright weird, and probably not willing to convince a bird to sing itself to death or having a burping contest with an ogre. Diaz gives Fiona an absurd amount of personality, depth and fun, making her feel as alive as she would if it actually ere Diaz up on that screen.
My Best Friend’s Wedding Julia Roberts get all of the attention, but her Julianne Potter would be nothing without Diaz’s sweet, warm-hearted Kimmy Wallace. A character like Kimmy could have easily been one-dimensional: an unrealistic perfect girl meant to make the protagonist jealous. But Diaz’s Kimmy is a fully realized person; she’s not just sweet, she’s also naïve and awkward and genuinely open-hearted. And her ability to turn what would otherwise be a painfully embarrassing karaoke scene into an endearingly goofy moment deserves much more credit than Roberts letting Dermot Mulroney go.
USA Films via Everett Collection
Being John Malkovich And you thought The Counselor was a strange movie. In Being John Malkvoich, Diaz plays Lotte, the unhappy, pet-obsessed wife of John Cusack’s Craig, who enters into a relationship with Craig’s work crush Maxine (Catherine Keener) while inside the head of John Malkovich. It would be easy to let the craziness of the plot outshine the characters, but Diaz, wearing a horrendously frizzy wig and a series of unflattering outfits, uses the opportunity to give a weird, intense, complex performance that is, unfortunately, often forgotten in favor of her comedic ventures.
There’s Something About Mary The Mask may have put her on the map, but it was the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy that really made Diaz a star. The entire movie hinges on her being the most irresistible woman in the universe, so she needs to win over the audience in addition to the characters. Diaz does exactly that. Her performance is bright, charming and effortlessly funny, and it’s not hard to see why everyone fell in love with her hilarious and heartwarming character.
In Her Shoes In Her Shoes is a much better movie than it appears in its trailer, and much of that is due to Diaz’s performance as Maggie, the free-spirited wild child sister of Toni Collette’s Rose. It would be easy to turn Maggie into a flighty, one-dimensional character, but Diaz manages to turn a somewhat trite reveal – Maggie is dyslexic and has trouble reading and doing basic math – into an opportunity to showcase the insecurity, doubt, and hurt that has turned Maggie into the frivolous party girl that she is. It’s a surprisingly layered performance for a light-hearted movie about the relationship between sisters, and Diaz easily holds her own opposite Collette and Shirley MacLaine, both of whom received more attention.
Vanilla Sky Whether you loved Vanilla Sky or found it impossible to get past Tom Cruise’s melted face, there’s no denying that Diaz’s performance was the standout of the film. As Julie, the suicidal, jealous ex-girlfriend of Cruise’s David Aames, Diaz is simultaneously terrifying and heartbreaking, showcasing all of the hurt, anger, and instability that drive her to extreme measures. More than just the femme fatale or the vindictive ex, Diaz’s Julie is a tour de force performance that unfortunately got overshadowed by some terrible prosthetics.
Charlie Sheen's porn star ex Bree Olson has joined director Tom Six and Julia Roberts' brother Eric in the third Human Centipede movie. Writer/director Six will actually appear in the third instalment, Final Sequence, which will conclude the trilogy about a sick doctor who drugs victims and then sews them together, linked mouth-to-anus.
Roberts tells EW.com the third film is "really horrible", adding, "We have a centipede that is made of prison inmates, and they're all hooked together. When you see this, you will never want to commit a crime and go to prison."
Olson and former wrestler Tommy 'Tiny' Lister will have supporting roles in the film.
A Rome cafe which has featured in films like The Godfather Part Ii and To Rome With Love is facing closure. The Antico Caffe della Pace near the city's Piazza Navona has been a celebrity haven for decades, but financial issues have prompted the owners to move on.
Reports suggest the property bosses, who run the building that houses the cafe, are keen to turn the site into a hotel.
A petition launched by locals will be handed to local lawmakers in an effort to save the place, and have it listed as a historic landmark.
As well as featuring in films shot in and around Rome, the Antico Caffe della Pace has hosted celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Madonna and the late Grace Kelly, while Pope John Paul II was a frequent guest.
Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift are among the celebrities who have lent their support to Oprah Winfrey's campaign to end loneliness. The TV mogul released a video titled Just Say Hello on Tuesday (18Feb14) to encourage people to reach out and connect with others.
She has enlisted a number of her famous friends to take part in the video, also including fellow TV host Ellen DeGeneres, actor Seth Rogen, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and singer John Legend.
The stars make a brief appearance on screen to prove how easy it is say hello to someone in need of company.
When Miley Met Michael? The Head Shop Around the Corner? Pairing Miley Cyrus and Michael Cera in a rom-com could be just what the stagnant form needs. Romantic comedies has been left for dead after a series of lame stories and unfortunate casting choices have cast a pall over the genre. The rom-com could very well rise from the ashes like a phoenix, however, if studios would pay more attention to chemistry.
In the years since Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made moviegoers swoon, we've learned a few things about romantic comedies. One is that a "meet cute" does not make a story. The other is that Ashton Kutcher doesn't have on-screen chemistry with anyone. Really, with very few exceptions in recent years, the pairings in big screen rom-coms have had all of the sizzle of a wet mop. Here then are four pairings that, combined with the right script, could make hearts flutter once again.
Miley Cyrus and Michael Cera
Cera has perfected the socially awkward love-struck type. Whether in Arrested Development or Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, we know what we can expect. Cyrus, for all of her headline-grabbing scandals, actually is very talented. The audience already has a type associated with each, so all the story has to do is play off of that. The formula to pit Cyrus' wild child persona against Cera's stammering has been used effectively in movies like What's Up, Doc? and Something Wild… but that was many years ago. Give the set-up a few modern flourishes and let the Cyrus-Cera combo do the rest.
Kerry Washington and Taye Diggs
This pairing starts with the actors' looks. It's possible tha Kerry Washington and Taye Diggs could vie for best looking on-screen couple ever. But looks would just be the start. Washington has proven her range as an actress and her turn hosting Saturday Night Live showed us that she's willing to have some fun. Diggs is stuck in a bit of a rut, but we still remember his bemused turn on Ally McBeal. Make Diggs a rich guy and Washington an activist with a cause that creates a conflict and let the sparks fly.
Emma Stone and Paul Dano
Yes, we know that there are some that like seeing Emma Stone with frequent co-star Ryan Gosling, but that's gone as far as it can go. How many times do we need to see Stone's eyes widen at the realization of how good-looking Gosling is? Paul Dano has shown what he can do in prestige movies like 12 Years a Slave, but he also has a romantic side as evidenced by Ruby Sparks. Great actors feed off of each other, and Stone and Dano have already made believers out of many a film critic. Give them a smart, sophisticated script and they would knock it out of the park.
Kat Dennings and Justin Timberlake
Kat Dennings, Cera's costar in Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, can cut anyone down to size with a properly timed put-down and bright red lipstick-framed smirk. Justin Timberlake tried his hand at romantic comedy with Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits and the result was two pretty people being boring together. We know that JT can be funny thanks to his SNL efforts and we know that he can be suave thanks to his New Jack Rat Pack stage persona. Give Timberlake a chance to show off his coolness and then let Dennings burst his bubble. Done right, it could have the electricity of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.