This list was twice as long when I started, but then I thought of what I, as a guy, would want to watch when considering a love story. A few may seem too ‘romantic,’ but these I feel the men will enjoy and you will be happy to know that I made many cuts. For instance, “Dirty Dancing” appears on many top romantic movie lists, but I cut it because although almost every girl I have talked to loved it, men absolutely hate it, myself included. And what kind of a guy wants to sit through “Ghost” or “The Bodyguard?” So this is a romantic list that should appeal to both sexes but keeping the male opinion the number one bit of criteria.
10. Pretty Woman / Notting Hill – A tie for tenth with two Julia picks. One gives hookers hope (which is nice) and the other proves Hugh Grant’s career can survive after having a hooker. Girls will love the charming Hugh Grant and that sexy flat-mate of his in “Notting Hill,” as well as the idea of being saved by the man on a white horse (or limo) in “Pretty Woman.” Guys will laugh out loud and enjoy watching that intoxicating smile of Julia’s. They both work.
9. Say Anything – Starring John Cusack, the king of eighties teenie-bopper romantic comedies. A love story for the ladies and yet, a glimmering piece of hope for those high school guys that dreamed of someday wooing the popular gorgeous girl, despite our dorky demeanor.
8. An Officer and a Gentleman – Starring Richard Gere, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Debra Winger, this teaches us how the determination of the human spirit can achieve anything. It also teaches us that love is sometimes unavoidable. This is a romance that actually has some good appeal to the male crowd … my dad even likes it and he doesn’t like many movies. And, we get to see Gossett beat the hell out of Gere. How great is that?
7. The Princess Bride – On my list because “wuv, twue wuv” cannot be more aptly expressed than in a fairy tale setting. I loved this as a kid and I love it today. It is “sword fights, giants, adventure and true love,” every reason why people go to movies today.
6. Jerry Maguire – guys should love this as well as women. It has sports, Cuba Gooding Jr. kicks ass, Rene Zellweger looks amazing and there is a great love story. This is something that the writer, Cameron Crowe, has perfected. Just an overall great movie.
5. The Last of the Mohicans – starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeline Stowe, most people disagree with this being on my romantic list. Although this has war and violence for the men, the motives of Day-Lewis and his brother are fueled by the love for two women complete with a riveting, heart-wrenching and beautiful scene as one love follows the other off the cliff.
4. True Romance – okay, forget the two stars. Think of the others in the cast; Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, James Gandolfini, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Michael Rapaport, Tom Sizemore … I shouldn’t have to say more. But, this is about finding true love in an unlikely space and then embarking on the most “whacked” out love story of all time. Violent, sexy, action-packed, full of emotion … oh, and written by Quentin Tarantino … just for guys.
3. High Fidelity – the John Cusack film from the Nick Hornby novel. This was the ideal movie for delving into the psyche of a man in the crazy world of dating. Not only does he express what most men think in the area of women, but also he does it all with allusion to pop culture. Hilarious, thought-provoking and also, a little romantic for the ladies.
2. Top Gun – another one that some have said should not be on my list and if it is, it should not be very high. Well, here it is, at number two. This was perfect for guys to watch. It had the speed, the explosions and the camaraderie between best friends. And I have had girls tell me that when Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis are kissing in the dark and you just see their silhouettes, every woman in America immediately turned into McGillis. Plus, ladies, you get that volleyball scene where you get Cruise and the military men baring it all in sweaty competition. Enjoy.
1. When Harry Met Sally… – this is not only my favorite romantic comedy, it is one of my favorite movies. From Billy Crystal’s witty dry humor to Meg Ryan’s annoying idiosyncratic nit-picking that ultimately makes her adorable, this movie was just shy of perfect. Not only is it good on the surface, but also this film can seriously get you to think, and then they close with one of the most memorable ending lines ever in a romantic comedy. Rent this one! And be listening to Crystal’s “harsh” words to Ryan at that last New Year’s party.