Jack Clifford ’13
Movies have the power to instill many varying emotions into their audiences. Romantic comedies have emerged as one of the most popular genres of movies in the 21st century, combining laughs, tears, and many heartfelt “awwww”s to create an enjoyable movie-viewing experience. And around Valentine’s Day, the trusty “rom-com” is a perfect source of lovely- ridiculous- love stories.
Fever Pitch, directed by the Farrelly brothers, tells the story of a super enthusiastic school teacher Boston Red Sox fan named Ben (Jimmy Fallon). The movie highlights the battle between Ben’s two loves: the Sox and his girlfriend Lindsey, a serious work girl (Drew Barrymore). The zeal for his beloved team constantly distracts Ben from his relationship with Lindsey, putting a strain on their love. Through battles with extra inning games, spring training, and playoffs, Ben must decide between his life-long passion and the love of his life.
While the idea is unique and unlike any love story I have seen before, it also emphasizes the laughs, tears, and heartfelt emotions involved in a loving relationship. The spin on the love triangle of a man, a woman, and a sports team sets the stage for some serious humor.
He’s Just Not That Into You, directed by Ken Kwapis, delves into the struggling love lives of several characters and their quest for “the one.” These love-seekers trouble over the question: how do you know when your crush is really just not that into you? Unlike most romantic comedies, this film incorporates numerous relationships with an intertwining story arc where the characters are all somewhat related to each other. With a star-studded cast featuring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, and Drew Barrymore, there is plenty of talent to carry the confusing plot and actually extract emotions from the audience.
Narrated by Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), the film follows her struggle for love and her never-ending quest to hear back from that “one-night stand,” frustrating the heck out of the audience to the point where we have to beg for the scene to change just to put a stop to the embarrassment she experiences. By the end of the movie, everyone ends up with their love, but the fun is found in the process of the countless late-night phone calls, scandalous affairs, and dramatic kisses.
The Break Up, directed by Peyton Reed, takes the audience on a romantic rollercoaster as the couple of Gary Grobowski, a Chicago city tour guide, (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers, an art dealer, (Jennifer Aniston) fight to keep their lavish condo from each other when, as the title suggests, they “break up.”
The movie starts off with the meeting of Gary and Brooke at a Chicago Cubs baseball game and the love-filled years that follow as they date as a happy couple. However, as the relationship develops and they move in with each other, it turns out that they have had enough of each other and decide to break up. The dilemma arises from the decision of who gets to keep the condo. Neither one will budge as Gary and Brooke ploy and scheme in attempts to get the other one to move out. Gary uses strippers, video games, and his obnoxiousness to try and break Brooke down while she uses her body, the Tone-Rangers, and good-looking guys to try and break him down. Although a break up is not what comes to mind when any romantic movie is mentioned, the love they have for their condo brings out many laughs in its audience. What makes this movie unique is that it does not entail the fairy tale story of romance and love, but a very real and worldly approach to relationships. The movie pokes fun at the fights, the yelling, and the little irritating things that exist in almost every relationship.
There are just so many great romantic comedies out there in the movie world that it was hard to narrow it down to just three. These select few set the bar high as far as movie-watching experiences go. One thing for sure is that mixing romance and comedy definitely makes for a fun viewing- especially in the spirit of the Valentine’s season.