ByCindy Ramirez, writer at
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Cindy Ramirez

Growing up in the ‘90s I had the chance to fill my brain with many romantic comedies from the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. This fact obviously affected my romantic expectations, but more than anything it affected my perception of what should be classified as a romantic comedy film.

What is a Romantic Comedy?

When Harry Met Sally...
When Harry Met Sally...

In scholarly terms, a romantic comedy is a fun, comedic film that revolves around the quest for love. It usually has a “cute meet” story plot and for different reasons or "obstacles", the main couple is constantly separated over the course of the movie. Finally, in the end, with the help of love they overcome all of the obstacles and live “happily ever after”.

A romantic comedy is light, is funny and entertaining. It might make you cry, but those will be tears or joy and satisfaction. Is really hard not to come out of a romantic comedy smiling and with your spirits lifted.

If Sally can fall in love with Harry, after years of "platonic friendship" then I am sure someone out there is capable of stepping out of the "friendzone" too. Don't lose hope! Take a look at Billy Crystal and learn from his success in When Harry Meet Sally...

It doesn't take forever
It doesn't take forever

It is very hard to compete with a wonderful film such as this or with Pretty Woman. Both are considered incredible romantic comedies and deserve a spot in history. Wich was what got me thinking. Where is the new Pretty Woman? And I don't mean a remake.

When are we going to watch another wonderful comedy that illustrates the ups and downs of life as we try to find love in this crazy world! That's when I decided to look at the last twenty years in romantic comedy history.

Some of the titles were obvious choices to be in the list How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Nothing Hill, The Wedding Singer, Two Weeks Notice. Good movies, solid box office performance. But there was something that caught my attention.

After taking a closer look at the highest grossing romantic comedies from 1995 to 2015, I noticed they are all from the ‘90s and 2000. There is almost no mention of modern romantic comedies. Let's face it, romantic comedies in the last decade have not been that great. That is a big problem.

Top Grossing Romantic Comedies in the last 20 years
Top Grossing Romantic Comedies in the last 20 years

The Top 3 Highest Grossing Romantic Comedies

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That's right. The prime spot on the list goes to this movie that was a sleeper hit and that also became a cult classic! A wonderful story about a woman that found love when she found herself. You can also look at this comedy as a transformation comedy.

Then you have There's Something About Mary another great story! This one from a male perspective that showed us sometimes love does not happen in the right place at the right time. But when life gives you another chance, you have to jump at the opportunity.

Jerry Mcguire, one of the few romantic comedies that have been nominated for an Academy Award. I actually don’t know if I consider Jerry Mcguire a romantic comedy. Yes, it has a lot of the elements of a romantic comedy, but it is actually a romantic comedy with touches of drama. I think I also consider this film a sports drama, but it is on the third place of the list and we have to talk about it.

These are just the top three movies on the list, but taking a closer look is obvious that the other movies are classics as well. Kudos to Knocked Up and Enchanted for being the only late 2000s films that made it to the list.

Now, let's take a look at the recent years.

The Last Few Years in Romance

That Awkward Moment
That Awkward Moment

By the year 2010 Romantic Comedies started to decay. Their accurate reflection of society makes it difficult to have a "cute meet" story. With online dating, social media, and Tinder driving the path of our romantic lives any modern plot could simply be summarized as: "I met a cute guy in Facebook, we fell in love and one year later we got married".

That Awkard Moment wasn't a great film. Is a living example of a romantic comedy following the right recipe, using the adequate formula but resulting in a product that was good. Simply good, when it could have been great.

Even when that is the reality we are living, movies are supposed to be an escape from reality. We should be seeing something wonderful and uncanny in romantic comedies. But the truth is that since romantic comedies are not the money makers they used to be, studios are pushing new genres into the cinemas. I miss a good romantic comedy with a hero (male or female) I can relate to.

Do you have a favorite romantic comedy from after 2010?

If so, which is it? Share it with me along with your opinion in the comments!


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