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The general rule of thumb when it comes to romantic comedies is that they're something a site such as this should steer clear of.
After all, it's a well that's been thoroughly poisoned by the output of some luminaries such as Katherine Heigl in recent years (a good actress, but with a trademarkable eye for a lousy script).
He takes the guts of the romantic comedy genre, and plays with chronology, mixes in music, and tells an otherwise fairly straightforward tale in an offbeat and diverting way. We hope that Webb heads back to smaller, more controllable films such as this once his Spidey days are over...
The American President , as it's Michael Douglas' President Andrew Marshall who's centre stage (Robert Redford had been linked with the part at one stage). James L Brooks's film also secured a deserved Oscar for Helen Hunt, and if you're looking for a reason why it works, take a look at the sequence where Nicholson's often quite unpleasant character has to come up with a compliment for Hunt's.
However, there's not one of you out there that's never watched a romantic comedy, and we'd happily wager that there's not one of you out there who won't ever watch one again.
Here, then, for your delectation, is a collection of romcoms from the past 30 years that won't leave your brain seeping clever juice as you watch them. 10 Things I Hate About You, it pairs the late Heath Ledger with the always-brilliant Julia Stiles, in a delightful movie. There's a lot of talent here, and it's mixed together strongly.
It's a romantic comedy laced with something just a tad deeper here - the whole idea of an older generation being disposed of.
And it's from Paul Weitz, who also directed as a modern classic, but it's actually the concrete on which the film is built.
It stars Jennifer Westfeldt in the leading role, one who's on the lookout for her dream man. Story Written by Steve Martin, in part as a love letter to the city of Los Angeles, this is an under the radar movie with a fair amount of wit, and both Martin and his then-wife Victoria Tennant are on strong form.But it's a skilful piece of filmmaking here, with a terrific supporting turn by Cuba Gooding Jr generating many, many laughs.Heck, there's even a little kid in it who, rather than getting on your nerves, you end up wanting more screen time for.Mac Dowell is trying to help him, and naturally, they don't get on. Weir lets this play out with a laser-focus on keeping mawkishness out of his film.
And like the best modern romantic comedies, he makes sure that there are two adults at the heart of this one, in this case thrown together for actually believable reasons.
Plus, there's a great breakthrough role for Renee Zellweger, pre- is the only film that Edward Norton has directed, and he pulls together a cast that includes himself, Ben Stiller and Anne Bancroft. It's a love triangle, with two men falling for the same woman.