Honor roll: Romantic Comedy films

Each of these Romantic Comedy films has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Film:A Fish Called Wanda

A Fish Called Wanda

Charles Crichton

Kevin Kline took home an Oscar for his performance as a self-absorbed lothario who prepares for lovemaking by drinking in his own “manly” musk, but it would be hard to single him out as the best thing about the film. The fact is, the entire cast of this hilarious comedy is perfect: John Cleese as the conservative barrister defending a member of sexy Jamie Lee Curtis’s gang, Ms. Curtis as the conniving crook out to grab the haul for herself, and Michael Palin as the stuttering, animal-loving hit man whose attempts to murder a little old lady only decrease the size…

Film:Working Girl

Working Girl

Mike Nichols

Melanie Griffith had a fling with stardom in this Mike Nichols comedy about an executive secretary (Griffith) who can’t get her deserved shot at upward mobility in the brokerage industry. Hardly taken seriously by male bosses, things aren’t really any better for her once she starts working for a female exec (Sigourney Weaver, never more delightful), a narcissist with a boy-toy banker (Harrison Ford) and a tendency to steal the best ideas from her underlings. When Weaver’s character is laid up with a broken leg, Griffith poses as a replacement wheeler-dealer,…

Film:The Purple Rose of Cairo

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Woody Allen

One of the high points of Woody Allen’s career. Cecilia (Mia Farrow), a depression-era waitress married to a brutish husband (Danny Aiello), finds her only escape at the movies, her current favorite being a light comedy about an explorer among socialites, called The Purple Rose of Cairo. She sees it so many times that the main character, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), falls in love with her and steps off the screen to woo her. When news of this gets back to the movie studio, the producers send the actor who played Baxter (also Daniels) to convince Baxter to…

Film:Manhattan

Manhattan

Woody Allen

Manhattan, Woody Allen’s follow-up to Oscar-winning Annie Hall, is a film of many distinctions: its glorious all-Gershwin score, its breathtakingly elegant black-and-white, widescreen cinematography by Gordon Willis (best-known for shooting the Godfather movies); its deeply shaded performances; its witty screenplay that marked a new level in Allen’s artistic maturity; and its catalog of Things that Make Life Worth Living. But Manhattan is also distinguished in the realm of home video as the first motion picture to be released…

Film:Broadcast News

Broadcast News

James L. Brooks

Holly Hunter plays a network news producer who, much to her chagrin, finds herself falling for pretty-boy anchorman William Hurt. He is all glamour without substance and represents a hated shift from hard news toward packaged “infotainment,” which Hunter despises. Completing the triangle is Albert Brooks, who provides contrast as the gifted reporter with almost no presence on camera. He carries a torch for Hunter; she sees merely a friend. Written and directed by James L. Brooks, this shows remarkable insight into the people who make television. On the surface it…

Film:Moonstruck

Moonstruck

Norman Jewison

Remember the outfit Cher wore to the Oscars when she won an Academy Award for her performance in this 1987 film? Ay-yi-yi. The actress’ more retiring character in this infectious comedy leaps several psychological hurdles just giving her hair a permanent. But then the original screenplay by John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus the Volcano) is a wonderful, gently satirical tale of an Italian-American family dealing with repression and dissatisfaction against a backdrop of cultural expectations. Cher is focused and funny as a widow who feels she should marry an…

Film:The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner

Screenwriter William Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride earned its own loyal audience on the strength of its narrative voice and its gently satirical, hyperbolic spin on swashbuckled adventure that seemed almost purely literary. For all its derring-do and vivid over-the-top characters, the book’s joy was dictated as much by the deadpan tone of its narrator and a winking acknowledgement of the clichés being sent up. Miraculously, director Rob Reiner and Goldman himself managed to visualize this romantic fable while keeping that external voice largely…

Film:Romancing the Stone

Romancing the Stone

Robert Zemeckis

Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Contact) had a hit with this 1984 comedy that first teamed Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Turner steals the show from the guys, however, playing a pushy romance novelist who gets stuck among some dangerous figures in Colombia and has only a rumpled guide (Michael Douglas) as an ally. The chemistry between the stars is infectious (the trio went on to make a sequel, Jewel of the Nile, and then an interesting, dark comedy directed by DeVito, The War of the Roses). Zemeckis—whose…

Film:Arthur

Arthur

Steve Gordon

When you get lost between the moon and New York City (ahem), chances are you’ll find yourself taking another look at this hit comedy starring Oscar-nominated Dudley Moore as the charmingly witty, perpetually drunken millionaire Arthur Bach. Arthur falls in love with a waitress (Liza Minelli) who doesn’t care about his money, but unfortunately Arthur’s stern father wants him to marry a Waspy prima donna. The young lush turns to his wise and loyal butler (Oscar-winner John Gielgud) for assistance and advice. Arthur was a huge hit when released in 1981, as…

Film:Baby Boom

Baby Boom

Charles Shyer

The writing-directing team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers (Father of the Bride) made this sweet satire about a high-powered yuppie executive (Diane Keaton) who unexpectedly becomes a mom and finds she can’t successfully integrate the role into her busy life. Typical of the Shyer-Meyers films prior to Myers taking the director’s reins on the wonderful Parent Trap, Baby Boom is a little wooden and more sentimental than genuine. But there are entertaining moments, for sure, and Keaton is a delight. —Tom Keogh

Views: 5,155 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.021 sec