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:Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen

Just as New York City was the backdrop in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” the stunning city of Barcelona is the setting for the romantic adventures of Vicky and Cristina. These two young Americans spend a summer in Spain and meet a flamboyant artist (Javier Bardem) and his beautiful but insane ex-wife (Penelope Cruz). Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is straight-laced and about to be married. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is a sexually adventurous free spirit. When they all become amorously entangled, the results can only be described as chaotic.

Film:50 First Dates

50 First Dates

Peter Segal

With generous amounts of good luck and good timing, 50 First Dates set an all-time box-office record for the opening weekend of a romantic comedy; whether it deserved such a bonanza is another issue altogether. It’s a sweet-natured vehicle for sweet-natured stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and their track record with The Wedding Singer no doubt factors in its lowbrow appeal. But while the well-matched lovebirds wrestle with a gimmicky plot (she has no short-term memory, so he has to treat every encounter as their first), director Peter Segal…

Film:The Family Man

The Family Man

Brett Ratner

Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is the quintessential Wall Street shark, scoring killer deals by day and shallow escort sex by night. His round-the-clock routine of empty luxuries is disturbed one lonely Christmas Eve when a gun-packing punk (Don Cheadle)—perhaps an angel of mercy—responds to an altruistic gesture from Jack by giving him “a glimpse” of the life he could have had. Could have, that is, if he had married the girlfriend (Téa Leoni) he’d abandoned 13 years earlier, raised two adorable children, worked in his father-in-law’s retail tire outlet, and…

Film:What Women Want

What Women Want

Nancy Meyers

It must’ve made for a great pitch meeting: Male chauvinist advertising executive gains the ability to hear the thoughts of any woman around him. Add Mel Gibson—as Nick, the divorced “man’s man” who can charm almost any woman into bed—and you’ve got high-concept comedy made in Hollywood heaven, right? Not necessarily. The smartest thing director Nancy Meyers did with What Women Want is dispose of this ludicrous plot contrivance before it wears out its welcome. It’s fun to see Mel react to a deafening chorus of female thoughts, but his dubious…

Film:Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Roger Michell

They don’t really make many romantic comedies like Notting Hill anymore—blissfully romantic, sincerely sweet, and not grounded in any reality whatsoever. Pure fairy tale, and with a huge debt to Roman Holiday, Notting Hill ponders what would happen if a beautiful, world-famous person were to suddenly drop into your life unannounced and promptly fall in love with you. That’s the crux of the situation for William Thacker (Hugh Grant), who owns a travel bookshop in London’s fashionable Notting Hill district. Hopelessly ordinary (well, as…

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