REVIEW: Rom Coms

This post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all things MelbourneBelow, however are just Brittany’s parts of the post.

Summary: With the release of About Time, The Two review the best romantic comedies.


Ah, romantic comedies. Forever giving us hope that someday our knight in shining armour will sweep us off our feet/turn out to be our childhood guy friend/slip us their phone number on a napkin in our favourite coffee shop and we’ll all live happily ever after. The Two reckon there will never be too many rom-coms – the universal solution to any problem, when coupled with a large tub of ice-cream of course. In fact a new one was released just the other day; About Time directed by Brit rom-com king Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill), starring Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, who you may recognise as Harry Potter’s Bill Weasley. Does it deliver? And which are the best romantic comedies of all time? The Two review their favourites.

B: About Time

The title of this film is perfect, given how long it’s been since the release of a really good rom-com. Directed by Richard Curtis (who is also responsible for a number of films that have made The Two’s top rom-com lists), About Time centres around Tim, who is told on his 21st birthday that men in his family have the ability to travel back in time. Warned to only use it for important things, he chooses to use it to find love. Aww. Cue his hilarious attempts to woo Rachel McAdams, with the ability to relive things over and over again until he does them right. Although there’s a lot of repetition given we’re seeing the same event play out a number of ways, it doesn’t get boring – in fact it only makes it funnier. The film’s soundtrack is equally as good, a standout being the perfect love song ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding. While largely marketed as a romantic love story, About Time goes beyond that. It shows a beautiful relationship between father and son, and the importance of making the most of every day. Well worth seeing.

The verdict: 4 boxes of popcorn

B: Love Actually

This film showed me that love, actually, is all around. I call this a mega rom-com, because it shows a number of love stories, rather than just a single one. It’s also quite sentimental because I had my first ever crush on the little boy in the film at nine-years-old. As if it couldn’t get any better, Love Actually also incorporates another of my most favourite things in the world – Christmas. Although it’s a great film to watch any time of the year. The cast is full of brilliant British actors including Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy, and the film combines the perfect amount of love, laughter and sadness. Set in London, the film counts down the final five weeks before Christmas, and an epilogue set one month later. Telling so many love stories, you’re bound to find one you can identify with. If not, then you’re shown so many different examples of love, it’s hard not to feel loved yourself. Grab your best friends or your mum and settle down with a big block of chocolate.

The verdict: 4.5 boxes of popcorn

B: When Harry Met Sally

Can men and women ever just be friends? This is the big question explored in When Harry Met Sally. Penned by Nora Ephron and starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, this 1989 film is definitely a rom-com classic. After finishing university, acquaintances Harry and Sally drive to New York together before separating to live their new lives. The film follows chance meetings between the two over a number of years, while they eventually form a close friendship. It’s the classic tale – everyone can see they are perfect for each other except Harry and Sally themselves. Educational and hilarious, the film also gives great commentary about men and women’s totally different attitudes to dating, sex and relationships. It’s also got one of the best scenes in movie history – after Sally fakes an orgasm in a New York deli to prove to Harry how easy women can do it, an old lady (actually director Rob Reiner’s mother!) turns to the waitress waiting to take her order and says “I’ll have what she’s having”. As for whether men and women can have a platonic friendship, you’ll have to watch to decide for yourself.

The verdict: 4 boxes of popcorn

B: Bridget Jones’ Diary 

Where to even begin with this one. Bridget Jones is my life. It’s the perfect pick-me-up rom-com and I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched both installments. One of the happiest days of my life was when I heard they were making a third one. Following unlucky in love journalist Bridget as she navigates life as a singleton amongst a sea of smug married couples, Bridget Jones’ Diary is a movie every girl can relate to. While there are certainly sad moments, I’ve also never laughed as hard as I have in this movie. It’s so quotable, Bridget is an iconic single legend, plus it has Colin Firth AND Hugh Grant in it. If you haven’t seen it – have you been living under a rock?! Get yourself a bottle of wine and a large tub of Ben and Jerry’s and watch it immediately.

The verdict: 5 boxes of popcorn