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Rediscover the great romantic comedies of 20 years ago

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Millennials had a good laugh with several rom-coms in the 1990s and early 2000s, but many productions are forgettable and feature outdated propositions. Today, therefore, we are going to focus on those who left a different taste in their generation and who can (and should) be enjoyed by today’s audiences.

Romantic comedy is one of the most underrated genres by movie studios today and most releases go straight to streaming. This year, for example, only three American films made it to the big screen: Marry Me, starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson; Ticket to Heaven, with Julia Robert and George Clooney; and the innovative Mais que Amigos, by Nicholas Stoller. Will we remember them in a few years?

In order not to leave romantic comedies relegated to the background, let’s remember the major productions that turned 20 in 2022. The works listed below are available on several platforms. In other words, if you don’t know it yet, you can add it to your list. If you know it, consider recommending it to the next generation and so on. On to the titles!

Starring Hugh Grant as Will, an irresponsible wealthy Londoner and womanizer. At 30, he invents an imaginary son to attend single-parent meetings in search of “available” women. By this description, it seems more or less the same, however, A Big Boy presents its soul in the presence of Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the 12-year-old son of one of the protagonist’s conquests.

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Troubled at school and alone, Marcus and Will develop a funny and touching friendship. Thanks to the sarcastic tone of Hugh Grant, the film does not become a melodrama, but presents itself as a film marked by the transition of captivating characters. Will teaches Marcus to be a nicer boy, and in return, Marcus finally helps Will grow up.

Romantic love is left behind to show us that the other relationships in our lives are just as important. With a 93% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (RT) and a 7.1 viewership rating on IMDb, it’s a beloved film today.

With a traditional Greek family plot, Nia Vardalos writes and stars in this fun romantic comedy based on her own cultural experiences. The most important ingredient of this romantic comedy is precisely the exploration of Greek customs in the eyes of the profane public.

Still single at 30, Toula (Nia Vardalos) is a concern for a Portokalos family full of children, cousins ​​and grandchildren. She works at her father’s restaurant, Dancing Zorba’s, but takes a job at her aunt’s travel agency, where she meets Ian Miller (John Corbett). The burlesque encounter with the non-Greek teacher, tall and handsome, a vegetarian, is like fireworks, but he struggles to be accepted into the family.

Although it looks like a sitcom, the eccentric Greeks conquer the public thanks to the great performance of the cast and especially of Nia. She presents a charismatic character between a mixture of embarrassment and desire for emancipation.

With a critical approval rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film offers discussions of women’s freedom in another culture in a humorous way and is a great pastime. Unfortunately, Nia Vardalos’ later designs weren’t as effective as this one.

Like Greek Wedding, Kissing Jessica Stein gains relevance due to its refreshing twist when it offers a romantic comedy about a same-sex relationship. If today More Than Friends (2022) is a freshness of the formula in theaters with a cast mainly LGBTQIA +, in 2002, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld’s film caused a sensation.

Written with six hands by the director and the two protagonists, Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen, the plot of Kissing Jessica Stein starts from a curiosity of the New York journalist Jessica (Westfeldt). After several frustrations with the opposite sex, she seeks to find the love of her life alongside a similar one.

When she comes across an ad for an intriguing person in the “women looking for women” section, Jessica decides to answer it. So she meets the cool Helen Cooper (Heather Juergensen) and, to her surprise, the chemistry strikes instantly. First out of curiosity, the film dares to look for new directions in the field of romantic comedies. Recall that four years later, Fox Searchlight also released Imagine Me & You (2006).

An escape from Hollywood studios, Albergue Español is a multicultural romantic comedy that captures the chaos and emotion of youth. Directed and written by Cédric Klapisch, this is the first chapter of a trilogy that follows Xavier’s (Romain Duris) journey from student to father, in the marvelous sequel Russian Dolls (2005) and the lukewarm L’énigme Chinese (2013).

In this film, Xavier is a French university student who moves to Barcelona, ​​Spain to learn Spanish in order to get a dream job. Thus, he shares the house with other young people from different European countries. From this season, he realizes that his girlfriend, Martine (Audrey Tautou), is no longer the right person for him, and falls in love with the wife of a friend.

Between mistakes and successes, Xavier multiplies the ramblings of love and learns alongside his new friends to manage their passions before finding true love. With over 41,000 votes, Albergue Español received a 7.3 audience rating on IMDb and became a classic of the globalization era.

After all, what makes a romantic comedy stand the test of time? His unique traits, of course. Before the melodic Licorice Pizza (2021), Paul Thomas Anderson invested himself in the birth of passion in strange and touching ways with Punch-Drunk Love.

In addition to these aforementioned characteristics, the movie is delightfully funny due to Adam Sandler’s comedic personality in one of cinema’s finest performances. Here, he plays Barry Egan, the owner of a bathroom supply company whose family is super repressive. Thus, Barry develops a solitary behavior, but susceptible to violent outbursts.

His ordinary life is rocked by an unexpected crush on the co-worker of one of his seven sisters, Lena Leonard (Emily Watson). Their romance, however, is threatened by his explosive behavior and a racketeering affair. This emotional rollercoaster won over audiences, scoring 79% from 199 critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3 from over 165,000 votes on IMDb.

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