For many women, romcoms, chick flicks or whatever you call them are the best thing since sliced bread and offer a much-needed escape from a world filled with sex-crazed men whose top priority is to sleep with as many Jessica Alba lookalikes as possible. But sweeping generalizations aside, men are also prone to a bit of weepy melodrama, they just won't admit it.
Yea, you read that right. Men have a soft side too, and though they may not host a weekly book club discussing the latest Nicholas Sparks novel, most will know of a few romcoms they could easily watch without wanting to check the status of their Fantasy Football team every 10 minutes.
Here are 10 of them.
1. The Notebook
Speaking of Nicholas Sparks, let's start with his stand-out story, The Notebook. Adapted from his best-selling debut novel, The Notebook became a sleeper hit and gave Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams A-list celebrity status, thanks in large part to the huge fan base the movie has attained over the years.
Even guys like this film and though the story's uber-cheesy lines, ("If you're a bird, then I'm a bird" is just one of many) could have derailed this flick, it somehow makes the character's chemistry more endearing. After all, having a soft spot for a movie which showcases everlasting love in bittersweet fashion is hard to knock- even for men.
2. Friends with Benefits
Guys probably rejoiced around the world when they realized a 2011 romantic comedy involved sex scenes with sex symbol, Mila Kunis, elevating this romcom for sweet females into a soft porn film for dudes. In all seriousness, the movie's plot avoided the pitfalls that taint most romcoms and was primarily built around Justin's character, a successful art director from Los Angeles who lands a top job in New York for American GQ.
Of course, once he meets his assistant, they start getting freaky under the sheets, which is probably where the interest for men peaks, but for a lighthearted film about romance, there isn't much cheese in it, and it's a surprisingly refreshing take on an often-haggard genre.
3. 500 Days of Summer
You just know this movie won't be like other boring chick flicks when the disclaimer at the beginning tells us that "'This is NOT a love story.' Yes, this somewhat unromantic approach makes for a thought-provoking, and original movie that guys will probably enjoy, and indeed relate to the moment hopeless romantic Tom Hansen (Gordon-Levit) breaks up with his girlfriend Summer (Deschanel) of, you guessed it... 500 days.
After a bit of superfluous dialogue (he is a hopeless romantic, after all) things intensify when Hansen reflects that your perfect soul mate isn't necessarily the one who likes the same things as you. Say what?!
Of course, the preconceived notions of 'The 'One' are more conventional, something the movie tries to tackle. For instance, when we meet someone new, and they get us, it's pretty amazing. Their looks, the conversation, the laughter, their mutual admiration for pigeons. Still, that still isn't enough to sustain a relationship the film tells us. An extremely modern take on the romantic comedy, 500 days of summer is a depressing yet refreshingly original romcom.
Any film starring Will Smith is bound to attract male attention, even when he's starring in a soppy romance. With that said, Hitch doesn't involve two white people falling in love before one dies. It's funny and cool and has scenes of a ridiculously cool Smith teaching a middle-aged white man how to dance.
And what's not to love about that? It's hilarious and even gives awkward dudes a chance to take tips from Mr Cool himself when mingling with the ladies, who may we add, beds Eva Mendes.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Like with Will Smith, Jim Carrey movies are a favorite among men, so when Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind came out, a film directed by serious arthouse director Charlie Kaufman, it marked a change in roles for an actor who had made millions as a comic star. But just like with Adam Sandler in the Paul Thomas Anderson movie, Punch Drunk Love, Carrey's role alongside Kate Winslet is heart-rendering and beautiful at the same time.
It's important to note, however, that the movie's premise is as much sci-fi as it is romance, with Carrey's character wishing to erase the memory of his heartbreak by undergoing a procedure that springs up some mind-blowing scenes that many critics believe are some of the best in modern-day film.
6. About Time
Yeah yeah, we know. It's another film with Rachel McAdams who's seemingly made a career from looking desperate and sad and then elated as her long-lost lover returns in the form of a ridiculously handsome white guy. In About Time, however, the film's premise, written by the king of romcoms, Richard Curtis, was less about two other-worldly people falling in love and more about the pleasant realities that come from settling down with the right person.
And that's because nice guy Domnhall Gleeson has to choose between Margot Robbie (the real reason why every man likes this movie), and McAdams, all while having the luxury of going back In Time to see how best he can form his decision.
7. Crazy Stupid Love
This movie has become somewhat of a classic within the romcom genre, mainly for its stellar cast of dramatic actors, with Kevin Bacon, Steve Carrel and Julianne Moore accompanying La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a film critic Kyle Smith believed was like "asking for a burger and getting served escargot."
Such high praise for a romcom is certainly a rarity, which makes this even more of a must-see. And with cute faces of both sexes to lust over, coupled with a well-written plot which sees a middle-aged Carrel seek dating advice from womanizer Ryan Gosling (men, take note), Crazy Stupid Love gives the viewer many laugh-out-loud moments.
8. Love Actually
Perhaps as contentious as including The Notebook, even men with sinewy muscles and shaven heads would be lying if they said they hadn't seen and rather enjoyed Love Actually. It's corny, saccharine and predictable beyond belief, yet at the same time beautifully British, and if there's one thing us Americans love more than anything, it's people with British accents speaking in sugary prose.
With a British cast, most of the actors are poshos, of course, with Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Keira Knightly and Liam Neeson all proving that British actors who trained at RADA rock.
9. Lost in Translation
Bill Murray is another male actor on this list who transcends audiences of both sexes, even if he happens to be starring in a depressing movie about love and the age-old question: what if? The film's main draw for guys, however, comes in the mold of the enchantingly beautiful Scarlet Johansson, who unsurprisingly catches Murray's eyes as he dines by himself in a dimly-lit Tokyo bar.
But this isn't your traditional romance of boy meets girl. In actuality, there's little romantic love involved, and instead, the film explores life's uncertainties in both the young and old as well as the power of instant lust and attraction, leaving the human heart in a constant state of flux, a feeling which lends itself perfectly to the title.
10. True Romance
Somewhat ironically, True Romance doesn't feel like a romance at all, with most of its plot revolving around the adventure its two main leads (Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette) embark on as they journey through dangerous ganglands and cesspit housing complexes after falling in love in after just one night.
With that said, love is essential to the plot, but with Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary sharing writing credits, True Romance, which is now a cult classic, successfully takes both sexes through all human emotions in a way few others in the genre could. Oh, and the Hanz Zimmer soundtrack will certainly make you cry as the end credits roll. And yes, that includes you too, guys!