Mandatory Staff Picks: Date Night Movies That Won’t Make You Gag But Work as a Compromise (Unless Porn Is Still on the Table)
The good news is you have someone to have a date night with. The bad news is that said date night likely involves watching a romantic comedy. But fret not, because not every film in the rom-com genre is gag-worthy; in fact, many are laugh-out-loud funny, well-written, and star your favorite actors and actresses. White-knuckle your way through one of these date night movies with that special someone and maybe she’ll reciprocate by watching some porn with you. (But don’t hold your breath.)
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'When Harry Met Sally'
It's said that the right person at the wrong time is the wrong person. That seems to be true for Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan), acquaintances thrown together for a post-college road trip whose paths keep crossing throughout their adulthood. It takes years, but these two opposites finally attract and realize "the one" they've been looking for all along has been right in front of their face the whole time. This classic rom-com, cleverly written by Nora Ephron and impeccably directed by Rob Reiner, sheds a light on how, sometimes, male-female friendship can evolve into true romance.
'The Big Sick'
Based on the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani (as himself) met his wife Emily (Zoe Kazan), this modern rom-com takes "meet cute" to a whole new level. Emily heckles Kumail during his stand-up set and sparks fly. Though Kumail and Emily both swear they want to keep things casual, both catch feelings. Kumail keeps the relationship secret in fear that his Pakistani family won't accept him dating a white woman. The situation implodes, and Emily's health takes a turn for the worse, forcing Kumail to examine whether he's going to follow his heart or his family's wishes.
In this quintessential '90s rom-com, Gen Xers Lelaina (Winona Ryder) and Troy (Ethan Hawke) are trying to figure out how to navigate adulthood, their careers, and love after college graduation. Though frequently butting heads, there's undeniable chemistry between the philosophical brooder (him) and the ambitious documentary filmmaker (her). It isn't until Lelaina's relationship with straightlaced Michael (Ben Stiller) ends and Troy suffers a devastating loss that the pair finally find their way into each other's arms.
Italian-American widow Loretta (Cher) finds herself in a sticky situation when she meets Ronny (Nicolas Cage), her fiancé's brother, a mercurial and passionate baker who loves the opera. Ronny wastes no time taking Loretta to bed, but soon the new couple must break the news to their families about the change in plans.
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'
It's hard enough to find someone you want to spend your life with; it's quite another to be welcomed into their family. But Toula (Nia Vardalos) is so enamored with Ian (John Corbett) that she's willing to try to convince her traditional Greek brood to welcome the white vegetarian into the fold. As cultures clash, the couple must confront whether or not their love is strong enough to withstand her family's high standards.
On the surface, this Cameron Crowe movie is about a sports agent struggling to establish his own agency. Underneath that premise, however, is a bittersweet love story between Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) and his assistant (and single mom) Dorothy (Renée Zellweger). Can you mix business with pleasure? These two are certainly going to try, and when they get it right, you'll be weeping along with your girlfriend (and every other character in this irresistible rom-com).
'Crazy Rich Asians'
It's a whole new world for Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) when she travels with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore for a wedding. Rachel realizes what a hot commodity Nick is abroad, and must fight to keep her place in his life despite his family's objections. This critically-acclaimed rom-com will have you laughing at love and all its complications from start to finish.
'Bridget Jones's Diary'
If you've dated for any length of time, you've probably found yourself torn between the respectable, long-term prospect and the insanely sexy side piece. Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is no different, and in this silly but ultimately satisfying rom-com, the awkward, insecure 30-something ricochets between staid human rights attorney Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and sharp-witted playboy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), who have reasons other than their competition over Bridget to despise one another. Cue complicated love triangle, complete with extended fistfight!
If you (or your girlfriend) are the kind of person who believes in signs, this rom-com is for you. Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet by chance in a New York department store and instantly click, but because they're both in relationships, they part ways without crossing any lines, believing that if they're meant to be together, the universe will reunite them. Years later, when both are engaged to other people, they each feel compelled to seek one another out, a task which proves to be more difficult than anticipated. Will the fates let them meet again? And when they do, will the attraction still be there? You'll be glued to the screen, rooting for these two seemingly star-crossed lovers.
'My Best Friend's Wedding'
Sometimes you don't know what you have until you lose it. For journalist Jules (Julia Roberts), she doesn't realize she's in love with her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) until he announces his engagement to ditzy Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Jules descends on the wedding festivities intent on breaking up the marriage and reclaiming the man she believes is meant to be hers. Hilarity and humiliation ensue in equal measure.