weekend getaway

Let’s have some fun – A weekend getaway with a Rom-Com

After the never-too-long weekend off from work or study, what could be better than starting the week again with a fun and light rom-com to relieve stress?

This is a suggestion that I extend to all, regardless of your movie genre preferences. Whether you’re a fan of action, fantasy, horror, thriller, or even more severe and challenging movies, consider stepping into the world of rom-com.

Just as it is useful occasionally to break our daily routine with out-of-the-ordinary experiences, it can come in handy to step out of one’s cinematic comfort zone and into the cozy hot tub of comedy and romance.

My words do not come out of nowhere, but I speak from personal experience, as many times I have felt (as you will too) overwhelmed by anger and disappointment on my darkest and most challenging days.

And it is in those moments that rom-coms, like the ones I am about to share with you, have unexpectedly brought me comfort. While they may not solve all your life problems, they can get a simple smile to your face in the darkest times, a therapeutic power you should not underestimate.

So let’s moderate the stress alert from a red alert to a simple code white, beginning this journey for a quiet, fearless post-weekend in comedy and love.

Career Opportunities (1991)

Career Opportunities 1991 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Our journey begins with a classic 90s rom-com, a genre expertly handled by the renowned John Hughes, the director behind the unforgettable generational cult hit The Breakfast Club, whose mastery assures us of a delightful cinematic experience.

The lovers in this story star in a hilarious and romantic encounter/class clash where she is the rich and beautiful daughter of the biggest big shot in town, while he is a poor loser and unemployed, shunned by his friends and his family.

One day, contemplating running away from home, the girl hides in the supermarket where he is starting his first day’s work as a night watchman.

As the story unfolds, we witness the intriguing chemistry between our two protagonists, forming a bond that evolves from friendship to a passionate love despite their stark differences.

But just then, two bumbling thieves take them hostage, preventing the sweet couple from getting into the car to a happy future together.

Hughes is only producing, but his imprint is sure to be seen in this film directed by Bryan Gordon, as is his impeccable humor and pacing in the explosive script.

Equally spectacular is the cast within the forefront of the almost unreal beauty of Jennifer Connelly, perfect as a rich and sexy pathological liar, though abused by her father and therefore seeking a better life.

As her cavalier, Frank Whaley is no less, playing this chronic slacker with brilliant irony, though you may remember this less famous actor not for this movie but for the biblical lesson he gets (along with a truckload of bullets) from Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

Prepare for an unusual love story, a hidden gem perhaps not widely known, yet a delightful surprise that has left an indelible mark on those who have experienced it.

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

There’s Something About Mary 1998 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Another movie, another sunny and youthful leading lady as Cameron Diaz, in the role precisely of Mary, literally making every man lose his mind.

First on the list is poor classmate Ted, initially in disbelief that the prettiest girl in school chooses him for the prom, except ending in a tragically painful way and sadistically funny for us viewers.

Fast-forward thirteen years, and Ted is still smitten with Mary. Determined to reconnect, he hires Pat, a hapless detective who falls for Mary himself, leading to a hilarious chain of events as the two men vie for Mary’s affections, unaware of the interference of another suitor, Tucker.

At that point, Pat tries to keep him away as much as possible while wooing her, while Ted goes through a lot of trouble on his way to Miami, but the love rivals have not considered the interference of Tucker, another beau who tries to get in the way of both of them.

Directing this other cult rom-com are brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly, two other veterans of the fat laughs who have big hits like Shallow Hal, Me, Myself & Irene or the hilarious animation/live-action hybrid Osmosis Jones on their resumes.

Fortunately, the screenplay never lapses too far into the vulgar and democratically portrays the diverse male cast ruthlessly and irresistibly.

An excellent trio of beaus consisting of Ben Stiller, a thoroughbred comedian here at his best performance, the sex symbol Matt Dillon who plays along to play the dimwitted detective, and finally the likable Lee Evans, a fake invalid just as dimwitted as the other two cronies.

Another unusual recipe for romance peppered with laughs galore, unexpected twists around every corner, and misunderstandings that always end in the most tragic and humiliating way possible. In short, it’s another cult hit.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

Something's Gotta Give 2003 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Let’s raise the average age of the leads for a rom-com starring two outstanding stars, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

She is Erica, a famous playwright in search of inspiration, recently dumped by her husband for a much younger girl.

In the other corner is Harry, an irreverent RAP label producer and unstoppable womanizer who is now over sixty, also engaged to the beautiful Marin, the writer’s daughter.

However, caught by an illness while a guest in their home, he has to stay in bed under the doctor’s orders, and they must live together for a few days of bickering and mutual provocation.

As a handsome and much younger man woos the woman, a surprising twist of fate leads to the blossoming of a unique and unexpected romance with her eccentric but endearing forced guest.

Although we’re talking about a more seasoned romance between mature characters who are already weaned mainly from life, Nancy Meyers experience can ideally alternate between the times of frothy comedy and the more sugar-sweetened sentimental moments.

Diane Keaton returns to her most congenial roles, reprising one of the many roles of the creative, intelligent, intractable woman that made her famous in the many films in her heyday with Woody Allen.

On the other hand, Jack Nicholson brings out the more charming side of his famous Shining-like smile in a distinctly funny and irresistible character that perfectly matches sweet Diane.

It’s a small role, too, for Keanu Reeves, a third wheel between the two lovers, in a character lighter and more relaxed than the John Wick-esque grinder-killers or the widely (and unfairly) criticized hero in the fourth Matrix chapter.

In short, age doesn’t matter when the heart is beating fast, though it might be worth having the doctor keep an eye on him.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2008 movie
Amazon Prime Video

So let’s get back into the post-teenage zone with two familiar faces of rom-com: the unhinged Seth Rogen and the exuberant and beautiful Elizabeth Banks.

The comic couple steps into the shoes of Zack Brown and Miriam Linky, lifelong friends who share joys and sorrows with a smile and live lightly through their problems.

Both living in the same apartment and both struggling financially, they have a brilliant idea: to make a very low-budget porn movie together with their friends.

The realization will be more challenging than they first thought, especially counting the problematic cast composed of the varied fauna of wacky characters who will be part of it.

Not to mention that in addition, in their sex scene together, they will discover that their mutual feelings go far beyond simple friendship.

Directing this lighthearted, thought-provoking comedy is Kevin Smith, a versatile and original auteur capable of churning out brilliant comedies like Clerks or Dogma and superb, angsty horror/thrillers like Red State or Tusk.

Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks duet to perfection as these poor but happy characters, capable of making the best of what they have without complaining and supporting each other in the most complex and awkward moments.

A small cameo by Brandon Routh, who was supposed to be the new Superman in Brian Singer‘s ill-fated reboot, here in a nice little skit as a gay actor in a nervous breakdown, paradoxically to date the best career role.

It is also a movie that is smarter than it might seem at first glance, reflecting lightly on the usual but not obvious theme of how it’s not just money and easy sex that makes us happy but something more profound and lasting, which many seek but not all can find.

Friends with Benefits (2011)

Friends with Benefits 2011 movie
Amazon Prime Video

We finish with this quirky rom-com that explores the thin and dangerous line between sex and feelings.

The story begins with young Jamie, a female public relations hunter who welcomes newcomer Dylan, a brilliant writer she wants to convince to work for her magazine, to New York.

Right away, they take a liking to each other, become friends and confidants as they begin to talk about their personal lives, and discover that they have much in common because of how they were disappointed in their previous relationships.

Liking each other physically as well, at which point they decide to make a pact to have sex with minimal emotional involvement and no exclusive commitment to become boyfriends.

The pact works in the early days, but theory gives way to practice when the two become deeply intimate, making it difficult to sleep together without falling in love.

I honestly do not know what to praise or criticize about Will Gluck‘s direction, with neither merits nor flaws making a difference, however constantly pushing the right emotions at the right time in a predictable but effective package.

The authentic charm of the movie lies in the dynamic performances of the lead actors, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, transcending their initial star personas, creating a captivating on-screen chemistry.

Indeed, Timberlake’s easygoing and friendly attitude and Kunis’s gentle, exotic charm create a good mix of rom-com chemistry that works from the first moment, with excellent Woody Harrelson supports as a gay mentor full of wisdom and humor.

While this movie may not be a cinematic masterpiece you will remember for decades, it’s undeniably enjoyable to watch; sometimes, that’s all we need from a movie.

So relax your cheeks into a worry-free smile, watch these delightful rom-coms with all the relaxation you need on your comfy couch, and let’s lovingly leave to rant into thin air anyone who has anything to object to them.

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