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Date Night: The 20 Best Romantic Comedies You’ve Never Seen
One of my favorite ways to relax with my husband after the kids go to bed is to open a bottle of wine and put on a movie. It’s our version of a spontaneous date night, since absolutely no planning is involved, and we don’t have to pay a babysitter. We can usually agree on a romantic comedy, but how many times can you watch
When Harry Met Sally and Knocked Up? Okay, quite a few times, but it turns out Hollywood has produced a handful of other rom-coms worth watching on date night.
Here are some of my favorite blast-from-the-past romantic comedies that are slightly too obscure to make the basic cable rounds. Pick one for your next date night at home, and I guarantee you’ll have a good time. Did I miss one of your date night favorites? Let me know in the comments section!
More Date Night Ideas:
The 20 Best Romantic Comedies You've Never Seen
Robert Downey Jr. falls for Marisa Tomei, but she's too busy chasing another man though Italy to notice him. Adorable, and you'll be booking your trip to the Amalfi Coast (and possibly cutting your hair to look like Marisa's) by movie's end.
Prelude to a Kiss
Meg Ryan accidentally swaps bodies with a grumpy old man just as she's embarking on her honeymoon with a dreamy young Alec Baldwin. As body swapping comedies go, this one is both thought provoking and tender.
Andie MacDowell marries Gerard Depardieu just so he can stay in the country, but by the time their real romance develops, Immigration is hot on their trail. You wouldn't think burly Depardieu would be a realistic love interest for model-perfect Andie, but he totally pulls it off with that French charm.
How to Marry a Millionaire
Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, and Marilyn Monroe play New York fashion models determined to snare wealthy husbands by pretending to be rich themselves. Hijinks ensue and nobody is what he seems in this sweet and daffy comedy of errors.
Heaven Can Wait
Football star Warren Beatty is taken to heaven prematurely by an overzealous angel. To resume life on Earth, he is placed in the body of a wealthy tycoon whose assistant (a hilarious Charles Grodin) is trying to murder him. Can he survive long enough to fall in love with the beautiful Julie Christie? I've seen this one about 100 times and it never disappoints.
The Sure Thing
During college Christmas break, wild man John Cusack and type A Daphne Zuniga share a cross-country road trip together that will change all their preconceptions about love. I wanted to marry John Cusack after watching this. Why isn't he married?
Peggy Sue Got Married
Divorced mom Kathleen Turner goes to her 25th high school reunion, passes out, and wakes up in high school where she is happily dating her future ex-husband, Nicolas Cage. Given the chance at a do-over, will she make the same mistakes?
Love Potion #9
Super nerds Tate Donovan and Sandra Bullock test out a love potion and become wildly popular -- especially with each other See it if only for Sandy's bushy eyebrows!
Those who haven't seen this gem would assume it's just a tacky '80s movie where everyone says "gag me" and "grody to the max." But, you'll swoon for the Romeo and Juliet-esque love story between two teens (played by Deborah Foreman and Nicolas Cage). It's set memorably to Modern English's "Melt with You."
Frankie and Johnny
Al Pacino is the ex-con who falls for diner waitress Michelle Pfeiffer (ridiculously beautiful but made under to look sad and lonely) in a tender tale of damaged people redeemed by love. Strong performances and writing make this one worthwhile.
John Cusack (there he is again) meets Kate Beckinsale when neither one is available for a relationship. After a magical evening together, they decide to leave their future in fate's hands, writing their phone numbers on a $5 bill and a used book that they then release into the wild. Years of missed connections and longing ensue.
Seems like Old Times
On the run from the law, Chevy Chase hides out in ex-wife Goldie Hawn's guest house, unbeknownst to her new husband Charles Grodin. It all culminates in an uproarious screwball scene with Chevy posing as the butler on the night the Mayor comes for dinner. A+ for silliness, flirty banter, and funny dogs.
Pie-maker and diner waitress Keri Russell gets knocked up by her abusive husband (Jeremy Sisto) and begins a torrid affair with Nathan Fillion, her sweet and sexy obstetrician. Some if it's pretty dramatic, but scenes with Keri's waitress friends at the diner make this flick quirky and fun, too.
Cybill Shepherd never got over her first love, who died young. Little does she know, he's been reincarnated as Robert Downey Jr., who suddenly remembers his past life as her beau. He tries to rekindle with Cybill, even though she's old enough to be his mother--or at least the mother of his crushable law school classmate, Mary Stuart Masterson.
A frustrated housewife (JoBeth Williams) wins a mystery-writing contest and is flown to Paris. She gets into an accident and wakes up believing she's the heroine from her spy novel, leading her into an international adventure and romance with Tom Conti.
Despite being America's sweetheart, Meg Ryan gets dumped by Timothy Hutton for a hot French girl. She follows him to the south of France where she is mentored by dashing French criminal Kevin Kline, who makes her over as a femme fatale. A love quadrangle results.
Before Cameron Crowe made
Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, he wrote and directed this love letter to the '90s Seattle grunge scene. The single people dating and mating (Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick and Campbell Scott, among others) are all residents of the same apartment complex--like "Melrose Place," but with more flannel and less murder.
The Secret of My Success
Recent college grad Michael J. Fox fakes it till he makes it, impersonating a top executive while working in the company mail room. Can he woo Helen Slater in the boardroom--and the bedroom--without revealing his secret identity?
Recently divorced Uma Thurman falls for a much younger man, cutie pie Bryan Greenberg. Meryl Streep is the therapist who helps her navigate the minefields. I don't want to spoil the twist, but let's just say the characters are connected in surprising ways that lead to some very funny scenes and a highly inappropriate conversation about penises.
This formula-breaking romantic dramedy almost didn't make my list because I assumed everyone had seen it already, but my husband claims he's never heard of it! So here goes: As she's about to board the London underground, Gwyneth Paltrow's life splits into two parallel universes. On one path, she's stuck in a dead-end job with a cheating boyfriend. In the other, she's a pixe hairdo'd PR maven dating her soulmate. Haven't we all wondered how just one moment might have changed our lives? A must see.
These A+ flicks are a tad scary and a lot adorable (but not excruciating, from a parent-perspective).
I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy… asking for dinner, a movie and a little romancing.
Bust out of your date night rut with these fresh date ideas, from evening outings to daytime dates.
You can thank me for all the laughs, tears, and life lessons later. Really. No need to rush.
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