Chick flicks. The clue’s in the name. They’re saccharine, romantic films packaged for what Hollywood thinks women want: Man meets woman, and they somehow end up happily ever after. But of course, only after they’re hit by a series of wacky events that try to tear them apart. It’s all formulaic and, at times, downright gag-inducing.
Can you really blame guys for wanting to avoid all that? Heck, even most girls would rather sit through yet another Terminator reboot than watch five minutes of a Nicholas Sparks film. How many times can you make white people who shouldn’t be together fall in love before you kill one or both of them off?
But romance is a subject filled with entertainment potential, if done right. And not all romantic films are inherently bad. There are actually a few good ones out there. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least a few of these movies already – and you probably enjoyed them too, whether you’re a boy or a girl.
All of these super romantic films have one single thing in common – they’ve all been all listed as movies that men enjoy watching as much as women. Redditors recently asked men to weigh in on their secret romcom loves, and the following were twenty of the most popular responses. So girls, if you’re reading this and are craving a romantic movie night with your significant other, you just might be in luck. Instead of suggesting 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight, perhaps you should stream one of these great flicks instead.
20. Love and Other Drugs – 2010
Many men will admit that they enjoyed this flick in part because they got to see Anne Hathaway‘s boobs. But surprisingly enough, there were others who mentioned that there was more to it than that – like, the actual story.
Love and Other Drugs, while romantic and at times funny, deals with some pretty dark elements, including chronic illness. The movie is set apart from so many other rom-coms for that reason. And the situation makes for an interesting premise, one you’ve probably not seen before.
And hey, there’s something for the ladies reading this as well. Not only does Hathaway lose her clothes, but so does Jake Gyllenhaal. So everyone’s happy.
19. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight – 1995, 2004, 2013
The Before trilogy is generally seen as an iconic romance. If you have yet to see these three movies, then they’re well worth looking into – especially if you’re a fan of the movie, Boyhood. The same director (Richard Linklater) was behind these movies and, as with Boyhood, he plays with time for this series of three romantic films.
That in and of itself is a pretty cool concept, as we get to see the couple age and mature right along with the actors who portray them. It’s no wonder so many men can appreciate this indie film series.
18. Silver Linings Playbook – 2012
Both actors are amazing in their roles in this Oscar-winning movie, which should come as no surprise to fans of either of them. And the movie, while a romance underneath it all, has some darker tones and moments of comedy that make it a film more about life than a film merely about love. Dealing with some difficult topics such as mental illness and early death, Silver Linings Playbook is one we’re not too surprised to see guys enjoying.
17. Hitch – 2005
Will Smith transcends genres, known for some pretty kickass roles, both funny and serious. For the most part, his films are pretty entertaining, even when he tries his hand at a rom-com.
Yes, men even enjoy Smith in a romantic role, though a big part of the appeal is the comedy aspect of this film. With the likes of Kevin James also making an appearance, it’s a good date flick. Not too serious, not too sappy and just enough laughs to appeal to men as well as women. And yes, there is romance in there too, so it’s a win-win.
16. Casablanca – 1942
Some movies are classics for a reason. And chances are, if you haven’t seen Casablanca, you can still recite certain lines from it, as it’s easily one of the most iconic films of all time. It’s also ranked as one of the greatest films of all time. For those reason, it should come as little surprise that men, along with women, still enjoy this classic even today. And you really can’t get any more awesome than Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, especially in a film that’s set during WWII Europe. You really can’t get classier, more swoonworthy than that, can you?
15. Harold and Maude – 1971
First a warning for those who haven’t watched Harold and Maude – if you go into this thinking it’s your typical boy meets girl love story, you’re dead wrong. In fact, part of the appeal of this flick probably comes from the dark humor present throughout. And yes, it gets very dark, with references to suicide and death being a very large element of the film. Not only that, but instead of a beautiful, young actress playing the part of the love interest, you have a 79 year old woman. There are much deeper messages to this film, other than love and romance. But at its heart, there is still very much a love story – even if it ends on a depressing, almost morbid sort of way.
14. Lost in Translation – 2003
Chances are good that if Bill Murray is in a film, men (and women) will like it. And Lost in Translation appears to be no different. Though for many of the guys, part of the appeal of this flick is also in Murray’s co-star, Scarlett Johansson. There’s also more to this story than a traditional romance. In fact, there’s nothing traditional about this story at all, which is probably why it’s more bearable than others in the genre. Also, Sofia Coppola wrote and directed it, so that’s also a draw for those who enjoy her other work, including The Virgin Suicides.
13. Ever After: A Cinderella Story – 1998
Come on, admit it. You’re surprised to see this one on the list. After all, it’s essentially a Cinderella story, and Cinderella is stereotypically associated with little girls, not grown men. But nonetheless, it showed up on the list. Perhaps the reason men enjoy it is because unlike many retellings of the Cinderella story, Ever After removes most of the fairy tale and supernatural elements, stripping it down into something that resembles historical fiction set in Renaissance-era France. Because of this, it’s a unique take on the story, and a different kind of romance that still has a sweet story underneath it all. After all, it’s not called A Cinderella Story for nothing!
12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004
If you haven’t already seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you might cringe when you hear that it starred Jim Carrey. Or maybe, it’s a draw, especially for guys who like some of his sillier, humorous roles. But it would be a mistake to compare that Carrey to the one in this film. For many, it might come as a surprise that Carrey is actually a talented, serious actor as well. Though there are still some laughs to be had here, it’s not even close to the tone of say, The Mask, or Ace Venture: Pet Detective. What also might entice the male viewer is that it’s not a straight up romance, but in fact one with a science fiction element. Yes, at it’s heart, it’s a love story, but there are still plenty of other things going on that should keep everyone interested, regardless of the gender.
11. Just Friends – 2005
So many of us were losers in high school, and there’s a certain amount of joy that comes from running into your old high school friends and enemies when you have the chance to showcase a newer, cooler life. Perhaps that’s the appeal of Just Friends. A former loser in high school, who got turned down by the girl of his dreams back then, comes back to town as a hip, good-looking man (Ryan Reynolds, I mean, come on. Who doesn’t want to be him?). Both guys and girls can understand how great that would feel. After all, how many of us wouldn’t kill to show up to our high school reunion as Ryan Reynolds?
10. As Good As It Gets – 1997
Any film starring Jack Nicholson will have most movie lovers’ undivided attention. The man is a genius. Add in Helen Hunt, and the fact that this story isn’t your typical romantic comedy between two young, beautiful and Mary Sue-type characters, and it’s easy to see how this film appeals to both genders.
Yes, it’s a romantic comedy, but the lines from Nicholson as he plays such an unlikeable, hateful character will have both men and women chuckling. I mean, seriously, what man wouldn’t appreciate the phrase, “People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch?” Probably not one you’d want to be with, that’s for sure.
9. 10 Things I Hate About You – 1999
This is the quintessential 90’s rom-com that every teen who grew up in the decade seems to love – guys included. 10 Things I Hate About You features Heath Ledger before he took The Joker to a whole new and darker level. In fact, Ledger plays the part of a high school teenager out to woo a girl. Sounds simple enough, but oh no, not for this teen comedy. But then again, 10 Things I Hate About You isn’t just another romantic comedy taking place in high school, it’s also based on The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. And while it’s meant to be cute and sweet, there are also plenty of clever, cultural references that fans of Shakespeare can appreciate.
8. The Wedding Singer – 1998
It probably goes without saying that 90’s Adam Sandler flicks will almost always entice the male audience. And The Wedding Singer is no different. It just happens to have a very sweet story underneath all the goofy humor Sandler is known for.
Not to mention the fact that Drew Barrymore and Sandler are pretty adorable together, whether you like to admit it or not. And if you happen to be a child of the 80’s, the soundtrack and humor will bring back some memories for sure.
It’s cheesy, sure, but what would you expect from a movie based in the 80’s featuring a wedding singer? I mean, you get what you came for with this one, and for many, that’s perfectly okay.
7. About Time – 2013
Maybe it’s the element of time travel that draws in the male viewers, maybe it’s the relatable, dorky male lead played by rising star Domhnall Gleeson. But whatever it is, the guys enjoy About Time. And you have to admit, despite being written by the father of British rom com, Richard Curtis, this isn’t your typical romantic comedy. The time travelling element is particularly intriguing.
But About Time is also funny, offering up laughs along with a romantic, magical story. Oh, and yes, there’s a moral to the story as well. Perhaps it tries too hard to be profound, but nonetheless, it’s an enjoyable movie that men and women can enjoy together.
6. (500) Days of Summer – 2009
(500) Days of Summer isn’t your typical romantic comedy, and perhaps that explains its wide appeal to both men and women. It’s more realistic, doesn’t involve the cliches of most rom-coms, and doesn’t feel like the same, recycled happily-ever-after every other films in the genre seem to require these days. Add in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s just completely awesome, and the adorable Zooey Deschanel and you have an entertaining film that many of us can relate to, at least in some ways. In fact, men can probably relate to the main character, Tom, at times. Because seriously, who hasn’t fallen in love only to have their heart trampled to bits? And the film does show the entire story from a male point-of-view, which may make it easier for a guy to relate to.
5. P.S. I Love You – 2007
Even if you’re dating a guy who considers himself pretty tough, there’s a chance you may see some type of emotion after watching this film. Possibly even a tear or two. Sure, maybe he’ll hide it well, but hopefully not. Because this movie is a tearjerker, and no, I didn’t just give away the ending. The entire premise is based around a woman who loses the love of her life. And while she’s trying to figure out how to move on, she starts receiving a series of letters from her deceased husband, written before he’d passed away. All of them signed the same way – you guessed it, P.S. I Love You. And men rank this one pretty highly, just proving that yes, men enjoy a good, emotional flick from time to time too.
4. Crazy, Stupid, Love – 2011
Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, and Kevin Bacon. Need I say more? For one thing, there’s plenty of eye candy for both sexes with Stone and Gosling, plenty of laughs to be had and overall, a love story underneath it all. While the film may be somewhat predictable at times, it’s a sweet film that will leave you feeling mushy by the end. And as we mentioned already, the cast is astounding. It’s probably one of the most well-cast rom-coms in a very long time, and while it might be silly at times, men and women alike will get a good, healthy laugh from this film.
3. When Harry Met Sally – 1989
It’s easy to see why When Harry Met Sally stands the test of time. Not only is it a love story, it’s a simple love story. Too many rom-coms these days put characters in unrealistic situations or merely try too hard to make people laugh. Not the case with this flick. It’s the story of two friends, a man and a woman, who try to answer the age-old question, “Can men and women merely be friends without sex involved?” But more than that, it’s also a sharp, witty film that many of us can relate to. Not only that, there are a number of lines you can’t help but repeat time and time again, always making for a great inside joke between you and your significant other. “I’ll have what she’s having” being the most quoted one, obviously. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, go to YouTube right this second and search for When Harry Met Sally diner scene. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Love, Actually – 2003
If you haven’t already added Love, Actually to your annual Christmas-movie marathon, perhaps now’s the time to start. Guys and girls alike seem to enjoy this British flick. Part of the reason guys dig this movie while hating other rom-coms is that this film, while romantic, doesn’t fit the formula for a typical romantic comedy. Yes, it’s romantic, yes, it’s funny. But is it a rom-com? Most people would say probably not. At least not in the traditional (formulaic) sense. In fact, while the movie appears to be about love, most of the time it centers on people who merely think they’re in love. And it just proves that we’re all a little romantic sometimes.
1. The Princess Bride – 1987
The Princess Bride may just be one of the best romantic films ever made. Not only is it romantic, it’s filled with brilliant fights scenes, comedy, and enough action to keep anyone of any gender interested. And with an all-star cast like Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, and Billy Crystal, along with the always awesome Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, this movie is one many of us can watch over and over again and still never grow tired of it. Girls, seriously, ask your boyfriend to watch The Princess Bride with you, and there’s no doubt his response will be “As you wish.”
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