Top 10 Slightly Absurd Romantic Comedies

For those of you who tuned in around Valentine’s Day to Freshly Pressed, Funk’s House of Geekery posted their Top 10 Romantic Comedies for Geeks and I love every film they showcased!  In the spirit of love and Guilty Pleasures Friday, I’m giving you my list of Top 10 Slightly Absurd, but oh so wonderful, Romantic Comedies!

10.  Beautiful Girls

Back home for their high school reunion, stars Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, and Michael Rapaport are still trying to put their lives together.  Not a one of them knows a thing about women, but they’ll spend their days trying to figure us out.  The film also stars Uma Thurman, Rosie O’Donnell, Mira Sorvino, Martha Plimpton, Lauren Holly and very young Natalie Portman as the women who drive them crazy, but who they can’t live without.  It’s as much a coming of age story as it is a romantic comedy, and these guys have some great lines.  Plus, you know how when you go out with a group of friends to the local pub and the jukebox starts playing Sweet Caroline, and you all start to join in?  Yah, I think that came from this movie.

9.  Muriel’s Wedding

I can’t get enough of Toni Collette!  She’s awesome in the Showtime series United States of Tara, and I loved her way back when she was Muriel Heslop.  Set in Australia, Muriel is the outcast of society.  Her family is full of losers, her father is a philanderer, and the only thing that makes her feel better is ABBA.  But Muriel decides to change her life, run away, call herself Mariel, get a best friend played by Rachel Griffiths, and find herself a husband.  This film is unconventional and awesome!  I guarantee you’ve never seen a film like this one, but you’ll want to watch it again and again, even if just for the ABBA dance sequence!

8.  Earth Girls Are Easy

Geena Davis is Valerie, a California girl looking for love.  Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans are the three aliens from outer space who crash their ship in her swimming pool.  The good girl that she is, she cleans them up and befriends them, helping them make their way in the new world.  Filled with 80’s hair and dress, some slightly absurd song and dance numbers, and laser light steamy scenes, this film’s got em!

7.  Mermaids

An underrated and unappreciated Cher film, I have always loved this quirky romantic comedy.  Mother of two, Cher is Mrs. Flax, raising her daughters, Charlotte, played by Winona Ryder, and Kate, played by Christina Ricci.  Mrs. Flax goes from man to man and moves her daughters with her.  Charlotte takes up extreme hobbies.  Recently, she’s become obsessed with the life stories of saints and plans on becoming a nun, that is until she meets a cute boy in town.  Kate is going to be an Olympic swim champion and spends her time with a stopwatch hanging out several inches underwater in the bathtub.  The surprising love interest for Mrs. Flax is the local shoe salesman played by Bob Hoskins, who, with a good sense of humor, will change the lives of these women when they least expect it.

6.  How to Marry A Millionaire

How can anyone say no to Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, and Marilyn Monroe?  This is my favorite Monroe film!  It’s the story of three women who’ve all been jaded by love and have set their sights on millionaires to make their dreams come true.  They’ll do whatever it takes to set the scene right, whether it’s modeling the latest fashions, selling and buying back all their furniture, and even dating a man who wears an eyepatch.  “Not bad for a one-eyed man!”  “Is that all he’s got?  I thought somebody must’ve belted him!”  It’s wild Betty, sultry Lauren, and naive Marilyn gold!  And as for love, it may have entirely different plans for these leading ladies after all.

5.  Saved!

Pure campy satirical goodness.  Jena Malone stars as Mary, a young Christian girl who does what Jesus tells her to do, including have sex with her gay boyfriend to make him all better.  Alas, Mary ends up pregnant, and her gay boyfriend ends up at Mercy Camp, a home for Christian kids who’ve wandered off the path of righteousness.  Mary then struggles with all she thought she believed, including her friendship with Christian Jewel elite Hilary Faye, played by Mandy Moore.  The last thing Mary is looking for is love, and let’s face it, she’s in no condition to get involved.  But Pastor Skip’s super cool skateboarding missionary son, Patrick, played by Patrick Fugit, really digs Mary.  Co-starring delightfully handicapped Macaulay Culkin and Jewish badass Eva Amurri as Mary’s newfound friends, this film is hysterical and lovely all wrapped up in one.

4.  Strictly Ballroom

Fans of Baz Luhrmann will appreciate this early film about a champion dancer who loses his star partner.  Scott Hastings was a great dancer.  His mother was a great dancer.  His father a great dancer.  But one day, his father lost it, and it cost his parents the competition.  Now all hopes are riding on Scott, but there’s little time to find him a new partner.  Fran is the awkward, ugly girl who practices alone but tries her hardest.  A chance encounter may show the two that they’ve more to learn from one another than they ever expected.  Despite the odds, they’ll show the crowds that dancing, and more importantly love, isn’t just strictly ballroom.

3.  200 Cigarettes

One of my favorite movies for its all star casting and quoteable lines!  Kate Hudson, Jay Mohr, Martha Plimpton, Casey and Ben Affleck, Christina Ricci, Gabby Hoffman, Courtney Love, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Chappelle, and Elvis Costello all together in a New Year’s Eve movie where everyone is looking for love.  Following different characters as they journey towards the same party, this film is a depiction of the 90’s at its finest and the games people play when they’re looking for love.  This flick is a party you won’t want to miss.

2.  Garden State

Maybe not all that absurd, but it is a quirky and unusual romantic comedy.  Zach Braff is Andrew Largeman, home for his mother’s funeral, depressed, and without direction in his life.  While sitting in the hospital waiting room he meets Sam, played by Natalie Portman, a neurotic and very unconventional girl with ideas of her own.  Together, they help each other face the obstacles in life:  a dead hamster, a swimming pool, a flaming arrow, as well as the past.  Co-starring Peter Sarsgaard, Garden State is a movie about friendships that blossom into something more and about forgiveness as we come of age.  Plus, it has a killer soundtrack!


1.  Amelie

This is my favorite feel good movie of all time.  Only once have I ever finished a film, rewound it, and watched it over entirely again, and it was this movie.  Audrey Tautou stars as the namesake, Amelie, a reserved French girl who takes pleasure in learning what pleases others and in helping destiny get its revenge.  Filmed full of color, lively accordion music, and snapshot stories of all the characters Amelie encounters, it’s as much a love story of humankind as it is Amelie’s own fate with romance.  So much of what she’s thinking can be seen in Tautou’s candid facial expressions, that though it is a foreign film and subtitles are not everyone’s cup of tea, I hardly think you can turn this one down.  Indeed, you really shouldn’t.

What films would make your slightly absurd guilty pleasure list of romantic comedies?

30 responses

  1. Love EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY. Love so many of these. And others. CAN’T BUY ME LOVE is to die for. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your list of romantic geek films to see.

    And you have seen THE BREAKFAST CLUB, right?

    I’m holding my breath until you answer. 😉

    1. Actually, I never got to see it, I spent all my after school time in detention eating bread and sugar sandwiches and plastering the sculptures in the library with lunch meat to show my disgust for hygiene. 😉

  2. Hi, Jess. I love romantic comedies! Please don’t tell my horror peeps! 😉
    I have seen Beautiful Girls and Garden State, but it’s been quite a while. I have always wanted to see Amelie, but never have. I guess I really need to, huh?
    Have a great weekend.


    1. Definitely check out Amelie! It’s a fantastic film. It’s tied for my all time favorite.

  3. Hey,

    I have seen some of them. My favorite from the list would be Garden State. Soundtrack is great, that’s when I got into listening to Zero7. 🙂
    thanks for the share!


    1. If you like Zero7, have you ever checked out Portishead? They’re another great band. And Garden State is a great film!

      “I didn’t know you very well Jelly, pretty good pet from what I hear, little trouble with the wheel…”

      “That’s not funny.”

  4. These are wonderful movies!!! I haven’t seen most of them in ages. Thank you for reminded me about them.

    1. Movie marathon at my place tomorrow!

  5. I have not seen most of the moves on this list,mostly becuase I don`t watch a lot of movies. I`ve seen parts of some of them.

    I taught my son at 18 months to do the course of Sweet Caroline. hehe. It`s pretty cute but I have yet to get it on video!

    1. That’s classic! What a fun story he can share with his friends when he’s older.

  6. Wow, the only one of those I’ve seen is ‘Mermaids’.

    My favorite wierd romcom is ‘He Said, She Said’, with Kevin Bacon. Then again I also like ‘Picture Perfect’, with said Bacon again and Jennifer Aniston.

    I will definitely try to find the time and watch these others though. Thanks for enlightening me 🙂

    1. I so want you to play Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon with Joe and I then! We’ll get so many more routes to connect with!

      1. Six Degrees? I’m in! What do I have to do?

        1. LOL. You’ve never played Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon before?! We play all the time when we’re driving around or waiting in line. Someone picks an actor or actress and the other person has to connect that actor to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less.

          For example: (Owen Wilson) Step 1. Owen Wilson was in Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn, who was (step 2) in Break Up with Jennifer Aniston, who was (step 3) in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.

          Have fun teaching your friends this new game! LOL

          1. Lol. I’m gonna try this on my hubby! What a brilliant game.

  7. I appreciate the fact that you included the trailers … I had not seen many on the list, but the trailers and your recommendation intrigue me. Thank you!

    1. Hope you get to enjoy some of them! They really are all cute movies.

  8. I’ve seen Beautiful Girls, Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom, and Amelie. I loved them. I’m also a big fan of Benny and Joon and Four Weddings and a Funeral. 🙂

    Great post, J!

    1. Ooooh Benny and Joon is a great one! “Having a Boo Radley moment are we?”

  9. Saved seems like a funny movie. 🙂

    1. It’s HILARIOUS!!! You must watch!

  10. I love Beautiful Girls and Mermaids…another good one, Clueless. At least I think. 🙂

    1. Of course Clueless is a great romance movie, but I considered it a cult classic and thereby didn’t put it in this list.

      As If!

  11. What a great list, Jess! Muriel’s Wedding is one of my all-time feel-good “”girl” movies, dating all the way back to my early 20s. Many a night one of my best girlfriends and I would come home from a pub, find this flick on and end up making it an almost all-nighter! Would you believe I’ve actuallly never seen “Mermaids” or “Saved?” Will make it a point to do so soon!

    1. How are we to take over the world if we don’t synch up together in our film histories, Pam? Get on this! I mean I’ve got ABBA’s Gold record, and you still haven’t seen Mermaids. Remedy immediately and make it up to Cher by watching at least one of the following in addition: Moonstruck, The Mask, or Burlesque. I will also find compliance if you lip synch to her hit single “Strong Enough.” Your pick.

  12. […] Jess Witkins reviews her Top 10 Slightly Absurd Romantic Comedies. Jess also reviews The Tree of Life, Hugo & The Descendents this week. Jillian Dodd reviews […]

  13. Amelie is the only one I’ve seen, but you made most of them sound very appealing. In fact, I was most impressed by your ability to summarize each film clearly and concisely. I wish everyone had that gift. I know a lot of people who take two hours to tell me about a ninety-minute movie.

    Great post, Jess — thanks.

    1. Well, I could give you a 2 hour recap, Charles, but it’s easier if you just watch the movies. Amelie is amazing though, isn’t it? It’s my favorite picture of all time, well, it’s tied with Talk to Her. A really happy movie and a really sad one, but both beautiful.

  14. Ahhh, thank you for this list of recommendations! I loved Amelie and Saved. Muriel’s Wedding went over my head but I might appreciate it more upon re-watching now that I have a better understanding of Aussie and Brit humor. Garden State and (500) Days of Summer hang out together in my mind.

    I’m looking forward to watching Delicacy when it releases in the US. I enjoyed the delightfully quirky novel by David Foenkinos and the film adaptation stars Audrey Tautou! The book is such a quick read that I recommend picking it up before seeing the movie.

    1. I adore Audrey Tautou. Who wouldn’t? She’s incredibly charming and beautiful in a unique and quirky way. I’ll have to look for Delicacy, I haven’t heard of it before. Thanks for the tip!

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