A new study out in Australia indicates that watching romantic comedies has a destructive effect on real-life relationships. Nearly half of the thousand polled were whiners looking for something to blame, claiming that such films "have ruined their view of an ideal relationship," and hold them accountable for being "expected to know what their partner was thinking" and making their partners "expect gifts and flowers 'just because'." What a bunch of bums. There are definitely more terrible rom-coms than there are good ones, or even decent ones, but most of what Hollywood churns out are more likely to ruin your view of what people look like first thing in the morning than they are your tender brain's estimation of what a romantic gesture is. Trust me, I sit through a lot of these things.
Sure, some of them are probably bigger hits with ladies who have cat issues, and almost all of them require you to forgive them some requisite corniness (and some are downright vile, like Bride Wars), but let's not dismiss the genre out of hand. As the in-house rom-com apologist at the Mercury, here are a few recommendations, plucked from the stream of recent terribleness: Definitely, Maybe (even my BF likes this movie) and The Proposal (Yeah, I said it. I know, I know, Sandra Bullock. But Ryan Reynolds is basically magic fairy dust when it comes to romantic comedies, and he's in it. And anyway, Bullock gets way more shit than she deserves. Lob that at Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston, both of whom, by the way, are romantic comedy kryptonite). Confessions of a Shopaholic (bonus points for sneaking in financial advice). Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (you only hate Matthew McConaughey because you haven't figured out how to be a millionaire beach-bum stoner). Valentine's Day (a cast so huge you don't have time to learn to hate any of the characters. Also: not ageist.). And the mother of all antidotes to Hollywood relationship to depictions: Humpday. Just to name a few.