FFWD REW

Romantic movies for the fellas

Hollywood alternatives

Hollywood inevitably chooses Valentine’s Day to put a romantic comedy in theatres. It’s the presumption that the threadbare formula pictures will be a treat for couples but the rom-coms in question are generally terrible. We’re not going all GQ here but it’s not presumptuous to suggest that plenty of men dread them. As a DVD alternative stay home and watch one of these excellent romantic alternatives that those meat-and-potatoes types will dig as much as their ladies.

High Fidelity (2000)

A staple of quality romantic comedies of the past John Cusack plays a character that a lot of guys can relate to: He’s terrible in relationships he has a passion for music and despite being in his mid-30s he hasn’t changed his personal style since high school. Women will nod knowingly at their hubbies and men will begrudgingly recognize themselves.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

The first word uttered in this foul-mouthed thoroughly adult rom-com is an expletive. Followed by many more all creatively delivered. Since this film came out Hugh Grant has skated on his charm into far poorer fare but here his bumbling floppy-haired Englishman is still winning propped up by a dynamite script from Richard Curtis. Though even now it’s still a mystery why he preferred Andie MacDowell’s manipulative Carrie over Kristin Scott Thomas’s gorgeous hilarious Fiona.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray. There’s not much more you need to say here. Guys love Bill. Everyone loves Bill. And in February it’s especially timely.

Last of the Mohicans (1992)

That most masculine of Hollywood directors Michael Mann helmed this version of the James Fenimore Cooper story. Both a romantic epic and spectacular action picture Daniel Day Lewis spends most of the movie shirtless and rarely puts down his musket: In other words something for everyone. Madeleine Stowe shows serious grit as a cultured woman beguiled by the frontier. And if the attack in the glade as they leave Fort William Henry doesn’t speed your pulse you should see your doctor.

Annie Hall (1977)

A Woody Allen film is a pretty safe bet and this one is roundly agreed to be his best. Not all guys like his nebbish self-involved comedy but the more nerdily academic amongst us will certainly relate to his anxiety marvel at his wit and wonder at his triumphant success with gorgeous women such as the effervescent Diane Keaton.

The Graduate (1967)

This is for anyone who graduated from university and had no idea what next to do with their life. And when the life goal becomes a person for instance the daughter of a woman with whom you had an affair how complicated that can be. Guys will enjoy Benjamin Braddock’s (Dustin Hoffman) red Alfa Romeo Spider and how he manages to go from confused to cool with wraparound shades.

Adam’s Rib (1949)

Pretty much any of the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn films are worth watching but this is a classic: Adam and Amanda Bonner are married lawyers representing combating sides of a couple in court. The dialogue is so sharp it could put your eye out.

Casablanca (1942)

The romance that everyone can agree on. Humphrey Bogart is the coolest jaded romantic in film history and in the end a self-sacrificing hero. And for those who like a little homoeroticism in their romantic classics much can be made of that final line “Louis I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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