There are plenty of “chick flicks”or romantic comedies out there for us to watch on repeat —which is good, because they sure don’t seem to make them like they used to these days. How many times have you seen Sleepless in Seattle? Me? Double digits easily. Dirty Dancing — triple digits, likely. There are some great stand-bys that I can watch any time they are on TV. (And they usually are, somewhere.)
The Hallmark Channel is usually my go-to, these days. They’ve got the pattern down perfectly and I know I can always turn to them to find a heartfelt, fun romantic comedy to watch.
But there are a lesser known films (at least when I ask if someone has seen them, I usually get a ‘What’s that?'” stare) that are some of my inner #fangirl favorites, ones that captured my heart the first time I watched them and every time since, so I thought I’d share them here and ask you to share yours too.
starring: Sarah Michelle Geller and Sean Patrick Flanery
made in: 1999
Official description: A department store owner notices a young woman, but resists attraction because he feels she is possessed by magical powers when she inherits a restaurant.
My description: Geller plays Amanda, a young woman who inherits a restaurant from her mother, an amazing chef who created magic with her food. Amanda doesn’t quite have this skill. The restaurant is in trouble, Amanda could lose this heritage that means so much to her. But after a visit to the local market, Amanda returns to her kitchen with that missing ingredient and a new love interest, Tom Bartlett. Tom is am ambitious department store manager on the cusp of opening a new restaurant within his store. He’s drawn to Amanda, but also begins to distrust when his feelings for her pull him out of the control he’s always maintained and threaten his focus. But circumstances will force Tom to trust Amanda, as well as put Amanda’s rocky confidence to the test – to prove her worth as a chef, but also cement the truth with Tom.
What I love about it: This movie is about magic, but it’s more about what happens when you put your heart into everything you do, and when you find that one person you connect with. Sarah Michelle Gellar is charming, quirky and lovable in the role as a chef who isn’t quite sure how her cooking is winning people over.
Critics hated it: Critics panned the movie as old-fashioned, obvious, etc… But if you’re in the mood for a sweet, slightly quirky, magic filled romantic comedy, this just might make you smile.
Starring: Kimberly Williams Paisley and Patrick Dempsey
made in: 2003
Not an actual trailer, but a small clip from the movie:
Rotten Tomatoes Description: On her deathbed, Rachel Myer (Gail O’Grady) rallies long enough to provide her seven-year-old daughter Amy with a foolproof “timeline” to achieve great success in life. Growing up to become a prominent Seattle lawyer, Amy (played as an adult by Kimberly Williams-Paisley) has never gone wrong following her late mother’s advice. Crucial to the timeline is her quest for the perfect husband. As pre-determined by her mom, the lucky man will have to be Amy’s seventh boyfriend. Unfortunately, Amy has fallen deeply in love with Boyfriend Number Six, a good-looking, if somewhat pompous, young blade named Daniel (Brad Rowe). So as not to upset the continuum, Amy must shop around for an “alternate” number six, enabling Daniel to emerge as number seven. The man ultimately chosen for the express purpose of being dumped by Amy is Peter Connor (Patrick Dempsey), a former Wall Street broker now running a small bagel store. Anyone who has ever seen one of those Ginger Rogers or Rosalind Russell romantic comedies of the 1940s should have little difficulty predicting the outcome of this story. The made-for-cable Lucky Seven premiered July 20, 2003, on the ABC Family Channel.
My description: Amy (Williams-Paisley) has lived her life based on a timeline her mother gave her when she was just a child: her last memory and advice from the mother who died. Every step along the timeline her mother gave as “guidelines” Amy has taken to heart, down to the number of boyfriends and timing of them. She’s a lawyer (who secretly leaves work to paint ceramic), and she’s met a man that feels like “the one.” He’s handsome, successful as a lawyer, and it seems perfect. The only problem is that “the one” is supposed to be Boyfriend #7, and she’s only at six.
An opportunity comes up with a handsome friend, Peter (Dempsey) who runs a small bagel store and Amy sees her chance to set the timeline right. She can attend a weekend wedding with him, posing as his girlfriend. The only problem is that the more time she spends with Peter, the more she likes him—and who she is with him. Peter is falling for her, and Amy has to decide what’s more important: Being true to herself or true to the timeline her mother lovingly provided her.
What I love: Big fan of Patrick Dempsey here. Also a huge fan of Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and their chemistry together is fun and fantastic. I also just love the emotional beats played in this movie, and how literally Amy takes things (see fireworks in the movie). She tries so hard to live the life she believed her mother wished for her, not realizing that her mother would have wanted her happy above all. When she comes to terms with that, it’s about convincing Peter that she’s letting go of the timeline for good.
Anyway if you need something sweet to watch, these are two great options.
What about you? What are your favorite, off the beaten path romantic comedies? I’m always looking for new ones to love…