I love to watch TV. I don’t do it as often as I would like, what with writing and marketing books, and learning more about writing and marketing books. So I tend to binge watch when I veg in front of the TV.
When I retired, I was worried. I had no plan for how I would spend my time, no goals either. Sure, I had the nebulous ‘volunteering’ in the back of my mind, but where and how much had not solidified. Most of my Chicago friends still had jobs, making it difficult to arrange lunch dates, and my many friends who were retired and available were in North Carolina – lunching together, I might add, and telling me what I was missing.
When in doubt – binge
So for months, and I mean months, I figured I could binge-watch TV, all the shows I had been unable to keep up with while working 10 hour days. I started with “The Good Wife” catching up with current episodes. Next was four seasons of “Game of Thrones,” until I was caught up with that show as well.
At that point, I had binged ten seasons worth of television, all drama. My brain needed a break and my legs needed stretching. It was time to shed my pajamas and rejoin the world. So I took a few courses. If you have followed my story, you know that eventually I took a romance writing class and the rest is history.
Now I write and market, learn and promote, blog and network 12 hours a day, leaving little time to binge on television programs. But I still manage to do it. My boyfriend and I are up to season 5 of “West Wing”, dedicating Friday nights to three or four episodes until we finish the series. And in the wee hours of the morning, I find romantic comedies and Hallmark Channel movies and sneak them in when I should be getting much needed sleep.
We all want that happy ending – RomComs here we come
Dramas are good, but if you read romance, you want to watch romance too. You want to know you will get your happy ending and these films never disappoint. So here are 10 of my favorite modern romantic comedy (romcom)
movies – in no particular order – why I love them and where to find them (other than your favorite nail salon). I will save my favorite classic films for another day. Binge a little. You’ll feel great. You’ll thank me.
1/ Lost in Austen – this homage and spoof of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a bit long to qualify as a movie at 3:45, but worth every minute. Ultimately, love prevails and everyone – not just our heroine and hero – gets the ending they deserve. Available to buy or rent from Amazon
2/ Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea – OK, this is really pushing it with eight episodes from start to very satisfying conclusion. This Wonderworks production was created for a youth market but my girlfriends would agree that women of all ages (and many men) will love the timeless story and the amazing Prince Edward Island scenery. Available to purchase, or if you are lucky, on reruns.
3/ You’ve Got Mail – Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks teamed up well several times, but this is my favorite. Watching the love build and grow between these two characters is just charming, giving us a particularly satisfying ending. Catch it on reruns or download it from just about everywhere.
4/ The Wedding Date – Dermot Mulroney is adorable in this film, suave and completely in character. Debra Messing does come across too pitiful at times, but the two of them together are irresistible. The sex scene on the boat is one for the record books and elevates Maroon 5’s music to new heights. Available to stream or buy on Amazon.
5/Love on the Sidelines – This Hallmark movie follows the usual formula, but the lead actress, Emily Kinney, is so endearing that you can watch it over and over. She plays an executive assistant to an injured pro-football quarterback. She is hard working and sweet; he is adored and entitled. Sparks fly and in less than two hours, you get a wonderful story of her learning assertiveness, him learning humility and the two learning they are in love. Very touching. Watch for it in reruns, especially during football season.
6/ Love at First Glance – This recent Hallmark offering does not fit the usual romance model as our lovers fall in love from a distance. But the creativity of the storyline and some better than usual acting for Hallmark (Amy Smart and Adrian Grenier) make this one a winner. Available in reruns now on Hallmark Channel.
7/ The Ugly Truth – while there is definitely some ugly sexism in this film, our leading lady is still the boss, a TV producer in a powerful job. The chemistry between Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler is undeniable and you know I love a good elevator scene. Find it on cable or any movie provider.
8/ Victoria (Masterpiece) – This is supposed to be a historical piece, and it is, but the love stories (and there are several) are compelling in this sumptuous story of a young Queen Victoria. Unfortunately, PBS only makes the last few episode of their Masterpiece programs available once a program has aired, but keep your eyes open because they will run all 7 episodes of Victoria before they air season two. If you can’t wait, the DVD is available by making a contribution to PBS – a nice combination of doing good and getting great.
9/ Notting Hill – there are moments in this movie that annoy, but the car scene with everyone rushing to bring the lovers together is a charmer. And all the supporting actors make this movie a winner. Catch it on cable, on reruns or on your favorite movie provider.
10/ Enough Said – This film about middle-aged people starting over has all the fumbling and mistakes that make love a little less “Hallmark” and a little more real. James Gandolofini is fantastic as our unlikely romantic hero. It is just wonderful. You can rent the DVD from Redbox or stream on Amazon Prime.
And the winner is…
I am sure you agree with a few of my choices, but are wondering why your personal favorite is missing from the romcom list. Won’t you share your must-see romance in the comments below?