One theory is that men don’t want to sit with their partners watching any movie that might reflect any real-life problems they’re having in their relationship.
Another theory is that guys find chick flicks unrealistic, generically-plotted and starring actors who are intimidatingly hot. Plus, there’s the fear of being judged if they tell their mates they spent Saturday night watching Eat Pray Love instead of the rugby.
The next time you’re looking for a movie that both of you will enjoy, try these six man-friendly romcoms.
- What We Do in the Shadows
Vampires and Wellington roomies Viago, Deacon and Vladislav find that bickering over whose turn it is to do the washing-up sometimes interferes with their day job of hunting and killing human prey.
First dates do not always end well – after inviting a girl over to his house, Viago sinks his fangs into her neck and drains her of blood. Contemplating his gore-splattered lounge afterwards, he cheerily remarks, “On the upside, I think she had a really good time!”
If anything, this is a bromance more than a romance. The centuries-old vamps fall for IT guy Stu, who shows them how to text and take selfies.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Don’t we all have someone we’d rather forget?
That’s certainly the case for Kate Winslet, who decides to use an experimental procedure to wipe all memory of her two-year relationship with ex Jim Carrey. Not to be outdone, Jim decides to have all his memories of Kate expunged, only to decide at the last minute that maybe he’d like to hang on to a few.
It’s twisty, turny and, frankly, often downright baffling, but will strike a chord with any guy or girl who has broken up with a partner, then got back together, then broken up, then got back together, then slept with someone wildly inappropriate in a desperate attempt to break the cycle.
- (500) Days of Summer.
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t.
Tom is composing stomach-churning messages about love for a greeting card company when he encounters the real thing – Zooey Deschanel, being characteristically kooky and adorable over the office photocopier.
Over the next 500 days, their relationship unfolds – and then unravels.
Unusually, this rom com is told from the guy’s rather than the girl’s point of view. It’s a handy how-to guide to the mistakes men make when they try to charm the woman they love.
- Groundhog Day
Cantankerous TV weatherman Bill Murray is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day festival and ends up reliving the same day over and over again. On the face of it, the plot hardly screams ‘romantic comedy’, yet only the flintiest of viewers wouldn’t be touched by Murray’s heartfelt speech delivered to sleeping love interest Andi MacDowell.
Plus, there are lines like this:
Phil: “Did you ever have déjà vu, Mrs Lancaster?
Mrs Lancaster: “I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.”
- The Devil Wears Prada
A chick flick that cunningly reels in the guys with an opening montage of models getting dressed.
Dowdy journalism graduate Anne Hathaway gets a job as dogsbody to scary fashion magazine editor Meryl Streep, a woman whose ludicrous demands include delivering an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript within three hours.
While the men are disappointing – mopey boyfriend Adrian Grenier is so much less hot than bad boy and future Mentalist Simon Baker – the girls are gorgeous and funny. Given the high Jimmy Choo count, this is particularly recommended for guys who are secret shoe fetishists.
- My Wedding and Other Secrets
Nerd alert: he likes Dungeons and Dragons and regards breakfast cereal as a food group; she wants to make a movie about kung fu and wears glasses large enough to obscure not just her face but most of the planet.
It was inevitable that these two gawky oddballs would fall in love, but perhaps just as inevitable that Emily’s traditionalist Chinese migrant parents would want her to become a doctor rather than fritter her time away with Pakeha carb-loader James.
Touching without being sentimental, this Kiwi cross-cultural comedy fits firmly into the category of romcoms that don’t suck.
And here’s a great comment from co-writer Angeline Loo on why men like chick flicks.
“They are films that celebrate things that it’s traditionally not cool for men to be into….there are some dire examples of the genre but the best of them are warm, witty and resound within you as emotionally real.”