Words by Yazen Al Samen
The last few years have not exactly been the best for the genre. It’s gotten too stereotypical, too formulaic, almost the same movie over and over. But, through those lean years some movies shine, and here is my top 10 of those films, in alphabetical order:
‘Almost Famous’ (Cameron Crowe, 2000): Cameron Crowe’s wonderful story of sex, drugs and rock’n roll set in 1973 follows his alter ego, as played by Patrick Fugit, as a teenage journalist touring with a band. Crowe won the Oscar for best Original Screenplay for this offering.
‘Before Sunset’ (Richard Linklater, 2004): In this follow-up to 1995’s “Before Sunrise”, the same team returns of director Richard Linklater, and co-stars and co-writers Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, as the 2 ex-lovers meet again and spend an afternoon together in Paris.
‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ (Michel Gondry, 2004): This movie has increasingly gained attention and is now regarded as one of the best movies of the past decade. Another wacky brainchild of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman starring Jim Carrey who discovers that his ex, Kate Winslet, has undergone an experiment erasing all of her memories of them together.
‘500 Days Of Summer’ (Marc Webb, 2009): The film that probably re-launched Joseph Gordon-Levitt to stardom. An amazingly real, grounded and affecting look at the 500-day long relationship between Gordon-Levitt’s character and Zooey Deschanel’s.
‘High Fidelity’ (Stephen Frears, 2000): Stephen Frears adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel is an earnest look at a record store clerk dissecting his past romantic endeavours. Includes some amazing music tracks and a great supporting turn by Jack Black.
‘Juno’ (Jason Reitman, 2007): This pleasure of a movie is a look at how a teenage girl, played by Ellen Page, gets pregnant, and how the people around her respond to it. Funny, truthful and immensely intelligent, this is one of the best films on this list.
‘Lost In Translation’ (Sofia Coppola, 2003): Is it exactly a romantic comedy? Is it even a comedy? Do you care? Sofia Coppola made one of the most sincere and uncompromising films of any era, creating characters so affecting and mature that shame most of the conventional crap some movies spew.
‘Punch Drunk Love’ (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002): Apparently, at his Cannes press-Conference for Magnolia, in 1999, P.T Anderson said that his next film will be a Rom-Com starring Adam Sandler. He delivered on his promise with this quirky take on a simple man with seven sister who meets the woman of his dreams.
‘Sideways’ (Alexander Payne, 2004): This Oscar winning movie follows Paul Giamatti, as an unsuccessful writer, on a road trip with his friend, as played by Thomas Haden Church, and they meet a couple of women, Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen, who add a little of spice to their trip.
‘Wall.e’ (Andrew Stanton, 2008): One of the best animated films ever, and contacting a 40-minute opening that contains no dialogue. It follows a recycling robot, Wall-E, who lives on earch, alone, in the year 2105. Then, one day, he is visited by a female robot, Eve. And that sparks some electricity (literally) between them.