Archives For crazy stupid love

My wife and I enjoy watching movies together, but sometimes it is hard to find something we both like. In my experience, men and women enjoy stories and art differently. Nevertheless, sometimes the sexes agree—and especially where a genre has something for both, like the American romantic comedy. Over time, my wife and I have found a few of these that we both love and will watch multiple times.

Every one of these romantic comedies has three elements that set it above the rest and help it to connect with men and women.

  • Well-written, witty humor
  • Bursts of action, with some physical comedy
  • Thoughtful interactions between men and women that lead the story toward love

Here are our top five romantic comedies that both men and women enjoy.

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

My wife and I loved this movie so much that we went back to the movie theater a second time to see it. It has some of the wittiest dialogue I’ve heard recently in film, and the laughs are doled out evenly between its male and female characters. And there is something wonderful and amusing about watching men fight over women.

Best quote: Ryan Gosling’s character Jacob has some of the best lines. In what follows, he is trying to coach Steve Carell’s middle-aged character on how to be a man.

I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?

I don’t know whether to help you or euthanize you.

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The Princess Bride (1987)

Yes it has “princess” in it, but it also has everything you need: sword fighting, wit, love, and a cynical and fast-talking Sicilian! The Princess Bride has survived a quarter century and continues to be loved by many.

Best Quote: (I don’t think there is any man who doesn’t know this line.)

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

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Say Anything (1989)

Set in the late 80s, Say Anything has an excellent soundtrack and is a great cultural bridge to the 90s. Its director, Cameron Crowe, is one of the few male directors who has been able to connect men and women through his movies through Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, We Bought A Zoo, and Jerry Magwire.  That is why he chose John Cusack to play Lloyd Dobler, the everyman. Every young man—every young person—will identify with Lloyd. We empathize with Lloyd Dobler. We cheer for him. We know (or can mumble) every word from Peter Gabriel’s song In Your Eyes because of Lloyd. Lloyd pursues the love of his life and inspires us to do the same.

Best quote:

I am looking for a dare to be great situation.

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

I never thought a Harlequin-like story could be so appealing to men and women, but it sure is. Kathleen Turner’s excellent voice and Michael Douglas’s rough-and-wild personality take us on a great ride through drug-dealing Colombia. It is no wonder that Bob Zemeckis directed this classic.

Best quote: While Jack and Joan are trying to escape they find a crazy drug lord whom they think has a truck.

Joan Wilder: Can we get there in your car?
Juan: Who told you I had a car?
Joan: The men in the village.
Juan: They told you I had a car? They are such comedians. They meant my little mule: Pepe.

romancing the stone

Date Night (2010)

Here is another great Steve Carell performance but it is nowhere near complete without Tina Fey as his lovely, witty wife. It is easy for any married couple to relate to this movie and pick up on the wonderful details in the film. Brooke and I watch it each time and still laugh out loud.

Best quote:

 If we are going to pay this much for crab it better sing and dance and introduce us to the Little Mermaid!

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Honorable Mention

High Fidelity, Bull Durham, Lost in Translation, 10 Things I Hate About You, Tin Cup, Love Actually, Four Weddings and A Funeral, Elizabethtown, Jerry Magwire, Almost Famous, For Love of The Game, When Harry Met Sally, and pretty much any Judd Apatow film (although women may disagree with that)

 

What are your favorite romantic comedies that both you and your significant other can enjoy? 

Who is really “The Man?”

September 6, 2011 — 2 Comments

I’m in my 30s now and like any honest man I never have stopped searching culture for signs of authentic manhood.  I like my fellow brothers today are bombarded with conflicting messages about what it means to be a man.  Despite this, I’m learning more about what it means to be a man since getting married and having kids.  Prior to both of those huge components of life, I felt more like a boy wandering in a jungle full of loud and confusing imagery telling me what it means to be a man. But these scenes of life I encounter tell me there is more beyond the curtain.

My wife and I recently watched (twice) Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone.  I must say that I haven’t laughed so hard at a romantic comedy in years.  Yes, I’m a fan of the greats like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Say Anything, and Sweet Home Alabama.  Most guys do love those movies whether they admit or not.

In Crazy, Stupid, Love, what is so amusing is that a 20-something so-called man is giving a 40-something advice on picking up women.  And on top of that, he is giving him advice about what it takes to be a real man.  Ryan Gosling’s character is highly quotable in this role:

“I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?”

“The war between the sexes is over. We won the second women started doing pole dancing for exercise.”

“I don’t know whether to help you or euthanize you.”

“Be better than the Gap.” (commentating on Steve Carell’s style)

I laughed so hard at the last line in the theatre but then paused to looked down at my jeans and realized they were from Gap.  Good grief.

Despite the movie’s humor, it raises many questions about how men should act and view themselves.  Without ruining the movie, it probably left more questions about this issue instead of giving us answers.  Maybe that wasn’t the point of the movie.  In our lives we are confused by the extremes of man; the angry brute who only will watch and participate in Ultimate Fighting, the passive male asleep at the wheel of life not willing to engage in life, or metrosexual who worries more about himself, his looks, and won’t commit to any woman.   If we as men are not careful, we will get lost in the extremes of post-modern manhood.  What Crazy, Stupid, Love shows us is a glimpse of the transformation process to become a man.  I can’t judge either character too harshly because they are in this process.

I take comfort knowing that like them I don’t have it together.

So where do I go now?  I join Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling’s characters in this process.  All I know is that I’m not going to sit down and wait for things to happen.

I’m challenged to do (and not wait for) the following:

  • Pursue genuine friendships with men.
  • To seek mentors I admire who are older than me.
  • Study the great men of history.
  • Be humble about my successes and failures.
  • Share the wisdom I’ve acquired with those younger than me.
  • Pray like Christ, the best example of man.

What about you? 

What does it take to be a man in your point of view?