5 Most Relatable Romantic Comedies

Romantic comedies are an underrated genre. They're often slammed as being unrealistic, even harmful, as they foster quixotic notions of relationships and ultimately, disillusion audiences. But as a movie buff who appreciates Annie Hall as much as The Godfather, I'm here to defend the genre, pointing to the genre's five most realistic films.

Image: Fotolia

The Intersection of Fantasy and Reality?

Fotolia

Romantic comedies are an underrated genre. They're often slammed as being unrealistic, even harmful, as they foster quixotic notions of relationships and ultimately, disillusion audiences. But as a movie buff who appreciates Annie Hall as much as The Godfather, I'm here to defend the genre, pointing to the genre's five most realistic films.

Image: Fotolia

'When Harry Met Sally' (1989)

Castle Rock Entertainment

The Rob Reiner film follows the protagonists from the time they met before embarking on a cross-country drive, to over a decade later after a series of unexpected run-ins. The film approaches their friendship with a tender authenticity — it addresses Harry's emotional unavailability and Sally's rightfully guarded nature head on. But When Harry Met Sally comes together seamlessly to produce a refreshing imitation of the awkward transition from friends to lovers.

Image: Castle Rock Entertainment

'(500) Days of Summer' (2009)

Fox Searchlight

While this film toes the line between comedy and drama, it addresses our tendency to romanticize relationships while disregarding blaring red flags. The film's nonlinear narrative structure helps audiences to sift through the male protagonist's delusions and break down the rosy introspection we are all guilty of after breakups. This one isn't all rainbows and happy endings, but there's a reason it was a sleeper hit.

Image: Fox Searchlight

'He's Just Not That Into You' (2009)

New Line Cinema

There's a character for every type of woman in Ken Kwapis' film. Whether you're the shrill Type-A neurotic, the peacekeeper trying to stiffen her backbone, or the girl who throws herself at every prospect, your personality is addressed and examined in this film. But there's an underlying message: Finding yourself must precede finding love.

Image: New Line Cinema

'The Five-Year Engagement' (2012)

Universal Pictures

Tom and Violet are your typical bright-eyed, bushy-tailed couple perpetually suspended in the honeymoon stage. Until, of course, life happens. Complicated by questionable fidelity and competing personal aspirations, Tom and Violet's courtship broaches some valid truths about relationships: They're not always simple, they're not always romantic, and (perhaps) there are no two people are perfect for one other. But the final message is more optimistic: None of that matters, if the love is strong enough.

Image: Universal Pictures

'Something Borrowed' (2011)

Warner Bros

Spoiler alert: Lifelong third-wheel BFF screws fiancé and they both realize that they loved each other all along. Okay, perhaps this isn't the neat fairy tale you're looking for on a rainy Saturday. However, life isn't always as packaged as we would like it to be. And our moral codes don't always align with our emotions. While I am not a proponent of infidelity, I can appreciate what this movie is trying to say: Human emotions are messy, and so are our relationships.

Image: Warner Bros