TV and Entertainment critic Bill Brioux shares his top 10 favourite romantic comedies to watch this Valentine’s Day
By: Guest writer, Veteran TV Critic Bill Brioux
If only the path to true love was as simple as saying, “Ignite and Chill.”
The good news is that the quickest way to enjoy a romantic movie this Valentine’s Day is to say those same three little words into your Rogers Ignite TV voice remote.
Try it! Up pops direct links to a dozen heart-warming gems; everything from Pretty Woman and 27 Dresses to Never Been Kissed.
The extra good news is that select movies are available to own starting at a discounted price of $9.99 from now through Feb. 15. Combined with the other timeless favourites available on Ignite TV, there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s Day.
What are my favourite romantic movies to watch on Ignite TV? I thought you would never ask.
10 Things I Hate About You (available via the “Ignite and Chill” collection): The late, great Heath Ledger stars in this 1999 film loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Ledger plays a high school “bad-boy” who is challenged to take the school shrew Kat (Julia Stiles) out on a date. House rules – her younger sister Bianca can’t date unless Kat does. Will these seemingly mis-matched lovebirds hit it off? Larry Miller as a hilariously over-protective dad and Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines in support.
Splash (available via the “Ignite and Chill” collection): Directed by Ron Howard, this 1984 fish-out-of-water story put Tom Hanks on the map as a romantic leading man. Daryl Hannah plays Madison, the mermaid Hank’s character Allen falls in love with. John Candy plays Allen’s goofball brother Freddie. Eugene Levy plays a mad scientist who wants to fillet Allen’s fishy friend. Everyone in the movie worked for scale (get it?). See it and you’ll be hooked.
Enchanted (available via the “Ignite and Chill” collection): A classic Disney princess named Giselle (Amy Adams) is cast from her cheery animated surroundings ands forced to live in the “real” world of New York City. McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, plays a cynical Manhattan divorce lawyer who falls under Giselle’s spell. In their way stands jealous Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon). Julie Andrews adds Disney sparkle as the narrator. That the Mouse House signed off on this parody may be the most enchanting thing about this wonderful 2007 movie.
Sleepless in Seattle (available on Starz): Nora Ephron directs this 1993 love story between a widowed dad (Tom Hanks) and a Baltimore reporter named Annie (Meg Ryan). His eight-year-old son tricks dad into pouring his heart out on a national radio show. Millions of women hear him and fall in love, including Annie. Some matchmaking magic ensues, and it all leads up the Empire State building. Corny, but a great cast including Bill Pullman, Rob Reiner, and Rosie O’Donnell makes it irresistible.
The Lady Eve (airing Sunday, February 14 on TCM): The classic movie channel is showing several vintage Hollywood classics this Valentine’s Day. They include the Clark Gable/Claudette Colbert road trip romantic comedy It Happened One Night (1934) and the smoky Bette Davis’ tear-jerker Now Voyager (1942). Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve stars Barbara Stanwyck as a card shark who trips up a shy adventurer (Henry Fonda) on an ocean voyage. Fonda’s character never stands a chance, and if you haven’t seen Stanwyck in her prime, neither will you.
The Big Sick (Crave+Movie+HBO, Amazon Prime Video): Charming, original 2017 love story written by real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani stars as a Pakistani-American cab driver who dates a whitewoman (played by Zoe Kazan). Cultural clashes ensue, especially among their parents, but despite a serious medical scare, love conquers all. Holly Hunter and especially Ray Romano are hilarious in support.
500 Days of Summer (On Demand). Not every great love affair works out as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s greeting card writer Tom discovered when he dates Zooey Deschanel’s Summer. A broken heart is worth it, however, if you can sing and dance to Hall & Oates in this 2009 valentine to downtown Los Angeles.
The Princess Bride (Hollywood Suite): The love story between Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley (Cary Elwes) is reason enough to watch this 1987 fairy tale directed by Rob Reiner. You’ll also fall in love with Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, young Fred Savage and, especially, Andre the Giant.
Something’s Gotta Give (Starz): This 2003 film is not perfect, but the premise – an old wolf (Jack Nicholson) dates another much younger woman (Amanda Peet) only to eventually fall in love with her mother (Diane Keaton) — fits this cast to a T. Even Keanu Reeves is winning in support.
Bonus: Jack sings.
Lost in Translation (On Demand): Bill Murray plays a fading star having a mid-life crisis in Tokyo who meets an uncertain young college grad (Scarlett Johansson) too often ditched by her photographer husband. Isolated and adrift, the two form a bond rarely explored in cinema – an intimate friendship. The ending gets me every time. This 2003 film was written and directed by Sofia Coppola.