The are two kinds of people in this world: those that love romantic comedies, and those that don't. More often than not, rom-coms are marketed toward a female audience. But it's not always that cut and dry. Just as there are plenty of men who will sit through Love Actually (2003), there are more than a few women who would rather have their teeth cleaned than watch Mamma Mia (2008). It all comes down to your personal tolerance for cheese and schmaltz.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, and even the most jaded film viewer can a appreciate the genre under the right circumstances. After all, as the following five films will attest, not all romantic comedies are created equal. From robots to sex dolls to zombies, these films break the traditional rom-com mold.
Here are the five best romantic comedies for people who don't like romantic comedies.
The Princess Bride (1987)
On the surface, The Princess Bride (1987) seems like a straightforward love story between a princess and a pirate. But just beneath the surface is a funny yet subtle comedy that lovingly pokes fun at traditional fairy-tale romances. From the Rodents of Unusual Size to the hero who ends up "mostly dead," the film has something for everyone to enjoy, even if you don't normally enjoy romantic comedies.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
If you're the type of person who would rather spend two hours watching someone decapitate the undead as opposed to two people slowly falling in love, Shaun of the Dead (2004) is the romantic comedy for you. It combines everything you'd expect from a typical romance with all the death and destruction of a zombie thriller. And somehow, it's also funny as hell.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
There have been lots of romantic comedies about shy, awkward virgins learning to interact with the opposite sex. But usually, those films involve teenagers, not full-grown men. That's what makes Judd Apatow's twisted take on the genre so darn funny. It's every bit as schmaltzy as your normal rom-com, but it's also ten times as awkward.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Lars and the Real Girl (2007) is not your typical "boy-meets-girl" romantic comedy. Well, maybe it is. But the "girl" in question happens to be made of plastic.
When a shy young man named Lars (Ryan Gosling) informs his family that he's met a new girlfriend online, they can't wait to meet her. But when it turns out that the delusional Lars has actually purchased a life-sized sex doll, things get... weird.
On the one hand, Wall-E (2008) is a dystopian science-fiction film in which years of environmental degradation has left earth uninhabitable. As a result, the human race has been forced to flee into outer space with the hope that future generations might return after robots have cleaned and repaired the planet's ecosystem.
On the other hand, it's a silly romantic comedy about two robots who fall in love. So just pick whichever element you like best and try to focus on that.