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As I write this rain pours across my window and a grey afternoon draws her weary way over the mid-week hump… I cannot think of better weather for watching a Rom-Com!

I love Rom-Coms because of yes, their optimism, obviously – but also the brilliantly drawn characters, particularly the leading ladies of my favourites. I also love them because they’re a structural feat in emotional architecture – demanding precision in the plot, rhythm timing and tone.

Anyone can smell when a Rom Com is B grade… they’re corny, they’re obvious, they have you turning to your partner/ pal/ dog rolling your eyes and saying ‘I so knew that was coming’ but when a Rom Com is elevated to an A –  (in my humble and certainly happy ever after loving opinion) every beat is met with a refreshing joy as well as undeniable comfort.

The characters are your best friends, the characters are you and before the film reaches it’s heartfelt and well earned satisfying climax, you know it’s going to be a companion on your favourite films list for years to come.

I hail Nora Ephron as a genius and the queen of my Rom-Com heart. And her sometimes sidekick Rob Reiner I also salute the brilliance of Helen Fielding and the breadth of Richard Curtis. And the brilliant romantic heart and poetry of John Patrick Shanley.

So here’s my all time fav Rom Com list (which I hope one day – not too far away we will be able to add The Secret Recipe for Second Chances to)


1)     When Harry Met Sally 

This is the film I watch whenever the blues, or a particularly harsh time hits. I love it for its honesty over male and female relations, for it’s cleverness in its slow revelation and evolution of characters over a long time, for it’s irresistible build of a romance out of friendship and because it reminds us that your destiny might be right there in your apartment block!

2)     Moonstruck

Ever since Cher won the Oscar for slapping a very hot Nicolas Cage and telling him to ‘Snap out of it’ I have been a lover of this movie (and yes I first watched it when I was far too young but the feeling still stands) I love the nod to opera – La Boheme, I love the generosity of spirit which this script is written and executed – the reflections on the different permutations of love – passionate, familial, marital, grief stricken, irreconcilably inconvenient… I also love the ensemble component of this film and fairytale in Brooklyn edge.

3)     Sleepless in Seattle

Nora again, and she directed this one too… I love that it’s an ode to An Affair to Remember, I love the children’s matchmaking storylines and that the two romantic leads don’t find each other until the last scene…. Sigh..

4)     Bridget Jones' Diary

How can you not love and relate to Bridget! I also love the play on Pride and Prejudice and the Colin and Hugh are both so great.

5)     Love Actually

Ah all those stories interwoven and Bill Nighy singing, it’s such a lot of fun and perfect fodder when Christmas is looming. And how about that scene where Emma Thompson cried to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’, ah brutal but such good stuff!


To check out J.D. Barrett's newest book, or her other books, you can head here.

  • The Upside of Over - J.D. Barrett

    A scathingly brilliant new novel from TV scriptwriter J.D. Barrett, author of THE SECRET RECIPE FOR SECOND CHANCES, that explores sex, love and all the stuff in-between. What happens when one of the country's most popular identities goes from reading the news to being the news? In an attempt to fix her broken marriage Olivia exposes herself like never before. But when her confession goes viral, the husband, house and job disappear. The woman who once offered glamorous reassurance and a steady gaze is labelled a princess of perversion. Humiliated, defeated, facing fifty shades of failure, she's left wondering who the hell she really is? Stripped bare, she abandons perfection ... and something remarkable happens. Olivia Law just might get her sass back (and this time, it's the real thing).

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