Great Romantic Comedies From The 80's
All of these great romantic comedies from the '80s share a special blend of elements. A great romantic comedy has to have a solid script, timeless humor and palpable chemistry between the actors. These '80s movies have the perfect mix of all the essentials.
“Bull Durham” As the rare romantic comedy to feature both love and baseball, this 1988 movie is an uncommon breed. Kevin Costner plays an aging minor league catcher who mentors Tim Robbins, a talented young pitcher. Susan Sarandon plays Costner’s love interest. The chemistry and comedic timing between them is what makes this movie work.
“Say Anything…” Romantic comedy veteran John Cusack gives a career-defining performance in this 1989 Cameron Crowe film. Cusack’s character is an aspiring kickboxer. He’s out to woo the town’s gorgeous valedictorian, played by Ione Skye. This romantic comedy’s well-written script brings a familiarity to the characters, making it that much more absorbing.
“When Harry Met Sally” Nobody does great romantic comedies from the '80s like Billy Crystal and this 1989 film is his crowning achievement of the decade. Crystal has incredible chemistry with co-star Meg Ryan. As a couple navigating the rift between friendship and love, their scenes are realistic and sentimental.
“Roxanne” In perhaps the greatest film of 1987, Steve Martin provides an update on “Cyrano De Bergerac” in this romantic comedy. Martin plays a firefighter with a comically large nose. He’s in love with local astronomer Daryl Hannah, but doesn’t want her to know. Martin’s smooth and sincere performance is the highlight of this romantic comedy.
“Overboard” Kurt Russell’s bad-boy persona was in full effect in this great romantic comedy from 1987. He plays a carpenter opposite Goldie Hawn’s wealthy socialite character. In a screwball plot involving amnesia and random horseplay, Russell and Hawn rise above the material. They’re not taking this romantic comedy too seriously, and that’s what makes it great.
“Moonstruck” Cher won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a widow getting a second chance at love in this romantic comedy from 1987. She falls for her boyfriend’s younger brother, played by Nicolas Cage, and they spend the film attempting to make sense of their feelings. It’s about as well-done as romantic comedies get, accurately depicting emotion and believable circumstances.
“About Last Night” Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and James Belushi give star-making performances in this 1986 romantic comedy. After meeting at a bar, Lowe and Moore have a one night stand. The film deals with their attempts to start a relationship from that point, asking socially relevant questions about sex and commitment.
“Tootsie” When considering great romantic comedies from the '80s, Dustin Hoffman in drag isn’t the first thought to come to mind. It should be, though. His performance in this 1982 film is the stuff on which all movie crossdressers are graded. Hoffman plays an actor who can’t get work. He reinvents himself as a female in order to land a gig. Things get complicated when he falls for one of his female co-stars, resulting in romantic comedy gold.
“Romancing The Stone” Master director Robert Zemeckis’ fingerprints are all over this great 1984 romantic comedy. It’s a humor-filled love story wrapped in his signature brand of adventure. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner star as unlikely heroes in this tale of treasure, danger and romance in the jungles of Columbia.
“Sixteen Candles” In the greatest coming-of-age film to come out of Hollywood during the '80s, Molly Ringwald stars as high school misfit hopelessly in love with the most popular guy in school. Co-star Anthony Michael Hall is invaluable to this 1984 romantic comedy, stealing every scene with his quirky comedic style.