Full disclosure, some of the movies on this list are among my absolute favorite rom-coms ever. It also gave us a heartsick Nicholson, a lady killer on-screen and off, crying over a girl for a change. His Girl Friday lays on the paternalism of the 40s pretty thick—Walter sabotages Hildy’s relationship with another man, and delights in cornering her into doing more work—but her final decision, between the monotony of domesticity and the thrill of chasing the next story, rings true nearly 80 years later. 5. This page is designated for COMEDY & ROMANCE.Our rating system allows screenwriters and producers … Ad Choices. Happy dating! A chauvinist jerk slips in the shower while holding a hair dryer and gains the ability to hear women's thoughts. Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie. Ah, the joys of romantic comedies. Romantic Comedy is an example of a genre which is light-hearted, humorous story involving people in love, sometimes overlapping with subgenres such as screwball comedy teen comedy, or gross-out comedy. The one thing all these movies have in common is that, love them or hate them, they present the most bizarre roads to romance you could possibly take. The 200 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time. 1.2K Stories. A more recent adaptation—the 2012 version directed by Joss Whedon—is also worth a look for rom-com historians. En vogue since nearly the beginning of cinema, the ‘80s and ‘90s proved to be the genre’s heyday: when romantic … Notting Hill unfolds like a modern-day fairy tale, as a wildly famous actress falls in love with a humble shopkeeper. romantic-comedy romancecomedy comedy romance romcom love humor funny teenfiction drama highschool fiction lovestory romantic fanfiction chicklit cute friendship contemporary teen newadult. By Sam Goldwyn/Renaissance/BBC/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock. The movie’s critique and veneration of teen culture may look quaint in this era of Instagram stars, but Clueless still stands sturdily in its platform sneakers as one of the best of the genre—of several genres, in fact. Phil spends a big chunk of the movie trying to figure out fraudulent ways to seduce Rita, but it’s only when he stops trying to trick her into bed and has fun being with her (and he, in turn, becomes a human being she can enjoy) that the romance clicks. 4. The takeaway, perhaps, is that “romantic comedy” is an elastic designation, one that lies at least partly in the eye of the beholder—appropriate enough for a genre focused on love. As is A Midsummer Night's Dream and several other William Shakespeare plays. Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz. . There is a definite creepy factor there. 1. The heroine with a job in New York media!) Directed by Norman Jewison, Moonstruck features Cher as an Italian-American widow living with her parents in Brooklyn, when she falls for her fiancé’s younger brother, played by Nicolas Cage. When used correctly, a romantic conversation starter will open a woman’s heart and mind to the idea of falling in love with you. In the ever-sparring Beatrice and Benedick, whose sexual tension is only heightened by their equally sharp tongues, Shakespeare created an archetypal couple whose bantering dynamic would inspire countless imitators and descendants—and Thompson and Branagh embody the lovers beautifully, imbuing centuries-old characters with modern wit and charm. (In what world would anyone say “no” to having orange juice spilled on them by a 1990s Hugh Grant?) Yet as they kiss and make up on the bridge after a truly humiliating karaoke-fight in front of everyone they know, it’s basically impossible to do anything but cheer. Review this list of popular examples to help you get a better understanding of the romantic comedy fiction genre. Elements of a Romantic Comedy. Romance! Bateman's Wally has feelings for Aniston's Kassie, but instead of telling her, he gets super drunk at her artificial insemination party (that's a thing, I guess). The predominant mood of the play is one of cheerfulness, light-hearted gaiety, and laughter.It is a pure and fun romantic comedy. Granted, I've never considered a career in wedding planning, but I don't think part of the job description involves falling for someone else's groom. At SS, we believe screenwriting success starts with a logline. Stay for a young Gaby Hoffmann and her precocious pre-iChat lingo, and Annie’s (Meg Ryan) journalistic tenacity, which allows her to track down Mr. Sleepless in Seattle even in a pre-Google, pre-LexisNexis environment. But compiling the ultimate list of the Freshest romantic comedies of all time? A great example is 13 Going on 30, which finds a 13-year-old's consciousness jumping into her 30-year-old body. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Although the sequels never lived up to the promise of the original, it’s hard to think of anything that could erase the legacy of blue soup, ugly Christmas sweaters, and embarrassing fights in the street. That means that day after day, he gets turned down by his producer, Rita, played with twinkly self-possession by Andie MacDowell. 3. Examples of how to use “romantic comedy” in a sentence from the Cambridge Dictionary Labs A film comedy need not have a happy ending, nor do all films that have … That's right, he let's his best friend have his baby and only tells her seven years later to stop her from marrying another man. An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her. And questionable elements or not, you’ll still wind up rooting for the duo’s long-awaited meet-cute atop the Empire State Building. (On separate occasions, Diane Keaton, delivering her signature performance, gets to be both.) The romantic comedy is an immensely popular genre and one that many new screenwriters should try to master. —Laura Bradley, In adapting Jane Austen’s Emma, about a scheming matchmaker surprised by her own romance, for mid-90s teenagehood, writer-director Amy Heckerling invented her own idiom. Which got us thinking: what are the films that best exemplify this beloved but under-appreciated genre? We’re not even sure it’s a question worth asking—it’s beautifully implausible. Please Note: If you wish to contact any of the writers, please change the (a) to an @.This was put into place to keep dopey spammers from harvesting e-mail addresses from the site. Humor in such films tends to be of a verbal, low-key variety or situational, as opposed to slapstick, although the form evolved from the generally raucous romantic screwball comedies of the '30s and '40s (It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, The Shop Around the Corner). In the play, no one suffers intensely, it has no tragic element, it is full of comic and lively spirit. Romantic comedy (also known as romcom or rom-com) is a subgenre of comedy and slice-of-life fiction, focusing on lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. Amélie’s true-love discovery doesn’t take any easy, obvious routes, but it does, finally, culminate in a heart-stopping little poem of a scene. The secret healing powers of Windex! They fall in love, using technology that would eventually put both characters out of business if cameras kept rolling for another decade: the Internet. See new additions below or pick your genre on the left. (In addition to Shanley’s win, Cher and Olympia Dukakis also won Oscars for their roles as mother and daughter.) But thanks to its stars, as well as the careful writing by Richard Curtis, who had made magic with Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral just a few years before, Notting Hill hits all the requisite notes just right. —Joy Press, Nearly two decades before John Patrick Shanley earned the Pulitzer Prize and Tony for penning Doubt, the revered writer won an Academy Award for Moonstruck—one of the few romantic comedies so superb that even Hollywood’s genre-snob voters fell victim to its charm. —Hillary Busis, It’s not a movie that many would traditionally classify as a romantic comedy, but Amélie defies most easy classification (unless you consider “French whimsy” a genre unto itself). (The scene with him describing to Jonah how his mom could peel an apple in one long slice while “Bye Bye Blackbird” plays in the background is still a stunner.) All that, plus a public display of affection on a football field using Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” —Sonia Saraiya, For anyone who’s ever found herself sitting at home with dangerous quantities of wine and cake, belting out “All by Myself” alone, this one was bound to be a home run—and apparently, quite a lot of us could relate. By Bruce McBroom/Tri-Star/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock. —Hillary Busis, Kenneth Branagh! —Joy Press, 10 Things is right on the line between teen movie and romantic comedy, but what elevates this film past high-school drama is the mature performances from Julia Stiles and the late, great Heath Ledger, who personify the frustration of being over high school but too young for college in separate, equally winning ways. But above all, Broadcast News is a love story—between three career-minded journalists and the industry they adore, which tangles them into an achingly empathetic love triangle that puts each character on a path to heartbreak. A magic crab. The show is particularly remarkable for the wide range of comedic types that it uses: 1. By the end, Andie has dragged “Benny Boo-Boo . [2] What else are you gonna do? Times, Sunday Times (2006) Romantic comedy about a man forced to live inside a bubble because of his weak immune system. Though a film about romance in the age of America Online was always going to be hopelessly dated, it was also the first rom-com to normalize the thrill of flirting via chat box with an anonymous stranger (even while talking about innocuous things like butterflies and buying school supplies in the fall). Sort by: Hot. And while every single pick may not contain every element commonly associated with the romantic comedy, they all fit the American Film Institute’s broad definition of “a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.” Of course, they’re all funny, too. Things only get more convoluted and nonsensical from there. A nostalgic yearning for a simpler time and place, when love was within reach, and you didn’t know quite as much as you know now. But it’s the romance, which Vardalos pens so sweetly, that grounds it all. Frustrated by her lack of luck in love, a woman removes four coins from a fountain in Rome. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. I guess the term we use nowadays for a guy like C.C. Also, you should all watch this movie immediately. Down with Love was definitely a tough sell in the midst of a brewing Iraq War; it couldn’t have seemed more frivolous. with more offbeat flourishes, making it an Annie Hall descendent tailor-made for a new millennium. —Kenzie Bryant, It launched the rom-com career of the singular Nora Ephron. It established Meg Ryan as America’s sweetheart. Sideways is a pretty great buddy comedy (featuring a hilariously brazen performance from Thomas Haden Church), but it’s an even better romantic comedy. This could open up all kinds of avenues for creepiness, but the movie avoids almost all of them by staying close to its innocent, heartwarming core. One of the brilliant things about The Apartment—especially now, with our new sensitivity to workplace harassment and the bad behavior of men in power—is that even from the vantage of 1960, the movie knew just how transactional sex and romance could be, sometimes willingly and often not. A magic crab makes Sean Patrick Flanery fall in love with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Particularly in this case, there’s no way to separate the art from the artist; Annie Hall is Woody Allen through and through, from its narration—equal parts heady philosophy and Catskills-inflected humor—to its female characters, who fall rather neatly into two distinct buckets: dream girls and nightmares. But all that sugar was just a cover for what’s really at stake here, which is a re-writing of movie romances and their ongoing battles of the sexes. —Nicole Sperling, James L. Brooks wrote, produced, and directed this seven-time Oscar nominee, which put a slight little Southerner named Holly Hunter on the map and predicted the slow decline of American journalism. “Meet cute” at the book shop? —Anna Lisa Raya, Romantic comedies have traditionally been tough territory for queer characters, who tend to fall into simplistic, stereotypical best-friend roles when they’re allowed to join the party at all. Before 1950. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. Henry becomes enamored with Lucy, a woman whose memory resets at the end of each day due to a traumatic accident, and he spends every single day wooing her all over again until they eventually get married and have children. Can You Keep a Secret? One centers on hatred and the other centers on love. Re-watching the film today is a bleak reminder of all that on- and off-screen talent that is no longer here—but thankfully, Ephron’s intelligent wit, and those who sold it, will live on forever. Success in romantic comedy has created stars from Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant to Julia Roberts and Ben Stiller. —Katey Rich, She was just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her—except she was Julia Roberts, fresh off the success of My Best Friend’s Wedding, and he was Hugh Grant, post–Sense and Sensibility. by Sophie Kinsella. —Hillary Busis, Only in the rom-com to end all rom-coms would you have leads named Andie Anderson and Benjamin Barry. Here are a few examples of ways you can filter the charts: The Worst Musical Comedies of All Time; The Top 10 Musical Comedies of All Time; The Top 20 Musical Comedies of All Time Trust me, no one should look to any of them for dating advice. It’s the second film Ephron made with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, who circle each other easily as sparring partners Kathleen Kelly (who owns the Shop Around the Corner children’s book store) and Joe Fox (who runs the capitalist scourge Fox & Sons Books). Romantic ComedySILENT AND PRE-CODE ROMANTIC COMEDYTHE SCREWBALL ERADECLINE AND REINVENTIONFURTHER READINGRomantic comedy in its most general meaning includes all films that treat love, courtship, and marriage comically. In I Love You Man , it is not the man and woman (the bride and groom) of the story who fall in love, break up, and then are reunited romantically at the end—but the two male leads. 6. The major problem here is that he thinks Josie is a student when he starts having feelings for her, and even though the audience and Josie all know Josie is an adult woman, he doesn't. But its characters do: these are people who know the strategic ins and outs of romance, and spend an entire movie one-upping each other. The uproarious comedy—co-written by Apatow and star Steve Carell, though also heavily improvised—proved Apatow’s unique ability to interweave original, laugh-out-loud humor with surprising sweetness. 1989’s When Harry Met Sally and all its talky, charming smartness felt revelatory upon its release, and still resonates today primarily because it so thoughtfully examines the central question posed at the beginning: can (straight) men and women really be just friends? Movies. The death of the romantic comedy has been greatly exaggerated. At the center of all this silliness is a character who truly deserves a happy ending—but not at the expense of the newfound freedom she inspired in everyone else. In other words, these were two beloved actors stretching some already toned muscles, and it showed. She doesn’t know the term, so he provides an example: “It’s how two characters meet in a movie. Yet not all rom-coms can navigate their premises with such ease, and as a result they become downright weird when you actually stop to think about the brand of romance the movie is peddling. While those stark gender lines, and Sally’s obsession with marriage, feel a bit dated in 2018, the film is still a near perfect execution of the genre. Even discounting its milestone elements, the film does an admirable job of balancing rom-com clichés (the overbearing Jewish mother! Just remember the next time you go out on a date that the guy sitting across from you could totally be a spy and he won't mention it until you are married, pregnant, and have a hit out on you. —K. Romantic comedy was a popular and much-preferred type in Elizabethan theatre, and all the trappings of such are present in The Merchant of Venice. The clothes might be dated—1999 was a truly embarrassing year for all of us—but the appeal is eternal. The movie is an unabashed confection: candy-coated to the point of causing cavities, and excessively rich with wink-winking nods to the Doris Day movies that inspired it. (Really, there are multiple meet-cutes; Hugh Grant is exceedingly awkward.) It’s also a comedy in which the ostensible “nice guy” lets himself be drenched in the muck of all the bad men working above him, a hardly willing enabler of their secret sex lives. After all, its hero is himself exquisitely sour: Phil Connors, a weatherman sent to Punxsutawney, P.A., to cover the pointless annual ritual of a groundhog looking for its shadow, may be Bill Murray’s ideal role. The movie verges into stalker territory with Annie’s willingness to cross the country in search of her true love, but Hanks is pitch-perfect as the bereaved husband and doting father. This is a list of romantic comedy films, ordered by year of release. He ends up knocking over her anonymous donor sample while he's in the bathroom and he replaces it with his own without telling her. But it’s Rupert Everett, playing one of the early rom-com gay besties, who nearly saunters off with the movie. Thanks to a prank pulled on her by her brother when she was 11, a woman spends the rest of her life believing she will only ever be truly happy if she finds a man named Damon Bradley. frothy comedies about pretty young things falling in love. Their relationship is sparring and hilarious, the two clearly perfectly matched in wits, until it turns irrepressibly romantic, with Colbert’s Ellie running away from her unwanted wedding to “pill of the century” Westley (Jameson Thomas) to be with her hunky newspaperman. The romantic comedy has a branding problem. To be fair, Mary doesn't know the guy who saves her life is the future husband of the woman who she is chatting on the phone with when she almost gets ran over (holy, unbelievable coincidence, Batman! This summer, Netflix has hit pay dirt by leaning hard on frothy comedies about pretty young things falling in love; this week, Crazy Rich Asians will storm theaters, putting a new sort of gloss on a tale as old as time. When he and Roberts are a’banter, My Best Friend’s Wedding makes its most salient observation: sometimes it’s friendship, not romance, that rescues us—and redeems us, too. Romance and comedy are both very important parts of what makes the play, Twelfth Night, entertaining and fun to watch. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Emma Thompson! The sweet 2001 film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is about a painfully shy Parisian waitress who finds joy and peace in the little things, like skipping stones, cracking fresh crème brûlée, and looking out over the city and wondering: “How many couples are having an orgasm now?” Audrey Tautou brings every ounce of heart to the role, playing Amélie as a wide-eyed gamine who finds her first rush of confidence when she helps a blind man across the street (a most memorable scene bursting with life). Votes: 470,552 | Gross: $32.39M Sometimes, a movie will completely embrace the fact that its plot is bonkers. This film-related list is incomplete; you can help by . We trace Toula and Ian’s relationship from the very first time they lay eyes on each other, all the way to Ian’s intimate proposal. Among other things, a romantic comedy hero must pursue his or her love interest, a crisis must precipitate a breakup at the end of Act 2, and the ending must always be happy. The Sun (2010) —Laura Bradley, Groundhog Day is the ultimate rom-com for curmudgeons who don’t like rom-coms, the perfect salve for a hardened cynic’s heart. For a character to ensure true love in a romantic comedy, there's one surefire solution: making a bet with someone. There's just one little problem, though: Lucy continues to wake up every single day not knowing who Henry is and must watch a video to orientate herself to her life each morning. All rights reserved. Others, however, are not as deserving of praise — if anything, they'll make you question how they even got made. Yes, the genre has faltered in popularity since its 1990s heyday—but recent developments prove that audiences are still hungry as ever for banter, meet-cutes, and happy endings. Though some industry insiders may have been wary of a film about people in their 50s and 60s finding love, audiences were ready for a mature romance—one that involved a hilarious sex scene in which Keaton’s character takes Nicholson’s blood pressure to make sure he doesn’t have a heart attack during the act. Meanwhile his politically-informed daughter Lisa is a constant source of topical humor 3. Well, the movie thinks it's funny. Over the course of its 26-year run, The Simpsons has proved to be one of the most successful comedy shows of all time. —Richard Lawson, You’ve Got Mail is the last of Nora Ephron’s genre-defining romantic comedies, arriving in theaters after When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, but before the new millennium. Enter Kissing Jessica Stein, which even 16 years later remains one of the few mainstream, widely distributed romantic comedies to focus on same-sex attraction—and between queer women, no less, who are even tougher to find in these sorts of movies than queer men. Our ultimate list is an eclectic mix, containing everything from black-and-white classics to, well, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. And it became the gold standard that Hollywood tried to emulate for the next decade. Nothing says romance and comedy like the tragic deaths of your best friends — wait, actually that doesn't seem quite right. And the repetition of time gradually washes away his misery and egotism. . But it's funny? Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Krumholtz, Susan May Pratt, and Larisa Oleynik round out the cast for an especially endearing view of high-school power dynamics and the banal cruelties of teenage heartbreak. Still, that is the wacky premise that finds perpetually single Holly and Eric moving in together to raise their dead best friends' daughter, and eventually fall in love despite hating each other because the universe demands it. Comedy! Everything about Richard Curtis’s Four Weddings and a Funeral seemed determined to unravel the traditional rom-com, even as it wore its sentimentality on its sleeve. Boo-Boo-Boo” to a Céline Dion concert, and he’s dragged—I mean, brought—her to Staten Island to meet his family after just a few days of dating. Though 25 movies ultimately made the list, 20 more were left off because they received only a single vote—films that ran the gamut from Obvious Child to White Christmas to Strictly Ballroom to Wall-E. Michael Keaton! Romance is never her direct goal, but it’s a gentle throughline—that is, until love at first sight whacks her in the face at a train-station photo booth when she lays eyes on a man named Nino. (There would be no Regina George without Cher.) I just want to make sure you are hearing me — this is a rom-com that's key plot point is a magic crab. Besides, it’s hard to think of a more satisfyingly absurd, distinctly “rom-com” climax than the moment Bridget chases Mr. Darcy down a snowy London street in nothing but a pair of sneakers, a jacket, and zebra-print undies. Menu. Romantic comedies are movies with light-hearted, humorous dramatic stories centered around romantic ideals such as a "true love" able to surmount most obstacles or the "perfect couple." Even so, the film has a certain magic to it—a wistful sweetness underpinning its remarkably quotable jokes, rounding out what could have been an episodic collection of (very good) punch lines. Coincidentally, the man she ends up engaged to has a friend named Damon Bradley, who she impulsively decides to fly to Rome to meet because that is a totally sane thing to do. Romantic comedy definition, a light and humorous movie, play, etc., whose central plot is a happy love story. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. As You Like It As a Romantic Comedy & Pastoral Comedy • As You Like It is Shakespeare’s happiest comedy. © 2021 Condé Nast. This paper will focus on the romantic comedy genre and movie Rocky. Certain episodes edge into very silly territory and start to look like farces 4. Romantic Conversation Starters: 6 Examples Starting a conversation in a romantic way really sets the tone for the interaction, sex and then relationship. Photo Illustration by Lauren Margit Jones; Photos, from left, by Sophie Giraud/Ifc/Kobal, from Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia/Kobal, both from REX/Shutterstock; From Paramount/Everett Collection. From the awards race to the box office, with everything in between: get the entertainment industry's must-read newsletter. Sometimes, a movie will completely embrace … Ephron and director Rob Reiner achieve that alchemy by combining the sweet quirkiness of Ryan’s Sally Albright with the cranky pessimism of Billy Crystal’s Harry Burns, all swirled together with Ephron’s endlessly quotable dialogue (as well as more than a few memorable improvised lines): “Baby Fish Mouth is sweeping the nation!”; “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash!” Of course, you also can’t forget the charming faux-documentary vignettes of longtime married couples sprinkled throughout the piece, and the stellar supporting performances by Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. The film grossed over $266 million worldwide and nabbed Keaton an Oscar nomination. —Laura Bradley, Of all the kids from the wrong side of the tracks in the John Hughes universe, perhaps none were as cool as Eric Stoltz’s Keith (an artsy outcast), Mary Stuart Masterson’s Watts (his tomboyish best friend), and Lea Thompson’s Amanda Jones (beautiful and popular, but poor). This is not how life works. Baldwins, Monets, and Cake Boys all swirl happily in the orbit of Cher Horowitz, a shallow Beverly Hills princess of hidden depth played brilliantly by Alicia Silverstone in a generation-defining performance. Robert Sean Leonard! He gets to know the inhabitants of this tiny town, to learn kindness and curiosity. Bizarre though their plots may be, they still hold a special place in my romantic comedy loving heart. I say this as a self-proclaimed romantic comedy devotee: there are some romcoms with crazy plots out there. And while it also wasn’t the first romantic comedy to have its male character gaslight his love interest, Fox does come clean about it in the end. — Sonia Saraiya, Julia Roberts rebounded from a little career slump (if you love trouble and want something to talk about, watch Mary Reilly) with this utterly effervescent anti-romance, a prickly and witty comedy of jealousy that finally let Roberts show the hard edge lurking behind her thousand-watt smile. Who comes up with this stuff? Unlike most rom-coms on this list, Broadcast News doesn’t end with a happily paired off couple. Hunter’s character, a TV news producer, is as smart and honorable as her best friend, a journalist played by Albert Brooks. Release Calendar DVD & Blu-ray Releases Top Rated Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Showtimes & Tickets In Theaters Coming Soon Coming Soon … Happens all the time. 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To relive the previous 24 hours singular Nora Ephron beloved but under-appreciated genre owners to fall madly in love her... Been greatly exaggerated with retailers film does an admirable job of balancing rom-com clichés ( overbearing. Words, these were two beloved actors stretching some already toned muscles, and the repetition of gradually..., laughter, and it showed awards race to the box office, with kooky and., however, are not as deserving of praise — if anything, they 'll make you question they... Completed ) by Aadya cast alone is worth much ado—and in execution, too, this production also... Needs an anchor, and these two do quite nicely solution: making a bet with someone a! Definition of a romp, with kooky characters and their relationships with women that many new screenwriters try..., Andie has dragged “ Benny Boo-Boo is simply trying to prove he can make woman! By year of release even got made Sunday times ( 2007 ) romantic comedy has been greatly.... Get more convoluted and nonsensical from there, entertaining and fun romantic comedy films, ordered by year release! An amazing emotional and structural feat, a movie that i would happily watch again again!