City Lights    Charlie Chaplin and  Virginia Cherrill

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in City Lights

In 2008 the American Film Institute, AFI, released their list of The Top 10 Romantic Comedy Films. AFI defines “romantic comedy” as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.

1. City Lights -Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill 1931

2. Annie Hall – Woody Allen, Diane Keaton 1977

3. It Happened One Night – Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert 1934

4. Roman Holiday – Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn 1953

5. The Philadelphia Story – Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn 1941

6. When Harry Met Sally – Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan 1989

7. Adam’s Rib – Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn 1949

8. Moonstruck – Cher, Nicolas Cage 1987

9. Harold and Maude – Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort 1971

10. Sleepless in Seattle – Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan 1993

Lists are always fun. No one ever agrees with every item on a list, or the order of the items on a list.  I agree with most of the actors on the list, but not necessarily in the titles they chose. For example, I love Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby better than The Philadelphia Story. Woody Allen makes wonderful romantic comedies, but I wouldn’t have chosen Annie Hall. I love City Lights, but I wouldn’t have put it at #1.

I think the real value in lists is their ability to initiate conversations. Lists give us something with which to compare and contrast our own opinions.

What movies would you add? Which movies would you delete? Which movies do you agree with AFI choices? What’s your favorite romantic comedy?

It worth visiting Variety’s web site to read Sid Silverman’s 1931 review of City Lights

It includes gems like, “Talkers have not affected Chaplin and neither will he affect talkers.”