His Girl Friday (1940)
I love screwball comedy – and this 1940 classic directed by Howard Hughes, about two workaholic, hard bitten journos addicted to the story (and perhaps to each other), stands out as being ahead of its time. Rosalind Russell (one of my heroines) and Cary Grant are perfectly matched as they exchange witty dialogue at breakneck speed.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Directed and produced by Billy Wilder, and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, Some Like It Hot follows two musicians who cross-dress so they can join an all-women big band after being caught by mobsters witnessing the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre. The three gorgeous stars are all at the top of their form – as is the supporting cast – but this superb romantic comedy is also about tolerance and acceptance of people for who they are.
Broadcast News (1987)
I love Holly Hunter – and for me, her character in Broadcast News must be one of the best portrayals of being a woman in that crazily intense environment. She has such great chemistry with both Albert Brooks and William Hurt – and there is a scene with Joan Cusack racing against the clock that is one of my favourite slapstick moments ever …
This 90’s teen classic riffs off the original rom com writer Jane Austen’s Emma. It was the breakout movie for Alicia Silverstone as the utterly charming and completely clueless meddler Cher Horowitz, and for Paul Rudd who plays her sensible and yet ultimately alluring stepbrother. Set in and around Beverley Hills High, the film has a great soundtrack, lots of excellent LA slang and spawned a fashion craze (think knee high socks, shorts, tartan skirts and headbands).
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Even though I am not a fan of Andie MacDowell films, I cannot resist watching Four Weddings and a Funeral whenever it pops up as I’m channel surfing. It is funny – and it is really romantic. Hugh Grant is excellent, as are so many of the supporting cast, the writing is terrific and it is thoroughly, enjoyably British. Which is why it makes it into this list – and not Groundhog Day (which weirdly also stars Andie MacDowell …).