January 12th, 2020

carole lombard 07
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'Godfrey' rates 5th, and Rom Com Fest returns



It's no secret that Carole Lombard's "My Man Godfrey" is among the greatest romantic comedies in movie history. Now to my pleasure, a noted film site has validated its status.

At its "Romance Central" site, RottenTomatoes.com has selected the 1936 screwball pic, which co-stars Lombard's ex William Powell, as No. 5 on its greatest rom-coms list (https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/guide/best-romantic-comedies-of-all-time/3/).



Of the four rom-coms ahead of it, three have Golden Age pedigrees. At No. 4, "Roman Holiday" (1953), with Gregory Peck and newcomer Audrey Hepburn (it was her U.S. debut); No. 3 is "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), where Katharine Hepburn stars alongside James Stewart and Cary Grant; No. 2 is 2017's "The Big Sick," a fresh, multi-ethnic spin on the rom-com; and topping the list is the unexpected Oscar-winning comedy that kicked off the screwball genre, "It Happened One Night" (1934), with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.



The list has 150 films in all, with a reasonable blend of classic-era and more recent fare, though "Godfrey" is the only listing for both Lombard (no "Hands Across The Table") or Powell (where's "Libeled Lady"?). Kate Hepburn is far more represented, although her "Bringing Up Baby" -- which tends to get much more mention in these surveys than "Godfrey" -- only clocked in at No. 15. Nevertheless, it's a fun list, including many rom-coms I had forgotten about, both old and new.

And speaking of rom-coms...



...Rom Com Fest is returning, again in Los Angeles. This celebration of romantic comedy will be held June 25-28, again at the Downtown Independent Theater.

Its festival and executive director, Miraya Berke, announced the news Friday, adding that its advisory board now includes screenwriter Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith ("The House Bunny," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Legally Blonde") and actress/writer/producer Rachel Bloom (TV's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"). Both took part in last year's inaugural event.

I participated last year too, placing a pair of my scripts in the screenplay competition, and had a fun time. I encourage any romantic comedy fans in southern California to support this event. Learn more at https://www.romcomfest.com/.

Last year, the event began with a classic rom-com, 1940's "His Girl Friday" (No. 10 on the Rotten Tomatoes list). Might this year's open with these iconic credits...

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