Good Luck Chuck (2007)
The Romance: Dentist Chuck (Dane Cook) has really bad luck with women – every ladyperson he sleeps with ends up dumping him and marrying the next man they meet. Then he comes across Cam (Jessica Alba) and is besotted…
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Not only the opening scene, in which Chuck is cursed by a 10-year-old (uhhhhkay), but also that uncomfortable moment where Chuck basically bribes Cam into going on a date instead of paying for her dentist work.
Redeeming Feature? Alba is lovely to look at. That’s about it.
Pretty Woman (1990)
The Romance: Ed (Richard Gere) hires a lovely prostitute in the form of Vivian (Julia Roberts) to keep him company at social events for a whole week. For the princely sum of $3,000.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Aside from the whole anti-feminist slant of the thing, Vivian’s trip to a snarky fashion boutique takes the biscuit for blatant emotional manipulation. As Romy and Michelle so succinctly put it, “Oh, boo hoo!”
Redeeming Feature? Roberts is magnetic and lively, even if you do fear Gere will get eaten alive by that giant mouth.
Two Of A Kind (1983)
The Romance: Zack Melon (John Travolta) is a failed inventor who decides to rob a bank in order to pay back some ravenous loan sharks. During his raid, he meets bank teller Debbie (Olivia Newton-John), who could just be a twin soul.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Did we mention this is all book-ended with a stupid Heaven sideplot that sees angels attempting to prove to God that if a bad man can redeem himself, the world is worth sparing a cleansing flood? Two Of A Kind wants to be old Hollywood (we suspect it’s even kidding itself that it’s a fresh, ‘80s It’s A Wonderful Life ), but it’s just too rote to manage it.
Redeeming Feature? It’s got a pleasing powder-puff ‘80s sheen, and in retrospect it’s fun in a big-haired, soft-focus kind of way. Still, no.
Rumour Has It (2005)
The Romance: New York Times writer Sarah is with fiancé Jeff (Mark Ruffalo), but falls for older man Beau, who once had an affair with her mother.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: The bit that uses a far better movie ( The Graduate ) as a lunchpad for its wobbling central premise. Oh, the whole movie, then.
Redeeming Feature? Aniston’s as buoyant and endearing as ever, and it’s good to see Shirley MacLaine still playing the hard bird with a slab of stone where her heart should be.
Employee Of The Month (2006)
The Romance: New cashier Amy (Jessica Simpson) sets hearts hammering when she starts working at the Super Clob shop. Cue a fight between Zach (Dane Cook) and slimy multiple employee of the month Vince (Dax Shephard) for her affections.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Things get confusing when Amy overhears a conversation that sounds like Zack is only trying to win the 'employee of the month' title in order to sleep with her. Or some such. Yawwwwwn.
Redeeming Feature? At least Dax Shephard’s vile Vince knows he’s in a pile of crap, and just goes with it. Or does he?
Failure To Launch (2006)
The Romance: Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) is 35 years old and still living at home with his folks. So they hire a professional in the shapely shape of Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) to lure him away from the nest.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: The whole concept stinks, particularly the part where Paula ‘allows’ a man to fall in love with her even though it’s all a big, massive, giant scam. No wonder Tripp gets mad.
Redeeming Feature? Zooey Deschanel shines in a small role as Paula’s roommate, whose quirky sideplot seems to belong to a whole other movie.
Alex & Emma (2003)
The Romance: Author Alex (Luke Wilson) owes a massive debt to the Cuban mafia, and hires motormouth stenographer Emma (Kate Hudson) to help him complete his latest project.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Sections of Alex’s novel come to life, with Emma playing the parts of numerous quirky nannies. Dullsville.
Redeeming Feature? Hudson’s sparky enough, but this charmless love story just has nothing new to say.
What Happens In Vegas (2008)
The Romance: Joy and Jack couldn’t be more ill-suited if they tried. But thanks to the craziness of Vegas, they end up getting well and truly muntered before marrying each other.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Forced to live together, Joy and Jack find it impossible to agree about anything. Upping the drama, Joy refuses to let Jack into the bathroom – forcing him to take a whiz in the kitchen sink.
Redeeming Feature? That’d be Queen Latifah as a marriage councillor who sees the funny side of the couple’s desperately unfunny situation.
Down To You (2000)
The Romance: Al Connelly (Freddie Prinze, Jr) falls for freshman Imogen (Julia Stiles) when they meet at college. Yeah, groundbreaking.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: We’ll let the Wiki page do the talking on this one. “The two engage on a whirlwind courtship - they pick a song based on the records from Al's parents, eat a cake together, and even make love.” YES, they eat CAKE together! Snorrrre.
Redeeming Feature? There’s a certain degree of satisfaction to be had when someone as annoying as Freddie winds up in a crummy film so obviously deserving of him.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
The Romance: Holly (Hilary Swank) is distraught when hubbie Gerry (Gerard Butler) dies from a brain tumour. Luckily, he was an organised chap, and arranged it so that letters from him arrive for Holly after his death.
Most Soul-Destroying Moment: Holly’s so-called journey of self-discovery, which basically just leads her to a new man. Come on girls, you can do better!
Redeeming Feature? The Ireland scenery makes for a beautiful backdrop. Just ignore all the annoying people standing in the foreground.