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Top 10 Romance Movies People Love to Hate

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
For this list, we’re looking at romance movies, rom-coms and comedies or dramas with a notable romantic element, that, even within a genre that gets a lot of flack, fairly or not, wound up being greater magnets for scorn and mockery than their contemporaries. We’ve included movies like” All about Steve”, “Jersey Girl”, “The Bounty Hunter” and more!

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Top 10 Romance Movies People Love to Hate

Haters gonna hate. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Romance Movies People Love to Hate.

For this list, we’re looking at romantic movies, rom-coms and comedies or dramas with a notable romantic element, that, even within a genre that gets a lot of flack, wound up being greater magnets for scorn and mockery than their contemporaries.

#10: “All About Steve” (2009)

The very same year that Sandra Bullock delivered an Academy Award winning performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy in “The Blind Side”, she also starred in this widely despised comedy masquerading as a rom-com. Her off-the-walls and hyper-cringy performance as the socially awkward, obsessive Mary Horowitz earned her a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress - making her the first person to ever win both Best and Worst actress in the same year. Though not every film on this list deserves the hate it gets, “All About Steve” really did. It’s not just a bad, it’s deeply misguided. It’s uncomfortable, fails to address what is a clear case of mental illness and actually features no romance.

#9: “Jersey Girl” (2004)

Ben Affleck’s career has been a rollercoaster ride and the early 2000s were definitely a low point. “Jersey Girl” is by no means a great film, but the hate it gets is more of a symptom of its context than of its individual merits. It’s a sentimental rom-com that should have come, gone and been forgotten. Unfortunately, this was released just one year after Ben made another film people loved to hate (but more on that later). The other issue? This was directed by Kevin Smith, who, rather than delivering one of his typically zany, fast-talking cult classics, made this paint-by-numbers rom-com. All that to say… “Jersey Girl” stood out in all the worst ways.

#8: “The Bounty Hunter” (2010)

Gerard Butler is the perfect casting choice for a bounty hunter, and Jennifer Aniston is basically a romcom sure thing. So… how did this movie wind up serving as the butt of so many jokes the year of its release? Well, as A.O. Scott of The New York Times put it, the film earned it’s PG-13 rating with "witless sexual innuendo and witless violence”. Or, as Mark Pfeiffer of Reel Times summed it up: “As a lousy mystery and lousier romantic comedy, The Bounty Hunter is two bad films in one.” The standard for action/romcoms isn’t very high, but this flick managed to fall laughably below the bar even with two solid stars.

#7: “The Ugly Truth” (2009)

Okay... forget everything we just said about “The Bounty Hunter”. The real reason cinemagoers love to hate THAT movie is because the people who made it (for some reason) cast Gerard Butler in the lead despite having just appeared in this stinker. Butler’s breakout performance was as the muscle-bound King Leonidas in “300”. Who thought it was a good idea for him to do a romcom opposite Jennifer Aniston, or worse: Katherine Heigl?! Peter Travers from Rolling Stone denounced the film, stating: “There's not a genuine laugh in it [...] Toss this ugly-ass crap to the curb”. The film made money, but considering the challenge of finding someone who liked it… we’re not sure how.

#6: “Valentine's Day” (2010)

You know why people love to hate this movie? Two words: “Love Actually”. You see, it’s one thing to make a forgettable romcom. But when you blatantly rip off the style of another film without any of the charm or quirks that made said film a hit with audiences, well… you’re setting yourself up for some major blowback. “Valentine’s Day” follows a star-studded cast of characters and intertwining storylines, just like “Love Actually”, except it’s over Valentine’s Day, and not Christmas. As painfully derivative as “Valentine’s Day” might have been, it was nothing compared to director Garry Marshall’s follow-up “New Year’s Eve”.

#5: “From Justin to Kelly” (2003)

2003 was a different time. Pop music was still trying to figure out its place in the movie industry - which (spoiler!) is in the soundtrack and in the soundtrack only. “American Idol” was also in its infancy, and unlike nowadays, the finalists literally became household names. The powers that be had a massive cultural phenomenon on their hands, and they weren’t sure how best to milk that cow. So naturally… they took two singers, untrained in acting, and put them in a paper-thin musical romantic comedy. Justin… Kelly… you’re both super likeable, but the masses couldn’t help but laugh at this, and we just hope that in hindsight, you’re laughing with us.

#4: All Movies Based on Nicholas Sparks Novels

Nicholas Sparks… you either love him or hate him. And honestly, for people in the latter category, you probably didn’t know even know he existed until it became the go-to Hollywood move to adapt pretty much anything he writes, be it a novel, or a grocery list on a fast food napkin. The thing is, with so many sickeningly sweet Nicholas Sparks romance movies having hit theaters, good or terrible, they all feel like a parody of themselves, and given their prevalence in the cinematic pop culture landscape, it’s just sooooo easy to hate them. All jokes aside though… “The Notebook” is awesome.

#3: “Gigli” (2003)

Hey, we warned you that Ben would be doing double duty on this list. The early 2000s really weren’t kind to the wunderkind who co-wrote and co-starred in “Good Will Hunting”, but this mind-bogglingly bad romcom was really the pinnacle of his unlucky stretch. Everyone knows that they’re supposed to hate Gigli, even if they’ve never seen it. But why? Well, it was supposed to be a very different film before the studio recut it into a romcom to capitalize on the Bennifer buzz. Regardless… the performances are truly atrocious - though not nearly as bad as the dialogue, which includes lines like “gobble gobble” and this painful little monologue.

#2: “50 Shades” franchise (2015-18)

Widely mocked and loathed by all but the most unabashed of fans (which still amounts to huge numbers at the box office), the big screen adaptations of E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novels have been parodied to an almost unparalleled degree. Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have both proven themselves to be more than competent onscreen in past roles, but the lack of chemistry in these movies was palpable. With the final film in the series, some reviewers, like Manuela Lazic of Indiewire, argued that the much-maligned series had evolved to the point of being “ a disarming comedy that makes this ridiculous material fun to watch." Yikes. We doubt that was the filmmaker’s intent.

#1: “Twilight” franchise (2008-12)

As we were saying… Fifty Shades is almost the most mocked romantic film franchise in cinematic history. But “Twilight” has got it beat. “Twilight” was a cultural phenomenon in book form, earning itself legions of rabid fans and inspiring countless haters who couldn’t stand Stephenie Meyer’s take on vampires. But with the film things really reached a fever pitch. People seemingly made hating “Twilight” a part time job. For fans of the book, these movies obviously offer a fun experience, even if they’re subpar films and imperfect adaptations. Whatever shortcomings the series may have, the hate is undeniably far heavier than the films rightfully deserve - but hey, that’s the price of massive popularity.


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