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Romantic Comedies That Were Too Corny To Finish

There are two types of people in the world: the ones who love romantic comedies and the ones who don't. While some may sing the praises of romantic comedies and love them for their predictability, others can't stand them for being too corny. In fact, this is often the reason that rom-coms get their bad rep: They're typically far-fetched, sprinkled with movie magic, and filled with perfectly splendid moments that would never happen in real life. That said, we're huge fans of the genre ... but there are still certain romantic comedies that are so corny, we can't even finish watching them.

Though we enjoy putting the Hallmark Channel on repeat like any true rom-com fan, we decided to shuffle through the archives and find rom-coms that don't do this delightful genre any favors. Some of these flicks are cursed from the beginning with a dreadful plot, others are too happy-go-lucky for our taste, and some are just downright horrible movies.

Although making a movie could be seen as a mini-miracle in itself, since so much goes into the creative process from development to the big screen, it can be hard to land upon that winning formula of a just-wacky-enough plot, excellent chemistry, and great writing, which often defines the best romantic comedies. So, for better or worse, these rom-coms were too corny for their own good, and for even the biggest fans of the genre, they might be tough to watch until the end.


Considering "Gigli" stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez along with Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, viewers wouldn't be wrong to believe this movie has the makings of an all-time great or at least the ingredients of a watchable film. Unfortunately, that's far from the case. For starters, "Gigli" didn't even crack double digits on Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator site states that "Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry," which is a bit shocking considering their off-screen romance began when they met on the set of this 2003 film (via Harper's Bazaar). Bennifer (or Bennifer 2.0), anyone?

"Gigli" follows a mobster, Larry Gigli (Affleck), who's tasked with kidnapping a young man. However, the higher ups in his crime family worry that he'll botch the job, so they ask Ricki (Lopez), another gangster, to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't mess anything up. Not surprisingly, feelings arise between the two. "Gigli," like many other romantic comedies, pairs two people together in chaotic or even head-scratching situations. But unfortunately, this rom-com crime film winds up being so cringe-worthy that it's almost hilarious. From the out-of-touch dialogue to Affleck literally being the worst in his low-life role, "Gigli" is a downright misfire of the genre ... and movies in general. So, if viewers can make it through this movie from beginning to end — well, more power to them!  

Good Luck Chuck

"Good Luck Chuck" arguably has its moments. After all, all romantic comedies have their moments. Yet the premise isn't for everyone: Every time Charlie sleeps with a woman, she finds her true love right afterwards, which leads a number of women to think that Charlie is a "lucky charm." Word of his special powers gets out, so Charlie takes advantage of the situation by sleeping with a plethora of women, who will try anything to meet their soulmate. But when he meets a woman he believes to be the one, he realizes his charm might be a curse, as their sleeping together might lead her to meet another man. Now, that's romance, baby!

While "Good Luck Chuck" has an intriguing premise, its approach and depiction of certain events are tainted with contemptuousness. Perhaps not surprisingly, "Good Luck Chuck" scored an abysmal single-digit rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a brutal Critics Consensus stating: "A shortage of laughs and an undercurrent of mean-spiritedness undermine 'Good Luck Chuck,' squandering a decent premise on gross-out humor and shopworn slapstick." What makes this rom-com hard to watch is the fact that it cruelly makes light of women's looks, circumstances, and personalities, not to mention it features a robust usage of crude humor. Vulgarity can be hard to get away with in a romantic comedy, but it can be done, as long as the humor is actually funny and not too over-the-top. However, "Good Luck Chuck" struggles to make its excessive vulgarity work. Ultimately, "Good Luck Chuck" misses the mark, and instead comes off as obscene and offensive more times than not. Yet it's important to mention that Dane Cook and Jessica Alba take on the leading roles. So, at least there's that?

Just Go With It

Gifted with a superb cast that features Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and a cameo by Nicole Kidman, "Just Go With It" isn't necessarily one of Adam Sandler's best (nor worst) films. This romantic comedy follows plastic surgeon Danny (Sandler), who pretends to be married to get with women. Whether he's giving off the impression of a bad marriage or some other aspect, he gains sympathy points from these suitors, which leads to a string of one-night stands. It's the perfect scheme until — of course — he meets the girl of his dreams, Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). She finds his wedding ring, and is appalled to discover he's married. At this point, the real fun and games begin, as Danny must pretend he's going through a divorce, so he can be with Palmer. He enlists the help of his assistant Devlin (Aniston), who pretends to be his soon-to-be-ex wife Katherine ... and who happens to also be a single mom to two kids, so Danny ropes them into his web of lies as well.

Though a box office success, the movie was not a critical one, as evidenced by its low rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic Roe McDermott writes for Hot Press, "The film is indeed predictable and juvenile, and doesn't so much lapse into clichés as unabashedly dive in." As Danny digs himself deeper into a hole of lies, events become more unbelievable and over-the-top, to the point that it's hard to just go with it and stick with this movie. Since this is a rom-com, love conquers all in one form or another, however ridiculous the story may be. Nevertheless, an all-star cast makes this movie intriguing, regardless if you make it all the way through or not. 

Mother's Day

2016's "Mother's Day" is part of an unofficial trilogy of holiday-themed romantic comedies directed by the late Garry Marshall and in fact, was the last film the legendary director made. The other two films of the series are "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve." Now, if you're a fan of all-out ensemble casts that feature a myriad of A-listers, who all somehow meet up by the movie's end — and find love — then "Mother's Day" offers yet another viewing of the well-worn genre. Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues with these types of films — though we actually enjoy them — is that so many characters are introduced that it's hard to even remember their names. And in this genre, movie magic is sprinkled down on the characters to the max, so that unlikely people fall in love and get a full dose of their own happily-ever-afters, against all odds.

There's nothing wrong with that sentiment, but "Mother's Day" seems like an odd holiday to center around love, and, more importantly, the creators don't quite stick the landing. The film is a who's who of A-listers: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Kate Hudson all play seemingly unconnected mothers, who are dealing with their relationships to motherhood and love, and who wind up crossing paths with each other (and potential mates) in the end.

Love is complicated and it can get messy, but it shouldn't be an all-out obstacle course that you can only navigate using pure happenstance and good luck. Everyone might appreciate a good love story, but if too much coincidence is at the center, it begins to feel too unbelievable and can take you out of it. "Mother's Day" provides that type of romance, which can be enjoyable if everything goes perfectly ... but not too perfectly. "Mother's Day" is one of Marshall's lowest-rated films on Rotten Tomatoes with the critics' consensus stating: "Arguably well-intended yet thoroughly misguided, 'Mother's Day' is the cinematic equivalent of a last-minute gift that only underscores its embarrassing lack of effort." Ouch.

Serving Sara

"Serving Sara" adds a rather unique twist to the rom-com genre with its premise: Joe Tyler (Matthew Perry) serves Sara Moore (Elizabeth Hurley) with divorce papers, despite her believing she's happily married. The two then embark on an epic road trip, after she hires him to help her get a bigger piece of the cake in the impending divorce. Though romance movies often try to reinvent the wheel with outlandish plots, this story doesn't quite work. Given the cast, it could have worked, but unfortunately, the setup isn't the only issue.

"Serving Sara" seems to rely on the expectations of the audience that something like this could and should make sense in the world of rom-coms, which actually makes it feel uninspired and boring. There isn't much fun to be had in the movie (and isn't that one of the best parts of the genre?), so not surprisingly, "Serving Sara" received an awful rating on Rotten Tomatoes (and is currently among the 100 worst-reviewed movies on the site). Despite having two celebrated actors as the leads, "Serving Sara" came up quite short with the Critics Consensus: "A romantic comedy that's neither funny nor particularly romantic, 'Serving Sara' is a forgettable time waster." It's interesting to note that the audience score is higher at 26 percent — which still doesn't scream "best rom-com of all time," but it's something. All the same, there are much better films in the genre if you can't get through "Serving Sara" and want to finish another movie instead.

The Back-Up Plan

"The Back-Up Plan" follows Zoe (Jennifer Lopez), who's at the point in her life when she believes it's necessary to pull her backup plan out of storage. In this case, Zoe's plan is to become pregnant via artificial insemination. As fate would have it, she gets pregnant right before meeting the man of her dreams, Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), and things get all kinds of complicated for the very new couple.

Rotten Tomatoes provided the rom-com with a less-than-desirable rating, with the Critics Consensus stating, "Jennifer Lopez is as appealing as ever, but 'The Back-Up Plan' smothers its star with unrelatable characters and a predictable plot." The film proves that life is chaotically unpredictable, but perhaps throws a little too much at the main characters in the name of attempting to be enthralling until the curtains draw. Needless to say, this film is hit-or-miss depending on what you're looking for — and for better or worse, it has Hallmark movie written all over it, due to predictability, overplayed stereotypes, and other aspects that tend to make non-believers of rom-coms switch the channel.

The Hottie & the Nottie

"The Hottie & the Nottie" is so much of a train wreck that it's almost good — okay, even that is giving the movie too much credit. The film follows childhood friends — Nate Cooper (Joel David Moore) and Cristabel Abbott (Paris Hilton) — who run into each other by chance as adults and start to develop feelings for one another. However, Cristabel has made a promise to herself that she's not going to get into another relationship until her best friend June (Christine Lakin) finds romance as well. The catch is that June is not considered physically appealing, a point that the film underscores (over and over again). A shocking and shallow premise indeed, it's no wonder this movie bombed at the box office and was met with poor ratings for good measure (in fact, some consider it to be one of the worst movies of all time).

Perhaps most shocking of all is the fact that it has something as high as a single-digit rating on Rotten Tomatoes, especially given the Critics Consensus that the movie is "a crass, predictable, and ineptly staged gross-out comedy that serves little purpose beyond existing as another monument to Paris Hilton's vanity." Now that's not hot.

The Kissing Booth

We know what you're thinking: "The Kissing Booth" was at least entertaining enough to spawn two sequels, but that element shouldn't always be a sign of quality. The romantic comedy follows Elle Evans (Joey King) and her best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney), who seemingly do everything with one another. And they've also managed to stay so close due to a set of shared secrets. That is, until she breaks one of their most sacred rules and begins to crush on Lee's bad boy brother Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi).

The film's commercial success proves that cult followings exist for a reason, as fans may embrace something that critics don't. That seems to be the case here, as "The Kissing Booth" received a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Critics Consensus stating that the film "deploys every rom-com cliché in the book with little care given to achieving any real sentiment." Romantic comedies have gained some steam over the years by placing more realistic characters into the plot — all while holding onto a rom-com's idyllic charm — yet "The Kissing Booth" sent the genre back a few years, especially when you take the film's toxic relationships into account. But, hey, if audience members are fans of this teen rom-com, then they can celebrate by watching the second and third chapters of the trilogy, which proves that critics and viewers don't always share the same opinions.

The Ugly Truth

"The Ugly Truth" is yet another romantic comedy that features an A-list cast whose talents aren't enough to make the film watchable. Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) is a womanizing, walking cliché, who hosts a TV show that features his cynical views on love. He's brought on to bump up the ratings of a failing morning show that's produced by true love believer Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl). Despite Mike being everything Abby dislikes in men and representing all that she doesn't believe, she begins to take dating advice from him. Worst of all is that "The Ugly Truth" takes both outdated ideas of love and stereotypes of the differences between men and women in relationships, and heavily pumps this all into the story's message through Butler and Heigl's opposing characters.

Unsurprisingly, "The Ugly Truth" received a terrible rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an ugly Critics Consensus concludes: "Despite the best efforts of Butler and Heigl, 'The Ugly Truth' suffers from a weak script that relies on romantic comedy formula, with little charm or comedic payoff." "The Ugly Truth" might have its moments — as all movies, whether good or bad, do — but its overplayed message of opposites attract doesn't quite hit the mark.

The Wrong Missy

Tell us if you've heard this one before: A man named Tim (David Spade) meets the woman of his dreams Missy (Molly Sims) and he invites her on a second date to Hawaii, where he's going on a company retreat. As luck (and idiocy) would have it, Tim mistakenly invites another girl named Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who he shared an awful date with. In Missy's case, who's going to pass up a free trip to Hawaii? This plot, to say the least, is bizarre, but in the name of entertainment, the show must go on.

For what it's worth, Lauren Lapkus shines as the titular character. But not even her performance can save "The Wrong Missy" from a not-so-pleasant Rotten Tomatoes score and a poor Critics Consensus: "Lauren Lapkus lifts 'The Wrong Missy' above abject failure, but this lazy comedy will be the wrong option for all but the most Happy Madison-starved viewers." Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions produced this film for Netflix, but "The Wrong Missy" relies on outdated tropes and predictable humor that feel particularly tiresome in comparison to other more refreshing Netflix rom-com fare like "Set It Up" or "Someone Great."

Though the romantic comedies on our list prove that not every single film can be a masterpiece, these movies also demonstrate that making a critically acclaimed film from start to finish is no easy feat. Ultimately, these rom-coms don't necessarily make the genre proud and some viewers might find them tough to finish. But, by all means, please find out for yourself!