Cracked's RomCom Encyclopedia

The Good News: Your winning combination of a sharp sense of humor and passable hygiene has landed you a girlfriend and/or wife. The Bad News: Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and odds are she's going to want you to spend some time watching romantic comedies. Here's how to avoid the worst.

The Classics

Rob Reiner directing and the sharpest script of Nora Ephron's career add up to a lightning-in-a-bottle combination that set the standard for every romantic comedy that followed and gave goofy misanthropes everywhere hope that they too could score with a perky blonde.

Verdict: Countless imitations have made most of the jokes tired clichés by now, but with Meg Ryan at her most adorable and Billy Crystal delivering lines that almost make you want to forgive him for his 1985 single "You Look Marvelous," this genre-defining classic is the Star Wars of romantic comedies. Except with fewer space battles and a significantly less coked-up Carrie Fisher.

Cracked Fact: Sally's famous fake orgasm was actually Ryan's idea, the nearby diner's equally famous punchline was suggested by Crystal. And every time that scene's parodied somewhere, they both die a little inside.

When the first five minutes of a movie feature a six year-old saying "I used to be a heroin addict; now I'm a methadone addict," there's a good chance it won't be going down as the most romantic flick ever made. Then again, one should never underestimate the strange allure of a young, borderline suicidal Christopher Walken.

Verdict: Not only do Allen's one-liners provide more laughs than Diane Keaton's outfits, but two hours of the most dismal relationship failures ever filmed will make your romantic flaws look a lot more forgivable-especially if you've never ditched your girlfriend for her adopted Vietnamese daughter.

Cracked Fact: A scene where Allen sneezes while holding a snuffbox full of cocaine was an accident, but got so many laughs it was left in the final cut.

With a satire that takes on two genres at once and ends up being one of the funniest and most quotable movies of the past five years, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright fused quirky romance with George Romero to bring us the world's first "RomZomCom."

Verdict: A slacker getting his life together and reclaiming the love of his life is boring, but a slacker getting his life together and reclaiming his lost love while under constant threat of being devoured by the shambling hordes of the walking dead? That's genius.

Cracked Fact: Ask any married woman: There's nothing more romantic than shooting your own zombified mother in the head with a rifle.

ALSO CLASSICS: Notting Hill, The 40 Year-Old Virgin

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