You know you’ve got a favorite. More likely, you have several. Those movies that are absolute kryptonite to channel surfing. The ones that make you stop mid-click and hold steady. It’s hard to admit, but they’re more than just some old romantic comedy. They’re romantic comedies that you’ve already seen about a thousand times before, yet whenever you stumble across one, you can’t help but watch it again. And again. And again!

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is addicted to comfort films. Familiar feel-good fare is good for the soul, and everyone has a favorite. As a matter of fact, Best of NJ reached out to a whole bunch of New Jersey celebrities to discover the movies that top their “All-Time Favorite Romantic Comedy” lists. From classics to a few surprises, this list will tell you which celebrities share your tastes, and maybe introduce you to a new favorite or two.

To see more NJ celebrities sharing their favorite romcoms, click here for Part Two or read the series conclusion in Part 3.

Jade Starling

Connection to New Jersey: Currently resides in New Jersey.
Romantic ComedyClaim to fame: A chart-topping dance artist best known for her No. 1 single with Pretty Poison, “Catch Me I’m Falling,” Jade has appeared on Billboard charts 9 times.
Favorite romantic comedy: When Harry Met Sally
“My all time favorite romantic comedy is When Harry Met Sally. I’m sure I’ve seen it 100 times. The chemistry/sexual tension between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is undeniable. There are so many classic moments. My favorite is when Ryan fakes an orgasm at the neighborhood diner and the woman at the next table says, ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’ And of course, Crystal’s philosophy that men and women can’t be friends because the man always needs to have sex… It’s sweet, funny, timeless, and poignant all at the same time. Highly recommended for Valentines Day with a nice bottle of wine. Xoxo”

Fun Fact: Pretty Poison’s hit song, “Catch Me I’m Falling” is featured in Academy Award-nominated romantic comedy, The Big Sick, another one of Starling’s favorite romcoms.


Roger Birnbaum

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: Born in Teaneck.
Claim to fame: A film producer/production manager/executive known for The Sure Thing, Rush Hour, Unbreakable, 27 Dresses, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Favorite romantic comedy: Annie Hall
“This is a terrific genre, but a difficult one to deliver successfully. Originality, comedy and absence of melodrama are three of the key characteristics that I am most aware of when watching one of these types of films. Of course, comedy is subjective, which is why everyone will have their favorite. If I had to choose one (so impossibly hard because I enjoy so many), I would say… Annie Hall is certainly right up there at the top of my list. Yes, it is funny (I think so). Yes, it is not melodramatic. And, finally, it is very original (the POV of the film is so clever and fresh for its time). I would also have to say that the photography and music add to my decision to make this my number one romantic comedy.”


Madeline Smith

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: Although currently residing in Nashville, Madeline’s hometown is Princeton.
Claim to fame: A singer/songwriter with three top 20 hits on the UK Country Charts who has opened for some of country music’s top acts, including Darius Rucker, Lee Brice, Kelsea Ballerini, and Scotty McCreery.
Favorite romantic comedy: The Wedding Planner
“All through middle school and throughout the first part of high school, before I started pursuing music, I wanted to be a wedding planner. I loved any movie related to wedding planning and, as a hopeless romantic, just about any romantic comedy. This movie, starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, was the perfect combo. Even though the event planning ship has sailed, years later this is still one of my all-time favorites because it is such a good reminder that love is always out there despite the timing of it.”


Jillian Armenante

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: Born in Paterson.
Claim to fame: An actress/producer/director known for her work in Judging Amy, Bad Teacher, The Dark Knight Rises, and Fresh Off The Boat.
Favorite romantic comedy: It Happened One Night
“When I was asked what my favorite romantic comedy of all time was, I had an instant reaction. It Happened One Night (1934), directed by Frank Capra and starring Claudette Colbert and Clarke Gable. First of all, I love the performances by these two heavy-hitting stars, and unlike most films today, Capra locks the camera down and lets the actors ‘go at it,’ which makes the chemistry between the actors really fly. The onscreen relationship seems to be the most like any romance I have ever had. They are sparring partners, scrappy, impulsive, and they respect each other for that. Out of that respect grows a true love. If you haven’t seen it yet, treat yourself to this classic.”


Melissa Bacelar

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: Born in Piscataway.
Claim to fame: An actress/producer/casting director known for her work in One Life to Live, The Scream, and Beneath the Dark.
Favorite romantic comedy: The Holiday
“Romantic comedy is by far my favorite genre. I would have to say The Holiday is my absolute go-to. Jack Black, Kate Winslet!! They are so amazing together, and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law always make me want to fall in love all over again. Also, it makes me feel like Christmas. Since moving to Los Angeles, I always need help when it’s 80 degrees through December. The one thing I always had a love/hate relationship with was Jersey Winters.”


Doreen Taylor

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: Resides in South Jersey.
Claim to fame: An award-winning singer/songwriter with Broadway credits and a charting single (“Toy”); Creative Director of Off-Broadway show, An Enchanted Evening: A Night With Oscar Hammerstein II.
Favorite romantic comedy: WALL•E
WALL•E is a thought-provoking, emotionally-charged masterpiece and one of the most innocent and sweet love stories I’ve ever seen portrayed on the big screen. I laughed, I cried (each and every time I watched it!). I feel there are two distinct, poignant love stories that unfold: The love between WALL•E and EVA, and the even greater universal love of environment and planet Earth and the innate desire to protect our world. Simply put, my take away from WALL•E is that love is not just a human emotion, but a powerful force that needs no words. It can not only transcend this world, but can also motivate great change.”


Don Fanelli

Romantic ComedyConnection to New Jersey: New Jersey born and raised.
Claim to fame: An actor/writer/producer known for his work with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre as well as 30 Rock, Inside Amy Schumer, Orange Is the New Black, and Nightcap.
Favorite romantic comedy: Groundhog Day
“My favorite romantic comedy? So difficult! So many good ones! I guess I lean towards Moonstruck or Groundhog Day. Edge probably going to Groundhog Day because I think it is a perfect movie. Harold Ramis and Bill Murray at their best. They never need to explain the time loop (although I read in previous drafts they did!) and we get to watch an extremely flawed, selfish man deal with something supernatural in a very realistic way. And after all his exploits and eventual depression, he realizes that you can not manufacture love. You truly have to be selfless and vulnerable to let love in. Andie MacDowell doesn’t miss a beat. Smart, funny, and charming.”


Romantic Comedy

SPINN

Connection to New Jersey: “Born and raised North Jersey girls! Though we left a piece of our hearts down the shore when we went to Monmouth University, we visit them every chance we get!”
Claim to fame: Stephanie and Cheryl Lynn Spinner are a twin sister country duo who have firmly put their boot imprint on the Garden State, as well as the rest of the country.
Favorite romantic comedy: How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days.
“Humor, Drama, shenanigans, and Matthew McConaughey! Kate Hudson is the perfect female lead, and she really portrays every guy’s crazy girl nightmare perfectly!”


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