Summer 2013 was a strong season for that oft-maligned genre, the romantic comedy. Excellent films like The Spectacular Now and Drinking Buddies for the most part avoided rom-com cliches, and reinventions like Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing made timeless story lines seem fresh. Still other on-screen romances were held in unorthodox settings: A horror film (The Conjuring), a martial arts movie (The Grandmaster) and even in an edition of the Fast franchise.
Compiled by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly.
12. The Conjuring
Real-life ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren were teenagers when they wed in 1945. He loved scares, she talked to spirits, so naturally they began their paranormal cleaning company. When we meet them in 1971 (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) they're a doting, long-married couple who just happen to earn their living banishing demons. What sells The Conjuring isn't the spooks -- it's the panic in Wilson's eyes when these ghosts threaten to destroy his increasingly fragile wife. --Amy Nicholson
Read the full The Conjuring movie review.
11. Fast & Furious 6
What really revs Vin Diesel's engine? Word that his ex-girlfriend Michelle Rodriguez survived the car accident assassination that took her out in 2009's Fast & Furious. Even his current squeeze, foxy Brazilian policewoman Elsa Pataki, gives Diesel's her bittersweet blessing to leave their sexy island paradise and track down the love of his life. Who says dudes don't like romances? They just gotta come coated in grease. --Amy Nicholson
Read the full Fast & Furious 6 movie review.
In Byzantium, this vampire stuff is serious business. But it's also the stuff of romance, and not just the teenagers-at-the-mall kind. You don't have to be a kid to find love. Maybe when you're 200 or so, it will come to you, too. --Stephanie Zacharek
Read the full Byzantium movie review.