BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
Take Katharine Hepburn as a dizzy free spirit with a hankering for a nebbish Cary Grant, mix in a leopard and sit back and watch a screwball comedy classic. Yet, the film was a box office disappointment when it was initially released and didn't get the critical acclaim it deserved until the 1950s. Talk about ahead of its time.
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)
Director Howard Hawks put a fresh spin on the popular play "The Front Page" by changing the gender of the star newspaper reporter from a man to a woman. In the process, he gave Rosalind Russell the role of a lifetime as a tough-talking, scoop chasing journalist. Her Hildy Johnson can crack wise and break huge stories with the fellas and still get the guy in the end.
BORN YESTERDAY (1950)
Don't let Billie Dawn's glass-shattering voice and platinum hairdo fool you, this is no dumb blonde. The mistress (Judy Holliday) of a corrupt tycoon gets schooled in the finer points of civics by an idealistic journalist (William Holden) and discovers that underneath the malapropisms is a brain to go along with all that beauty.
WHAT'S UP DOC? (1972)
Barbra Streisand updates Hepburn for the '70s, as a vagabond trouble maker with her eye on Ryan O'Neal. She burns down a hotel room, sets off a high-speed chase through the streets of San Francisco and destroys his relationship with his fiancée, but O'Neal still falls in love with her. You will too.
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993)
It's a romantic comedy where the couple spend most of the movie separated by a continent. In fact, the "meet cute" on the top of the Empire State Building doesn't occur until the Nora Ephron directed film's final moments. It's soft and gooey, but a radical heart beats in its romantic breast.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... (1989)
Being friends is tough, particularly when you're a man and a woman. That conclusion may seem a bit retrograde. However, what still feels fresh is that Harry (Billy Crystal) had to earn Sally's (Meg Ryan) love. She didn't just swoon at the sound of his quips.
MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING (1997)
It's ostensibly a romantic comedy, except the star of the film (Julia Roberts) doesn't get the guy and the most important relationship in her life turns out to be with her gay boss (Rupert Everett). Add to that, America's Sweetheart is depicted doing some pretty unlikable things.
SWEET HOME ALABAMA (2002)
Reese Witherspoon's hard-driving big city girl returns to her small town home to come to terms with her failed marriage. It's a classic love story with Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas vying for her affection. Except this time it's the woman making the choice about which guy to spend the rest of her life with.
THE PROPOSAL (2009)
Sandra Bullock is the tough as nails executive who gets schooled in losing her hard edge by a doe-like underling (Ryan Reynolds). Unlike other romantic comedies it was funny, not just cute.
Kristen Wiig didn't wait for Hollywood to cook up the perfect vehicle. She went and co-wrote the raunchy comedy herself. With one sink and street-defecating swoop she also ushered in a new era of what was permissible for female stars to do on screen. Sometimes pooping is progress.
IDENTITY THIEF (2013)
Melissa McCarthy took a part that was created for a man, applied her protean talents and committed an act of comic larceny that announced her as a bona-fide star.
THE HEAT (2013)
They carry a gun, they catch the perps and neither one of them have a man in their lives. Instead this is a bro-mance in the Judd Apatow tradition, albeit one with two females in the leads. With Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy's names above the title, it could be this summer's R-rated comedy smash.