There’s no better time than the Valentine’s Day for a rom-com movie marathon. Open that box of chocolates, grab a box of tissues and take your pick from these 14 all time great romantic comedies, which will prove that romance isn’t dead after all. As if you needed a reminder!
1. When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally is one of those romantic comedies that has left an impression on every rom-com that has released since then. Even though it released over three decades ago, it continues to reign at the top of any rom-com movie list. Starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, this film had an unorthodox structure that did not follow the traditional romantic comedy stereotypes, which makes it timeless.
2. My Best Friend’s Wedding
Starring Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney, this 1997 film is the classic love triangle where a woman realises that she has been in love with her best friend all along, but the realisation comes only after he gets engaged to someone else. The best part of the movie is certainly the scene where the cast breaks into a beautiful rendition of “I Say A Little Prayer For You”.
3. You’ve Got Mail
Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, this Nora Ephron film is the gold standard of romantic comedies. A woman runs her ‘shop around the corner’ that’s threatened by a big corporation owned by a business family. In the era of pen-pals, Meg’s Kathleen and Tom’s Joe start writing to each other and fall in love, while in the non-virtual life, their relationship is more than rocky.
4. It’s Complicated
It is not often that we see a mature love triangle handled ably like in It’s Complicated. Starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, this Nancy Meyers film portrays love story of two middle-aged people quite delicately whilst also not compromising on the mush.
5. The Holiday
Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz’s characters trade lives, or rather their homes, in this rom-com by Nancy Meyers. Also starring Jack Black and Jude Law, The Holiday is set during the Christmas holidays when Cameron’s Amanda and Kate’s Iris realise that they are both stuck in a rut and decide to run away from their life for a week. What they find in exchange is life-changing!
6. Love Actually
This film is revisited by many during this time of the year, mainly because of its feel-good nature. A collection of stories featuring an ensemble cast, the Richard Curtis directorial reinforces the idea of feel-good romance. The film stars Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman among others.
7. 10 Things I Hate About You
This teen romantic comedy is just what you need for a lazy day-in. Starring Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Larisa Oleynik, this teen comedy is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The most dreamy and romantic part of the film is when Ledger’s Patrick takes over the football field and sings “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” to a cynical Kat.
8. Notting Hill
Back in the day, Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts were the epitome of on-screen romance in Hollywood and its the recollection of those days that makes Notting Hill a great watch even today. She’s a movie star and he is the goofy guy who wears scuba goggles to the theatre. “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” remains one of the most repeated quotes for anyone who grew up in this era.
9. Pretty Woman
Richard Gere is the man from upper-class society, and the resident rom-com expert Julia Roberts is the woman from the streets who can hustle to make an extra buck or two. And when cupid strikes them, we get a rom-com for the ages.
10. Four Weddings and a Funeral
With many weddings and a funeral, this British rom-com had perfected the formula that was constantly rehashed back in the day. The way this film decided to wrap the love story of its leads, despite that misleading title, was quite a unique move for those days.
11. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
The present-day Matthew McConaughey won’t recognise the guy he was at the start of the century. He was in every other romantic comedy and more often than not, he was the guy who took your heart away, even with his bad-boy behaviour. The ‘him v/s her phenomenon’ was quite frequently used in those days which is what made this Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson a lovable rom-com.
12. The Wedding Planner
Another Matthew McConaughey film makes it to the list! In the movie, McConaughey played a semi-bad boy who is actually engaged to an heiress but flirts with his own wedding planner. JLo’s turn as Mary, the wedding planner, established her as the girl-next-door, along with being a global pop star.
13. The Wedding Singer
There is no way that a rom-com list would be complete without one of the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore movies and that’s where The Wedding Singer enters the picture. While there have been umpteen Drew-Adam movies over the years, the innocence of The Wedding Singer still makes it worth revisiting.
14. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
What happens when two cultures collide in the backdrop of a love story? While this would seem quite ordinary in 2021, it was a whole new world for Hollywood in the early 2000s. John Corbett’s Ian and Nia Vardalos’ Toula are affable and sweet, and even though her family might seem a bit overbearing at times, it is still the kind that feels welcoming.