10 Best Rom-Com Movies You Should Watch

You will be charmed by at least one of these movies whether you like it or not.

500 Days of Summer

Rom-coms tend to get a bad rap in cinema. With stereotypical characters, predictable endings and cliché lines, romantic comedies are rarely considered examples of skilled filmmaking. Although this reputation rings true for many chick-flicks out there, that doesn’t mean rom-coms should be written off completely. In fact, there are many clever, entertaining movies out there that utilize the genre to its full advantage.


10. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

10 Things I Hate ABout You

Director: Gil Junger

A hit with teens and critics alike, 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern take on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The “shrew” in question is confident feminist high-schooler Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), who becomes the target of an elaborate plot.

Rebellious pretty-boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) is paid to beguile her, in order for Kat’s sister to be allowed a boyfriend. But will Kat’s intelligent, somewhat aggressive ideologies resist Patrick’s charms? 10 Things I Hate About You is famed for its number of iconic scenes, such as Heath Ledger singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in the school arena. But aside from that, 10 Things I Hate About You is intelligent, zesty and a refreshing break from standard romance plots.


9. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Bridget Jones's Diary

Director: Sharon Maguire

You would never guess this silly, sarcastic British movie stars an American actress. Renee Zellwegger plays Bridget Jones, a single woman in the midst of a mid-life crisis. In an effort to find a boyfriend, she decides to quit smoking, stop drinking and lose weight. But will this new life go to plan?

Bridget Jones’s Diary is a knee-slapping comedy with a dose of romance that never takes itself too seriously. Jones is a clumsy, extroverted character with buckets of personality – you can’t help but love her. The gags and twists of Maguire’s rom-com allow Bridget Jones’s Diary to flourish as an adorable British classic.


8. Pretty Woman (1990)


Director: Garry Marshall

Prostitution doesn’t exactly fit the bill for breezy chick-flicks. But Gary Marshall manages to balance off Pretty Woman’s dark themes with fluttery romance, light comedy and timely social commentary.

Julia Roberts plays Vivian. a beautiful, intelligent woman who is picked up by wealthy businessman Edward (Richard Gere). What starts off as a typical night for Vivian soon changes when Edward treats her to a weekend vacation with full pay. The unlikely pair become close, forced to confront the gulf between their very different lives.


7. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

500 Days of Summer

Director: Marc Webb

Director Marc Webb gets creative in the making and editing of 500 Days of Summer. Hopeless romantic Tom (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) recounts the past five-hundred days of his life, trying to pinpoint why his girlfriend suddenly dumped him.

A mock-musical dance-out and the famous expectation vs reality scene are just some examples of how 500 Days of Summer stands out. The inventiveness of 500 Days of Summer isn’t the only thing holding it together — a strong narrative and perfectly balanced tone shows audiences that originality isn’t completely lost on the rom-com genre.


6. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Four Weddings

Director: Mike Newell

Hugh Grant falls for the American beauty (once again, check number two on our list) while tugging on our heartstrings in this charismatic rom-com. A string of weddings (and a funeral) play host to a group of friends, each struggling their way through single life.

Four Weddings and a Funeral has proved to be a timeless piece of feel-good cinema. Character-driven and poignant throughout, Four Weddings and a Funeral is hilarious, sentimental and the acceleration point of Grant’s successful career.


5. About Time

About Time 2013

Director: Richard Curtis, 2013

This truly British movie is nothing if not heart-warming. Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers his genetic inheritance of time-travel. As he begins his life in a new city, with a new job and a new girlfriend, Lake attempts to perfect every aspect of his life. But of course, not every problem can be solved so easily.

Despite its sci-fi aspects, About Time remains wholly down-to-earth, never sugar-coating its simple lessons on love and acceptance. About Time’s endearing nature stems from rom-com master Richard Curtis, who penned the script with humorous elegance.


4. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally

Director: Rob Reiner

The potential of rom-coms is best exposed when placed in the hands of a skilled director. Rob Reiner, proving his ability in Stand By Me three years previous, takes the genre and paints a masterpiece.

Aside from the iconic café scene, When Harry Met Sally is successful for its realistic dialogue and ability to capture the everyday with optimistic flair. It set the gold standard for rom-coms to come, with cynically witty dialogue and accurate depiction of human relationships.


3. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually

Director: Richard Curtis

A Christmas classic that can be watched any time of the year, Love Actually boasts a sensationally British cast list, including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Martin Freeman and Andrew Lincoln. Love Actually diverges its storyline into multiple narrative strands, with each life somehow connected to the next.

Whether it’s Bill Nighy trying to make his rock-cover song number one on the charts, Alan Rickman contemplating an affair with a young coworker or Hugh Grant taking on his new role as Prime Minister, each storyline is hilarious and even tear-jerking at times. Curtis’s message that “love actually is all around” is loud and clear, with warm sentiments and memorable gags pulling you through the holidays with festive cheer.


2. Notting Hill (1999)

Notting Hill

Director: Roger Michell

The internationally adored British rom-com, Notting Hill is again borne from the talents of writer Richard Curtis. Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts star as two opposing forces (an English bookshop owner and a Hollywood actress) who are drawn together in the town of Notting Hill.

The glamorous lifestyle of Anna Scott (Roberts) makes their love affair difficult to hide from the press, but Michell’s message of enduring love nonetheless pushes through. The self-effacing, floppy-haired performance from Hugh Grant charms audiences, with moments of comedy and tenderness perfectly ratioed.


1. Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall screencaps
Source: athenacinema.com

Director: Woody Allen

World-renowned director Woody Allen celebrates the everyday in his most famous movie Annie Hall. Examining deep into the psyche of not just the characters but humanity as a whole, Alvy Singer (Allen) reflects on his life and relationship with nightclub singer Annie (Diane Keaton).

Similarly to When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall touches on the reality of modern love, avoiding soppy romance tropes that prevail the rom-com genre. Fantasy sequences and breaking-the-fourth-wall are some of the various ways Allen defies convention in his contemporary depiction of romance.

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