Classic Rom-Coms You Can Rewatch Over and Over
The recipe for a good romantic comedy: Two people, their quirky friends, an electric connection, a bump in the road, and sex, probably. Throw in a car chase, a missed plane, a misunderstanding, grand gestures, and a very happy ending. That’s all, folks. You’ve made a romantic comedy.
Predictable as they may be, these formulas are still a fabulous way to spend 90 minutes. Not all rom-coms are equal, however, which is why we’ve rounded up these classics.
For someone who loves vintage
Roman Holiday (1953)
No one does classical romance quite like Audrey Hepburn. She won an academy award for her performance in Roman Holiday, as a Princess who runs away from her royal duties to explore Rome. Obviously, she meets a good looking guy while she’s there.
For someone who needs to get of the friend zone
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Admittedly, the question of, "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?" feels outdated-- unless, of course, you have two straight friends who are secretly into each other. You can watch this with them as an unsubtle nudge. Time apart is time wasted, after all.
For a girls’ night in
Pretty Woman (1990)
"You and I are such similar creatures Vivian. We both screw people for money." It may not be your typical rom-com storyline, but that makes it all the more special. Two people find love in the unlikeliest of places, and it works.
For someone who loves 90s nostalgia
Did you know, Clueless was based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma? A rich darling who spends her time matchmaking and getting involved with everyone else’s emotional life, comes to realize she’s been sidelining her own emotions. Makes sense!
Expect some killer 90s outfits, a lifestyle that makes you go green with envy and heaps of quotable lines (“As if” you’re not quoting them already).
For a rom com ahead of its time
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
“How Stella Got Her Groove Back” was a step forward from the typical Hollywood storylines of men seducing women. Stella (Angela Basset), a 40 year old woman with a high powered job, goes on vacation to Jamaica, only to fall in love with a younger man. Iconic.
For someone who loves a British classic
Notting Hill (1999)
Produced by the King of Rom-Coms, Richard Curtis, who made Love Actually and Four Weddings And A Funeral (which also deserve a mention). Notting Hill is both hilarious and desperately romantic. It’s got one of the most satisfying endings in rom-com history, and if nothing else, it’s worth watching for the weird housemate, Spike.
For a sing-a-long
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Establish which sides you're taking for the “Elephant Love Medley” before you start the film. There’s nothing worse than someone stealing your solo.
For someone who needs a good cry
The Notebook (2004)
You may have already watched this a million times, but sometimes, you just need a good excuse to get into your feelings. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions: forbidden love, growing old together, and epic speeches. Make it to the end without crying and you deserve an Oscar.
For the skeptics
A film is way less satisfying when everything goes smoothly. Which is why Hitch is so great. Alex, a “date doctor” (Will Smith) fails miserably at the very thing he is hired to do. The best scene is when Alex has an allergic reaction to shellfish, takes too much Benadryl and then completely lets his guard down. As you can imagine, waking up the next day is a bit awkward.
For someone with wanderlust
The Holiday (2006)
Imagine visiting the UK, to a cottage in the middle of literally nowhere and have the most good looking man alive knock at your door. Alternatively, imagine visiting LA, staying in a mansion, becoming best friends with a legendary Hollywood writer and meeting the love of your life. In this movie, everyone wins.
For someone who needs a good laugh
Knocked Up (2007)
Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” is a relationship in reverse, which makes it all the more entertaining.
For someone who wants to text their ex
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Imagine heading out on an escape to forget about your ex, only to find your ex is bunked up with their new lover in the nextdoor apartment. It’s the stuff of nightmares, but Forgetting Sarah Marshall makes it funny.
For someone who thinks rom coms are lame
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
American filmmaker, Wes Anderson, famous for his eccentricity and distinctive style creates a charming love story between two 12-year olds. “Moonrise Kingdom” proves you don’t need sex to create a thoughtful and experienced love story.
A film to watch with the family
About Time (2013)
Think time travel, but make it realistic and heartwarming. “About Time” is the perfect film to sit down and watch with the family. In other words, there’s no toe-curlingly awkward sex scenes, but it’ll give you the romantic fix you need.
For lifestyles of the rich and famous
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Ever wondered what it would be like to date a billionaire? Crazy Rich Asians fulfils the fantasy, and it lives up to it by packing opulence into each scene. Underneath it all though, it remains a classic rom-com about love trumping class and family disapproval.
For someone who’s seen it all
The Photograph (2020)
This one’s a decade spanning love story about an estranged daughter (Issa Rae) in search of information about her late mother. Tastefully filmed sex scenes, electric chemistry and a few romantic cliches-- all essential for rom com status.