May 19, 2024

The best rom-coms of all time to give you that fuzzy feeling

Who: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Meryl Streep

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, 2018

What: Five years after the original film came out, Mamma Mia is back with another extravaganza of Abba-fuelled, feel-good fun as Sophie prepares to open Hotel Bella Donna. True to its name, we’ll be watching it again and again and again.

Defining Moment: One word: Cher.

Crazy Rich Asians, 2018

Who: Gemma Chan, Constance Wu, Henry Golding

What: Get ready to see the film of the year, ahead of it’s cinema release! Based on the best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan shows the only thing crazier than love is family. It’s so great even Chrissy Teigen is OBSESSED! The story follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life.

Not only is he the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim.

Defining Moment:/b As the first modern love story with an all-Asian cast and an Asian-American lead in TWENTY-FIVE ENTIRE YEARS, it features a wealth of talent from Gemma Chan (Humans) to Ocean 8’s hilarious, Awkwafina.

The Big Sick, 2017

Who: Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan
What: Loosely based on Kumail’s real life, the plot tells the story of his relationship. After meeting in one of his stand-up shows, Kumail and his wife Emily – a Pakistani comedian and an American student – start to fall in love. As the relationship evolves, Kumail worries about his family’s tradition and how his parents are constantly trying to set him up with Muslim women, regardless of his relationship with Emily. *Spoilers ahead*… Emily and Kumail break up but obviously the movie and their love story doesn’t end there.

Defining Moment: When Emily falls ill and you really start to see Kumail and his girlfriend’s parents start to bond. To be fair, the whole plot is a defining moment when you’re defying the cultural stigma for love.

About Last Night, 2014

Who: Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy,
What: When funny man Bernie drags his friend Danny on a double date to impress the woman he’s dating (Joan), Danny quickly falls for her best friend – successful business woman, Debbie. The two hit it off from the jump and despite receiving warnings from their friends, end up rushing into a relationship where things quickly turn sour. Meanwhile Bernie and Joan provide all the LOLs with their on-again-off-again relationship.

Defining Moment: This is definitely more com than rom (thank you, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall) but we can’t help but swoon at the cute moments between Danny and Debbie – especially that first weekend they spend together. The defining moment has to be at the end when they get back together… ish.

About Time, 2013

Who: Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson
What: At the age of 21, Tim Lake discovers a family secret – the men in his family can travel through time. He decides to use his newly found gift to get himself a girlfriend and soon meets Mary. They’re quick to fall in love and start a life together. However, Tim soon realises that even time travel can’t prevent the painful things in life.
Defining Moment: The touching moments between Tim and his dad before he’s gone for good. Prepare to weep.

How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days, 2003

Who: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey
What: Arrogant ad exec Benjamin (McConaughey) bets his colleagues he can make a woman fall in love with him in ten days. Meanwhile, women’s mag writer Andie (Hudson) reckons she can get a guy to ghost her in the same time frame (um, sometimes you don’t even need ten days Andie). When they unwittingly pick each other as the object of their respective wagers, it’s a battle of wills.

Defining moment: Andie’s every-trick-in-the-book approach to putting Ben off: teddies on her bed, pretending to be a picky eater, marching him to couples’ counselling. Yep, so wrong on the gender stereotype front, but Hudson and McConaughey are adorable together. Sorry, not sorry.

The Holiday, 2006

Who: Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black
What: Who doesn’t love The Holiday? Fed up and needing a change, British journalist Iris (Winslet) swaps homes with LA movie trailer producer Amanda (Diaz). Iris befriends Miles (Black) but he already has a girlfriend, while Amanda meets Iris’ brother Graham, but he keeps disappearing to take mysterious phone calls from other women.
Defining moment: The scene when Graham first meets Amanda and they have instant chemistry.

When Harry Met Sally, 1989

Who: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher
What: Whip-smart Nora Ephron-scripted classic that poses the question: can a man and woman every really just be friends? Sally (Ryan) and Harry (Crystal) think they can, as they navigate crappy romantic relationships with others while maintaining their own friendship.
Defining moment: That orgasm scene. Giving women everywhere reason to look pointedly at their boyfriends, since 1989.

Maid In Manhattan, 2002

Who: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson
What: Marisa (Lopez) is a single mother working as a maid at a fancy Manhattan hotel. Cleaning the room of flashy socialite Caroline Lane (Richardson), she tries on a Dolce Gabbana coat and bumps into high-profile politician Chris, who falls for her on sight. They spend the day together with Marisa pretending she is a fellow hotel guest…
Defining moment: Marisa’s ten-year-old son saving the day by asking Chris at a press conference if people deserve second chances.

She’s All That, 1999

Who: Freddie Prinze Jr, Rachel Leigh Cook, Anna Paquin, Paul Walker, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe
What: When Zack (Prinze Jr) and Taylor (O’Keefe) – the dead certs for prom king and queen – break up, Zack bets he can transform any girl into his winning date. Even high school geek (read: arty and clever, but unpopular) Laney Boggs (Leigh Cook).
Defining moment: In typical high school movie style, Laney is already gorgeous beneath her paint-spattered overalls and glasses, but her appearance at the top of the stairs in an LBD, to the tones of Sixpence None The Richer’s Kiss Me, is still an amazing film makeover moment.

13 Going On 30

Who: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer
What: Jenna (Garner) gets mean-girled by the popular clique at her 13th birthday party, and wishes she could escape high school and be ‘thirty and flirty’. The next day she wakes up aged 29, with an amazing apartment and a job at her favourite magazine, but with no idea how she got there. When she tracks down her 13-year-old self’s BFF Matty (Ruffalo), who’s grown into a total hottie, it turns out they haven’t spoken to each other in years. She ditched him after her 13th birthday party to become the queen bee of the mean girls.
Defining moment: The 80s soundtrack is awesome, and the dance routine to Thriller tops the lot.

Never Been Kissed, 1999

Who: Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Molly Shannon
What: Journalist Josie (Barrymore) goes undercover at her old high school in order to befriend the cool crowd and write a story on youth culture.
Defining moment: Josie trying to forget her horrific high school experience and yelling “I’m not Josie Grossie anymore! ”

Notting Hill, 1999

Who: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant
What: A chance encounter in West London between the most famous movie star on the planet, Anna (Roberts), and indie bookshop owner William (Grant) leads to a romance that must bear the scrutiny of the world’s media. And his eccentric friends.
Defining moment: When William’s flatmate Spike (Rhys Ifans) styles out opening the front door to a wall of press, while wearing only a pair of greying underpants.

10 Things I Hate About You, 1999

Who: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik
What: An edgy, modern update of The Taming of the Shrew, transported to 90s America. Bianca (Oleynik) isn’t allowed to date Cameron (Gordon-Levitt) until her feminist older sister Kat (Stiles) starts dating. But Kat isn’t interested. So Cameron pays high school bad boy Patrick (Ledger) to woo her.
Defining moment: Heath Ledger’s super-swoonworthy rendition of iCan’t Take My Eyes Off Youi.

Love Actually, 2003

Who: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman
What: You either love this Richard Curtis movie or hate it, but either way, it’s a Christmas classic. There are nine story threads, all relationship based, that evolve over the festive season. Prime Minister (Grant) is falling for his tea girl (McCutcheon), Mark (Lincoln) is in love with his best friend’s wife, Juliet, (Knightley), and Harry (Alan Rickman) is cheating on his wife Karen (Thompson) with a younger woman.
Defining moment: Mark’s note card love messages for Juliet. You’ll either find it desperately romantic, or think ‘WTF mate, she’s married to your best mate! ’

The Proposal, 2009

Who: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White
What: Workaholic Canadian exec Margaret (Bullock) discovers her visa has lapsed and that she’s going to be deported from the States, so she forces her assistant Andrew (Reynolds) – who hates her guts – to marry her. To make their engagement look convincing, they have to act as a couple.
Defining moments: The singing bits. Margaret rapping Lil Jon’s Get Low in the woods with Betty White, and Andrew singing It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Z.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001

Who: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
What: The original – and the best – Bridget flick, based on Helen Fielding’s sublime, relatable and hilarious bestseller. Singleton Bridget (Zellweger) wants to lose weight, kick the fags and find a non-fuckwit boyfriend. Easier said than done. Her options are currently commitment-phobe Daniel Cleaver (Grant) and aloof goody-goody Mark Darcy (Firth). Luckily her mates are there to swig Chardonnay with while she figures things out.
Defining moment: Pre-mobiles, everyone could relate to Bridget’s landline faux pas, answering ‘Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess’ to her mum.

Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994

Who: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas
What: Definitive Richard Curtis romantic comedy with Hugh Grant as the posh bumbling Charles. He meets American Carrie (MacDowell) at a wedding and they sleep together together, before spending the next few years having a series of missed opportunities.
Defining moment: The movie that made everyone fall in love with Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis. And grow to hate Wet Wet Wet’s cover of Love is All Around.

Sleepless In Seattle, 1993

Who: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks
What: Widowed Sam (Hanks) is still grieving 18 months after his wife’s death, but his son Jonah wants to find his dad a new wife. He calls a Seattle radio show about it and Sam is inundated with offers from women around the country, including Annie (Ryan). She impulsively writes asking him to meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. A series of missed meetings and miscommunications follow.
Defining moment: Co-written (again) by Nora Ephron, both the one-liners and the schmaltzy moments are excellently drawn. Annie: “Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental. ”

Clueless, 1995

Who: Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy
What: A modern reworking of Jane Austen’s Emma, transporting the action from rural England to modern day Beverly Hills. Cher (Silverstone) plays the role of meddling, matchmaking Emma, trying to set up her single friend Tai (Murphy) with school douche Elton.
Defining moment: Introducing the phrases ‘As if’ and ‘Whatever’ to us Brits. Possibly the world’s most quotable movie (iMean Girlsi aside, obvs).

27 Dresses, 2008

Who: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Ackerman, Ed Burns
What: Perennial bridesmaid Jane (Heigl) is secretly in love with her boss (Burns), but when he meets her sister (Ackerman) they fall in love and get engaged, with Jane the obvious choice for maid of honour. Then cynical but handsome wedding reporter Kevin (Marsden) tricks her into spilling all the details about the weddings she’s been bridesmaid at, and uses the information for a snarky story.
Defining moment: Jane’s bridesmaiding activities have taken her on an odyssey of truly terrible dresses. And it makes for an epic trying-on montage sequence.

Bridesmaids, 2011

Who: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm
What: Annie (Wiig)’s cupcake business is failing and her lovelife sucks, but when BFF Lillian (Rudolph) asks her to be maid of honour at her wedding, she wants to do it well. She ends up in competition with fellow bridesmaid Helen (Byrne) over who is Lillian’s best friend.
Defining moment: The food poisoning scene. Poo gags = never not funny.

Legally Blonde, 2001

Who: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis
What: After getting dumped, pink-obsessed sorority girl Elle Woods (Witherspoon) follows her ex-boyfriend (Davis) to Harvard law school to try and win him back. But after winning an internship with a respected attorney, it turns out she’s not as ditzy as everyone thinks she is. Plus, his assistant Emmett (Wilson) is a much hotter prospect.
Defining moment: Elle educating her friend on how to woo a man, using the trusty ‘bend and snap’ technique.
Bruiser Woods is basically an American national treasure. Check out more iconic movie pets we wish we owned.

Jerry Maguire, 1996

Who: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr
What: Smooth talking sports agent Jerry (Cruise) has a moral epiphany over his soulless career and starts his own agency, vowing to take a more personal approach to his clients. He takes with him Dorothy (Zellweger), the one person from the office who supports his crusade, and just one of his former clients Rod (Gooding Jr). He and Dorothy start dating but working round the clock for his business comes between them.
Defining moment: For the rom, it’s got to be the ‘You had me at hello’ scene; for the com, it’s the ‘Show me the money’ scene. Obviously.

You’ve Got Mail, 1997

Who: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan
What: Post Sleepless In Seattle everyone wanted to see Hanks and Ryan onscreen together again. Directed again by rom-com queen, Nora Ephron, the pair play New Yorkers who have an online romance via email (this is way before the days of Tinder), unaware that they are business rivals: she owns an independent book shop, he heads up a string of chain mega bookstores.
Defining moment: All the seriously retro technology moments that the romance hinges on.

There’s Something About Mary, 1998

Who: Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon
What: Ted (Stiller) had a disastrous date with Mary (Diaz) in high school, and years later is still hung up on her. He hires a private eye (Dillon) to track her down, but he falls in love with her too. As does everyone else that Mary meets. They all try to win her heart while battling a series of ludicrous obstacles.
Defining moment: Either the ‘hair gel’ or the genitals caught in flies scenes. Grossout slapstick at its finest.

Sweet Home Alabama, 2002

Who: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey
What: Southern girl Melanie (Witherspoon) has moved to New York and become a successful designer. After getting engaged to the mayor’s son, Andrew (Dempsey), she has to go back to Alabama to get a divorce from her secret, estranged husband Jake (Lucas) – but he’s not playing ball.
Defining moment: The flashback scene where a young Jake tells a young Melanie he wants to marry her when they grow up, so that he can ‘kiss her anytime he wants’.

50 First Dates, 2004

Who: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler
What: Henry (Sandler) is a serial dater until meets his perfect woman, Lucy (Barrymore). Unfortunately she suffers from short-term memory loss, meaning every day is a blank slate and she can’t remember Henry chatting her up. Cue Henry wooing her afresh every day.
Defining moment: When Henry and Lucy spend the night together, she wakes up with her memory wiped and what she thinks is a stranger next to her. So she beats the shit out of him with a lacrosse stick.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002

Who: John Corbett, Nia Vardalos
What: Noula (Vardalos) bucks family tradition by falling in love with non-Greek Ian (Corbett, aka Aidan from SATC). They begrudgingly accept him when he agrees to convert, and then the wedding planning begins with gusto.
Defining moment: Noula’s dad introducing Ian to the extended family, and all their children are named Anita, Diane and Nick.

The Five-Year Engagement, 2012

Who: Emily Blunt, Jason Segel
What: On their one-year anniversary, chef Tom (Segel) proposes to Violet (Blunt). She says yes but each time they try to set a date, something – a new job, relocation – gets in the way. As time passes, they start to wonder if perhaps their marriage isn’t meant to be.
Defining moment: Tom’s best man (Chris Pratt) delivering his speech at the engagement party – a song all about Tom’s previous lovers.

The Wedding Planner, 2001

Who: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Judy Greer
What: Super-successful wedding planner Mary (Lopez) is saved from a runaway dumpster by off-duty doctor Steve (McConaughey). They go on a date and it’s only when her next client introduces her fiancé that she discovers Steve is actually engaged to someone else. Mary has to continue planning their wedding, while battling her feelings for Steve.
Defining moment: Mary and Steve accidentally knocking a nude statue’s, ahem, package off.

Knocked Up, 2007

Who: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Jason Segal
What: Stoner Ben (Rogen) has a one-night-stand with successful, uptight Alison (Heigl) and she gets pregnant. They decide to make it work and raise the baby, despite having nothing in common and barely knowing each other.
Defining moment: A relatively unknown Kristen Wiig as Alison’s TV boss, ‘encouraging’ her to lose weight once the baby is born. “We just want you to be healthy – by eating less. ”

Muriel’s Wedding, 1994

Who: Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths
What: Muriel (Collette) loves two things: Abba, and the prospect of getting married. But she’s stuck in a dead end job in Australia and has never been on a date. In an attempt to leave her boring life behind, she defrauds her parents and heads on an exotic holiday, before moving to Sydney with a fellow misfit from high school (Griffiths).
Defining moment: A+ use of an ABBA soundtrack.

The Break Up, 2006

Who: Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn
What: An anti-rom-com that starts with Brooke (Aniston) and Gary (Vaughn) splitting up and refusing to move out of their shared condo. Good real estate is hard to find. As the split becomes more acrimonious, they employ more elaborate means of driving the other one away.
Defining moment: The fight scene over doing the dishes. Which would be even funnier, if it wasn’t quite so relatable.

Big, 1988

Who: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins
What: Josh is a teenage boy who makes a wish on a carnival machine to be older. The next day, he wakes up as an adult (Hanks), and has to live as one until he can track down the carnival machine and reverse the spell. He gets a job and falls for one of his co-workers (Perkins), who – thankfully – doesn’t know he’s a child in an adult’s body when she kisses him (or it would be more weird than it already is).
Defining moment: The F. A. O Schwartz floor piano dance scene. You’ll want to fly to New York immediately and recreate it.

Crazy Stupid Love, 2011

Who: Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell,
What: Middle-aged Cal (Carrell) is thrown back into the dating pool when his wife (Moore) asks for a divorce, but he makes a new friend, Jacob (Gosling) – who’s a major league pick up artist – and he teaches him how to seduce women. They’re great mates until Jacob starts dating Cal’s daughter Hannah (Stone).
Defining moment: ‘Defining’ is right. When the Gos whips his top off, Hannah asks if his abs are photoshopped. Spoiler alert: they’re not.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2008

Who: Mila Kunis, Jason Segal, Russell Brand, Kristen Bell
What: When Peter (Segal) gets dumped by Sarah (Bell), he goes on holiday to Hawaii to get over her. Chatting up the hot, cool girl receptionist (Kunis) should help with that. But it turns out his ex is on holiday there too, with her ridiculous new musician boyfriend Aldous Snow (Brand).
Defining moment: Aldous crooning his cock-rock anthem Inside You.

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