52 Rom-Coms Every Woman Should Watch Before She Turns 30

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Romantic comedies: love them or tolerate them (let's be honest you can't hate a romcom), they're always good for at least some light entertainment and a life lesson or two. (Okay okay, and sometimes a few tears.) Here, the best and most classic rom-coms to watch before you hi 30—especially since the big 3-0 is such a rom-com trope in and of itself.

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before

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Number one on the very short list of good things to come out of 2018: To All the Boys I've Loved Before. This summer, Netflix released the rom-com starring Lana Condor and my boyfriend Noah Centineo. MarieClaire.com's Senior News and Culture Editor Cady Drell breaks down why it's so damn good, here.

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You've Got Mail

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You've Got Mail is another MarieClaire.com favorite—so much that we had our Gen-Y and Gen-Z co-workers watch the movie in honor of its 20th anniversary to see what still holds up. Set in '90s NYC, Meg Ryan plays Kathleen, the owner of a small children’s bookstore, and Tom Hanks plays rival bookstore owner. They meet online and, well, we won't spoil the rest for you.

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Mamma Mia!

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If you need a reminder of how great of an actress Amanda Seyfried is, watch Mamma Mia!, then bask in the glory of Meryl Streep who plays her mother in the film. The premise: Sophie (Seyfried) goes on a quest to find her birthfather to walk her down the aisle and decides to invite all of the potential suitors (read: her mother's exes) without telling her. The Greek setting will make you want to book a vacation ASAP...and the soundtrack will make you want to download several ABBA albums.

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

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After you watch the first movie, you obviously have to watch the sequel, released earlier this year. Almost all of the original players are in it, including a few new ones. Heard of a little icon named Cher?

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The Wedding Planner

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Two words: Jennifer Lopez. The actress/singer/goddess takes us back to 2001 when she stars opposite Matthew McConaughey in The Wedding Planner. If you can get past the white male savior complex at the start of the movie (McConaughey saves Lopez from getting run over by a huge cart and also happens to be the doctor who takes care of her in the hospital), the plot will completely throw you for a loop.

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Love, Simon

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Love, Simon has been praised for its long-overdue Hollywood storyline about a gay teenage romance starring Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, and your faves Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner. While dealing with a blackmailer who has threatened to "out" Simon to the entire school, the teen is also attempting to balance home life and the classmate he fell in love with online. You know, the usual!

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Crazy Rich Asians

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For the first time, asians are finally getting the representation and recognition they deserve on the big screen. Twenty-eighteen's buzziest rom-com is based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel Crazy Rich Asians, and stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding. Rachel Chu (Wu) visits her boyfriend's (Golding) family on a summer trip to Singapore and notices he fails to mention a few details...like the fact that they're mega rich, hard to please, and, oh yeah, that he's the country's most eligible bachelor.

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Bride Wars

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You probably forgot about this one, didn't you? In 2009's Bride Wars, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway play childhood best friends who have been planning their dream weddings for years—at the same venue. But when the dates clash and they have to book their ceremonies on the same day things get a bit...messy.

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The Kissing Booth

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Joey King, Joel Courtney, and Jacob Elordi give stellar performances in this 2018 Netflix film, The Kissing Booth. Elle and Lee's (King and Elordi) friendship struggles when Elle starts secretly dating Lee's brother, Noah (Elordi). Fun fact(s): King and Elordi are dating IRL, and the movie also stars original rom-com queen Molly Ringwald.

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No Strings Attached

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Beautiful people Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman make their way to the big screen together in the 2011 No Strings Attached, and it's exactly what you expect it to be about from the title. Still, a must-watch.

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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is every 17-year-old's dream setup: two strangers bond over a mutual friend enemy and their love for music. Michael Cera (Nick) and Kat Dennings (Norah) give such wholesome performances it makes you think the same thing could actually happen to you.

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Knocked Up

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Let's all take a moment to acknowledge Knocked Up is more than a decade old. (Ugh, now we feel old.) Never forget Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen who play, respectively, a rising journalist and an irresponsible slacker who have a one-night stand and, well, you can figure out the rest...

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Friends With Benefits

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Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis have incredible chemistry in Friends With Benefits (2011)—a rom-com about two pals who decide to have a little fun after their respective relationships fail. Interestingly, Kunis' IRL husband Ashton Kutcher's No Strings Attached came out the same year, and there were a lot of comparisons to this movie.

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Sweet Home Alabama

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If you have any doubts about this one, do yourself a favor and simply watch to witness Reese Witherspoon's evolution as an actress. The 2002 movie details Melanie's (Witherspoon) life as a fashion designer in NYC, and what happens when she needs to return to her Alabama roots to receive a divorce from her husband, Jake (Josh Lucas). Tears will 100 percent be shed.

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Something Borrowed

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This 2011 rom-com is highly relatable if you've ever experienced "the one that got away." Catching feelings for a friend, who then becomes your best friend's fiancé, is never an ideal situation—but this movie proves you should always follow your heart even when there are...external factors. Plus, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) play the ultimate bestfriend pair.

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27 Dresses

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Come for the gorgeous dresses, stay for the "Bennie and the Jets" bar duet between Katherine Heigl and James Marsden. For anybody out there who feels like a forever bridesmaid, this 2008 movie will have you laughing and crying all at once.

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Music and Lyrics

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Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore star opposite each other in this 2007 rom-com about a former rockstar and aspiring writer. We won't spoil the rest for you, but the music is 💯.

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50 First Dates

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Adam Sandler—the king of comedy—finds his sensitive side in 50 First Dates, where he falls in love with Lucy (Drew Barrymore). The only problem? Lucy suffers from memory loss, and Henry (Adam Sandler) has to help her fall in love with him all over again...and again...and again.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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You'll never look at Windex the same after watching this movie. But in all seriousness, the 2002 film stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett (during his SATC days). Vardalos, who plays a young Greek woman who comes from an—you guessed it—insanely big Greek family, falls in love with a non-Greek man. Things get a bit...complicated.

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The Big Sick

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Romances are always sweeter when they're based on real life stories, which is why this rom-com from Silicon Valley's Kumail Nanjiani is such a breath of fresh air. It grounds the typical rom-com tropes in a time of Uber and dating apps, portraying an interracial romance between stand-up comic Kumail (played by himself) and his wife Emily (played by indie rom-com queen Zoe Kazan). They face their biggest challenge when Emily develops a sudden sickness that lands her in a coma.

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin

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Steve Carrell plays a sweet 40-something who has zero game in this Judd Apatow movie. When his co-workers discover that he's still a virgin, they try to help him work on his dating skills.

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Some Like it Hot

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Marilyn Monroe plays a member of a traveling jazz band who believes she's fallen in love with a millionaire, when in fact she's being duped by one of her fellow band members (a man on the run who's pretending to be a woman). Some Like It Hot features one of the steamiest kisses in film history and lots of great Marilyn Monroe song numbers.

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Heartbreakers

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This rom-com has one of the most hilarious concepts: A mother and daughter play two con-women who scam wealthy men out of money. Sigourney Weaver plays the mother who hooks the men, and the daughter (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) plays the one who elicits an affair with them to produce a divorce check. Their next heist goes awry when one of their victims comes back to catch them in the act.

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How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days

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A lady mag journalist wants to take on more serious pieces, so her boss assigns her one last fluff piece as a final challenge: a story on how to lose a guy in 10 days. She uses all of the behavior men have been calling women "crazy" for for ages, but ends up falling for the guy she's trying to get rid of. What she doesn't know is that he's taken a bet that he can make her fall in love with him, so it's a classic conflict of interests.

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La La Land

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This modern musical directed by the very young Damien Chazelle (of Whiplash fame) re-unites Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in this magical love story set in L.A. about ambition, integrity, and timing. It has enough dance numbers and beautiful duets to melt you into your seat.

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Moonstruck

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The full moon sometimes makes us do crazy things—or, at least, that's what we'd like to blame—which is the central theme of this film about a widow (played by the fabulous Cher) who travels with her fiancé to Sicily to meet his family. She ends up falling for his baker brother (Nicolas Cage) while her father and mother engage in extra-marital affairs. The romantic hijinx won over critics who awarded the film three Oscars, including a Best Actress award for Cher.

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The Philadelphia Story

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A rom-com for the ages, this classic from 1940 stars Carey Grant and Katharine Hepburn as a married couple on the rocks. Hepburn plays Tracey Lord, a socialite who attempts to remarry after throwing out her ex-husband (Grant). That is, until he shows up to her nuptials with an investigative journalist who's clued in on her dark family history.

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My Best Friend's Wedding

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No movie captures the frustration of being in love with your best friend quite like My Best Friend's Wedding, a sublime rom-com starring '90s screen queens Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts. Roberts plays a 27-year old food critic who realizes she's in love with her best guy friend. When he announces he's getting married to a college-age student, she decides to subtly sabotage their wedding.

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The Artist

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A truly one-of-its kind movie, this modern oldie won the Oscar for Best Film in 2012, though it was directed in all black-and-white with no dialogue to mimic the style of silent films before "talkies" came around. A successful actor takes a young ingenue dancer under his wing in the midst of the creation of talking pictures, only to watch her career eclipse his in a big way. The dancing and dynamics between actors are fantastic, and it's a must-see for people swept away by the romance of La La Land.

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Sixteen Candles

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No one plays angsty teens quite like Molly Ringwald and she's at both her eye-rolliest in this teen flick about a wallflower who has to fend off her crazy extended family that's in-town for her sister's wedding. All of this aside, she's pining for the most popular boy in school (the dreamy Jake Ryan) who's caught wind of it and wants to reach out.

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