By The Editors published
Romantic comedies: Love them or tolerate them—and let's be honest, you can't hate a rom-com—they're always good for a cozy evening in and a life lesson or two. They're also versatile: You can enjoy a good romantic comedy with almost anyone in your life, from your boyfriend to your parents to your best friend. Not to mention, they pair perfectly with just about any kind of snack (we're partial to M&Ms with our rom-coms, but you do you). For the next time that nothing but a good rom-com will do, we ranked the best and the most classic rom-coms of all time.
Are you looking for enemies-to-lovers romance? We got you! Love watching someone hire a fake boyfriend or girlfriend only to fall in love? Same. Obsessing over two teenagers and who they'll take to the prom? (Plot twist: they'll meet each other there.) That's our favorite activity! The point is rom-coms are the butter of the movie world as they just go perfectly with whatever your craving. So now we just have one final question: Where does your fave fall on the list?
75. '50 First Dates'
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler's chemistry is undeniable in 50 First Dates (2004), where Henry (Sandler) falls in love with a woman named Lucy (Barrymore) who has short-term memory loss. Every day, Henry tries to get Lucy to fall in love with him until she remembers him.
74. 'Meet the Parents'
Though this one is more comedy than romance, Meet the Parents is still as hilarious as it was when it was first released in 2000. With a name like Greg Focker, how could you not impress your partner's parents?
73. 'The Parent Trap'
Come for Lindsay Lohan being absolutely iconic in her role as twins Hallie Parker and Annie James trying to get their parents back together, stay for Daddy Dennis Quaid who broke all of our late '90s hearts.
72. 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'
Michael Cera was basically the king of the mid-aughts rom-coms. In Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Cera stars as high school student Nick who meets Norah after she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend. Throughout the night, they bond over their love for music.
Okay, so you don't immediately shout "ROM-COM!" when Grease (1978) appears on your screen, but it is a romantic musical that has a lot of snarky comedy throughout. Plus, it's just iconic!
70. 'Something Borrowed'
What happens when you're in love with your best friend's fiancé and you don't know what to do about it? Allow Something Borrowed (2011) to show you! The rom-com stars Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski, and Colin Egglesfield.
69. 'She's All That'
A jock bets his friends that he can turn any girl into the prom queen and they choose the ultimate challenge: Rachel Leigh Cook with glasses and paint on her clothes. Problematic teen comedy tropes aside, it's a quintessentially '90s rom-com.
68. 'The Lovebirds'
This hilarious action film is bolstered by the sweet chemistry between Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani), a couple who find themselves wrapped up in a murder right after they agree to break up.
67. 'Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon'
A girl gets set up with the heir to a multi-million dollar company and falls in love with him only to discover that he's not at all who everyone thought he was. This iconic Bollywood rom-com is considered a classic for a reason, complete with dreamy, longing gazes and killer dance sequences.
66. 'Something New'
Everyone's got a type, but it never hurts to step outside of your comfort zone and find Something New. Sanaa Lathan plays an accomplished but uptight accountant who hasn't had much luck in love despite desperately wanting to meet someone. A blind date with a guy nothing like her ideal man opens up her mind (and her heart), reminding us that love sometimes comes in the form you least expect it.
65. 'Deliver Us From Eva'
Two men hire a sweet-talking Casanova named Ray to temporarily court their no-nonsense sister-in-law, but things go awry when Ray also wins over the hearts of their lady loves. Deliver Us From Eva hits all the necessary points of a good rom-com: a contract relationship, insane chemistry, and a kidnapping plot.
64. 'The Wedding Date'
Those who can, date. Those who can't, hire an escort to pose as their boyfriend at their sister's wedding. Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney sizzle onscreen in this 2005 romantic comedy, so much so that people are *still* shipping them IRL.
63. 'Love, Simon'
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!
62. 'Set It Up'
Nothing's better for our nostalgic hearts than a new film that takes inspiration from the best rom-coms of all time. Underlings Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) use all the tricks from the book to set up their demanding bosses Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs), with interesting results for both of the pairs.
61. 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'
Number one on the very short list of good things to come out of 2018: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, the rom-com starring Lana Condor and my boyfriend Noah Centineo. We broke down why it's so damn good here.
60. 'Always Be My Maybe'
It may be a new release, but Always Be My Maybe is so good that you're definitely going to want to watch it as many times as humanly possible. The Netflix production stars comedians Ali Wong and Randall Park as childhood sweethearts who reconnect after 15 long years. Heartthrob Daniel Dae Kim makes an appearance, as does Keanu Reeves—pretty much playing himself.
Rom-coms are all ultimately about fate bringing two perfect-for-each-other people together, and Serendipity takes that idea and runs with it. The movie stars Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack as strangers who share a perfect, romantic night together in New York City and then, instead of exchanging contact information, put their phone numbers on random objects and send them out into the universe, trusting fate to bring them back together if it's truly meant to be.
58. 'Some Kind of Wonderful'
Boy likes popular girl. Boy's tomboy best friend helps him land popular girl. Popular girl's ex makes plans to pummel boy. Tomboy BFF realizes she's been secretly in love with boy the entire time. DRAMA.
57. 'Happiest Season'
This film nails a lot of things simultaneously: It's a funny rom-com, an adorable, sweet, sensitive love story between two women, and a painfully relatable story about complicated family dynamics and how we present ourselves to the world. And it's a perfect holiday movie?? It's got everything!
56. 'Something's Gotta Give'
It's just the classic love story of an older playboy falling for the mother of his young girlfriend. Not convinced? It features a young, always charming Keanu Reeves—not as the romantic lead.
55. 'Just Wright'
Queen Latifah plays a down on her luck physical therapist who finds herself in the employ of a hotshot basketball player (played by Common) after he suffers from a career-threatening injury. The chemistry in this one is something—prepare to swoon.
54. 'The Shop Around the Corner'
If you love You've Got Mail, you'll love The Shop Around the Corner, which is the movie the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic is based on (but, you know, pre-AOL).
Bill Hader should be the leading man in everything. Forever. And Amy Schumer's immense writing and acting skills are on full display. This movie is a perfect storm of a great script, great casting, and great chemistry.
52. 'Two Can Play That Game'
In this 2002 Black culture staple, Vivica A. Fox plays Shante, a woman with all the answers when it comes to dating who finds herself off of her game when she meets a lawyer named Keith (Morris Chestnut at his finest). The two fight it out in the battle of wills to see who can come on top. Let the games begin.
51. 'His Girl Friday'
If you like witty banter and dialogue so fast it would make the Gilmore Girls tongue-tied, then His Girl Friday is the rom-com classic for you.
Before it was a hit Broadway musical, Waitress was a charming indie rom-com. Both tell the story of a small town waitress who begins an affair with her OBGYN after she accidentally becomes pregnant by her no-good husband.
49. 'It Happened One Night'
This 1934 classic rom-com from acclaimed director Frank Capra focuses on a spoiled heiress named Ellie who marries a scheming man. Her dad then does the only logical thing and kidnaps her away on his yacht. Ellie, being the free spirit she is, jumps ship and meets up with a hardened newspaper reporter played Clark Gable, who sets off to help her link back up with her husband, but ends up catching feelings.
Featuring gorgeous performances by Elliot Page and Michael Cera, Juno features an unplanned pregnancy between high school besties, the journey towards adoption, and the cutest (unconventional) on-screen romance since...ever?
47. '500 Days of Summer'
All of the millennial angst of meeting someone who you believe to be the one, followed by disillusionment and despair, is captured in this excellent *non-romance* starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Bookmark this to watch alone, and experience all the feels.
46. 'The Seven Year Itch'
In The Seven Year Itch, about a man who considers cheating on his wife with his gorgeous, model neighbor, Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell show that infidelity (or at least the idea of it) can be more hilarious than you'd imagine.
45. 'Love Jones'
In this classic Black love film, a poet (Larenz Tate) and a photographer (Nia Long) fall in love in '90s Chicago, but their ambitions and exes get in the way of their relationship.
44. 'Say Anything'
An '80s boy-meets-girl classic, from the famous Peter Gabriel boombox scene to the teenage coming-of-age love story. You'll never look at trench coats and sneakers the same way.
43. 'Love Actually'
The gift that keeps on giving. Love Actually is a go-to comedy during the holiday season, and everyone has their favorite plot line from the many diverging love stories that take place.
42. 'Knocked Up'
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 get it...
41. 'Silver Linings Playbook'
It's about mental illness, and it also manages to be sweet and incredibly funny. It doesn't hurt that the two leads, played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, are giving some of their best work (Lawrence won an Oscar for the role). Come for the snappy banter, stay to watch two people who are imperfectly perfect for each other fall in love.
40. 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'
The longest-running Hindi film ever literally rewrote the rom-com, as a modernized Romeo-and-Juliet tale with a celebration of Indian culture and an exploration of important issues like liberalization. All that, plus catchy songs and gorgeous dancing in perfect Bollywood fashion. Marie Claire's Neha Prakash did an oral history of the iconic movie.
39. 'The Long Shot'
Who knew Seth Rogen would be the ideal rom-com lead? This seemingly odd couple pairing between him and Charlize Theron makes perfect sense once you get the two of them in a room for five minutes. Pair it with sharp, literally laugh out dialogue and this becomes an underrated gem.
38. 'Palm Springs'
Palm Springs is both a perfect analogy for the pandemic and one of the best modern-day rom-coms. Two guests at a wedding (Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti) have to relive the same day over and over again, in true Groundhog Day style. If you've ever had to go to multiple weddings in the same year, it's even more relatable.
37. 'Mamma Mia!'
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.
36. 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'
In this classic, Marilyn Monroe plays a showgirl who gets engaged to a wealthy man—much to the chagrin of his family. The man's father hires a private detective to tail Monroe's character during a cruise with a girlfriend, looking out for anything that might ruin the marriage.
35. 'Definitely, Maybe'
34. 'Sweet Home Alabama'
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.
33. '13 Going on 30'
All Jenna Rink wants to be is "30, flirty, and thriving" until she actually gets what she wishes for. The bewilderment of being 13 in a 30-year-old's body is played pretty much perfectly here by Jennifer Garner, and this film captures the exact moment where the world truly fell in love with Mark Ruffalo.
32. 'Crazy, Stupid, Love'
Hopefully there'll be many more romantic movies to come from Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, because they're irresistible as a pair. Gosling plays a ladies' man who falls for the deadpan, unsinkable Hannah (Stone), while he's also trying to help a hapless divorce (played by Steve Carrell) get his manly groove back.
31. 'The Philadelphia Story'
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.
30. 'High Fidelity'
For a movie that focuses almost exclusively on breakups and the terrible things people do to each other when love is involved, High Fidelity still manages to be infinitely hilarious and surprisingly romantic.
29. 'Some Like it Hot'
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.
28. 'Coming to America'
There's a literal royal romance at the heart of this classic Eddie Murphy film. Prince Hakeem of the fictional nation Zamunda (Murphy) travels to Queens, NY, to find his true love, rather than have an arranged marriage. He falls for local beauty Lisa (Shari Headley), but he has to win her away from her Jheri-curl sporting boyfriend.
27. 'The Big Sick'
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.
26. 'Bringing Up Baby'
In this classic screwball comedy, Cary Grant stars as a paleontologist who needs a donation from a wealthy benefactor for his museum. Things get complicated when he meets said benefactor's wacky niece (Katherine Hepburn), who pulls him into an adventure involving, among other things, a dinosaur and a (kind of) tamed leopard.
25. '27 Dresses'
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.
24. 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'
Jason Segel stars as Peter, who is completely shattered when he's dumped by his famous, TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall. In an attempt to get over her, he goes to Hawaii, only to find that he's staying in the same hotel as Sarah and her new, obnoxious boyfriend.
23. 'While You Were Sleeping'
A woman named Lucy (Sandra Bullock) saves her secret crush from being hit by a train. She goes to the hospital with him and accidentally implies to his family that they're engaged (oops). When he wakes up and doesn't remember her, everyone assumes he has amnesia and he just...is engaged to her. But then—awkward—Lucy starts to fall for Mr. Right's brother (Bill Pullman, in peak awkward-adorable form).
22. 'The Wedding Planner'
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.
21. 'The Proposal'
A hotshot book editor (Sandra Bullock) facing deportation to Canada forces her younger male assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her for a green card. During a trip to visit his family and sell the lie, they really fall in love. Yes, it's a #MeToo nightmare, but rom-coms sometimes live in their own special alternate universe.
Obviously you have seen this, so you don't need to read a description. (Okay okayyyy if somehow you haven't, here you go: This modern update of Jane Austen's Emma sees a California high-school girl as she balances her social life, bettering herself and others, and keeping up her expansive closet.)
19. 'How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days'
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.
18. 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'
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 a—you guessed it—insanely big Greek family, falls in love with a non-Greek man. Things get...complicated.
17. 'The Holiday'
Two women from opposite sides of the pond who are unlucky in love decide to swap home and, in the process, maybe totally find their soulmates.
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.
15. '10 Things I Hate About You'
One of the most clever teen comedies of all time, 10 Things I Hate About You is a classic for its whip-smart script and hilarious camaraderie between the actors (see: a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Not to mention all the signature rom-com moments, from epic dance and song scenes (honestly, it's worth watching just to see Heath Ledger's immortal dance number with a marching band) to public declarations of love.
14. 'Love and Basketball'
This movie includes one of the sexiest scenes ever, a good old fashioned friends-to-more-than-just-friends storyline, and some heart-wrenching heartbreak. Oh, and Omar Epps.
13. 'The Princess Bride'
Equal parts fairytale romance and laugh-out-loud comedy, The Princess Bride is a classic for all ages—with its self-described best kiss of all time.
12. 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'
Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell in this rom-com classic about an Englishman and an American woman who meet at a wedding...and then (just like the title says) three others and a funeral.
11. 'Pretty Woman'
Clearly this is a requirement. Julia Roberts is epic in this movie about a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) who becomes smitten with a prostitute he hires on a whim.
10. 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back'
Stella (Angela Bassett) goes on vacation to Jamaica and meets a hot man almost half her age (Taye Diggs). The two hit it off—obviously—but can their love make it outside of the vacation bubble?
9. 'Crazy Rich Asians'
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.
8. 'Sleepless in Seattle'
When Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan come together, rom-com magic happens (spoiler alert—this isn't the only film with them on this list). In this classic, a recent widower's son calls in to a radio show to find his dad a new love.
7. 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
The hilarious and uncensored Bridget Jones (played by Renée Zellweger) forever has our loyalty as a news anchor caught in a love triangle with her boss and her childhood friend Mr. Mark Darcy (actually modeled off the brooding Pride & Prejudice suitor). The British humor is pitch perfect and glorifies the idea of being unapologetically yourself, flaws and all.
6. 'My Best Friend's Wedding'
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.
5. 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
This Audrey Hepburn classic spawned a million dorm room posters and it's an enduring classic in the rom-com genre to this day. The movie follows Holly Golightly, a young woman looking for a rich, older man to marry—but finds herself falling for a young man in her apartment building instead. Some aspects have aged poorly, but Hepburn's performance is timeless.
4. 'Notting Hill'
This rom-com is just the story of a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her—after a long, complicated love story, that is. Julia Roberts plays a world-famous actress (a stretch, right?) who falls for an average Londoner (played by Hugh Grant).
3. 'You've Got Mail'
You've Got Mail is another Marie Claire 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.
2. 'Roman Holiday'
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's love story is only the second most romantic tale of European royalty falling for an American. The first is Roman Holiday, which stars Audrey Hepburn as an overwhelmed princess who runs away from her responsibilities on a trip to Rome and ends up romantically entangled with an American reporter.
1. 'When Harry Met Sally'
This quintessential rom-com begs the question: "Can guys and girls ever truly be friends?" Rom-com queen Meg Ryan goes toe-to-toe with Billy Crystal in a story about an 11-year friendship between two friends who (hilariously) try to keep the line between friends and lovers separate. Nora Ephron's immaculate screenplay is poetry.
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