Men, women, relationships, it's always a tricky situation - ripe for hijinx, drama and much movie comedy. Here, we've done the research of the rom com genre, and give you our list of the very best of the best modern-day rom-coms. So grab your sweetie, your remote, and your popcorn, and settle in for some good, hearty love and laughs!
By Fandango Staff
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
We admit, it's painful watching Steve Carrell's nice, likeable virgin search for love in all the wrong ways. But it's also pretty funny. And poignant when he finally meets Catherine Keener's equally likeable single mom (not the vixen snacking on his lower lip at left).
Knocked Up (2007)
Would Katherine Heigl really end up preggers from slouchy Seth Rogen? Maybe not. Of course, we hear girls like the humble, aloof types. And Seth's at least aloof. Funny stuff once more from 40-Year-Old Virgin maker Judd Apatow.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
At the outset of his career, Heath Ledger showed just why we would all come to love the talented Aussie actor. Seeking to make an impression on the hard-to-catch Julia Stiles, Ledger and the rest of the up-and-coming cast keep their spirits and the movie flying high.
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock, fresh off her spunky turn in Speed, made us laugh and cry as the lonely fare collector who falls in love with the brother (whatever happened to Bill Pullman?) of a guy in a coma, whose family thinks she's his fiancee. Huh? Just watch, and try not to tear up.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Also known as the little indie rom com that could, and did, MBFGW is writer-star Nia Vardalos' movie dream come true that shows just how much care and comedy goes into a Greek family wedding. Doesn't hurt, either, if SATC star John Corbett is your betrothed.
Pretty Woman (1990)
Julia Roberts smiled, and Richard Gere and the rest of the world melted. She's cast here as an L.A. escort hired by Gere's wealthy playboy, but everyone knew from the word go that this was really a modern day Cinderella about to find out the glass slipper really does fit.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
As a bookwormish journalist sent back to high school on an undercover assignment, Drew Barrymore gets caught up in all sorts of funny 'can I be cool this time' predicaments. Yes, she can. And yes, she may get kissed - by an age appropriate suitor, of course.
Alicia Silverstone's Beverly Hills teen debutante is kind enough to teach Brittany Murphy's awkward highschooler the ropes, and worthy enough to earn, eventually, the attention of older guy (and ex-stepbrother...don't worry, it's not too icky) Paul Rudd.
You've Got Mail (1998)
Modern rom com heroes Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks paired up yet again for this Internet era remake of The Shop Around the Corner, this time about two rivals who've unknowingly been corresponding via private emails. You know where it's all headed, but given the company, you won't really care.
The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)
The truth is, Uma Thurman is hot. But there's just something about Janeane Garofalo. And in this movie, Ben Chaplin knows it. Sorta. Give the guy a break, and a few hints, and he'll eventually discover that blonde hair and supermodel height isn't all true love's meant to be. There's also a sense of humor, and smarts, which Garofalo's got in spades.
Legally Blonde (2001)
With her accessorized outfit and matching puppy, Reese Witherspoon and her larger than life optimism win out against all of the stuffy, Ivy League elitists in her path. Plus, Luke Wilson knows a good and decent, not to mention beautiful, future litigator when he sees one.
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
It's tough being a neurotic, British, slightly overweight publisher's assistant. Normally, Renee Zellweger is none of those things. But in '01, she was absolutely believable and empathetic as Bridget Jones, whose plucky spirit and off-beat loveableness may help her find true romance.
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Julia Roberts plays second banana to Cameron Diaz, cast as the cute and appealing fiancee of Roberts' best friend Dermot Mulroney. Still, that makes it all the more absurd and amusing when Roberts stoops to all sorts of measures to court her guy. Julia being Julia, you can't help but still love her.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Rob Reiner's classic rom com features the awesome pairing of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal as best friends...and possibly more. On the all-time great scenes list: Meg Ryan's feigning of pleasure at the deli...we'll order one of those, too.
The Proposal (2009)
Sandra Bullock's latest rom com hit features a feisty matchup with Ryan Reynolds, as her assistant-turned-fake-fiancee. But is he really? Is that friction causing all those sparks? Either way, it's a hot party.
The Sure Thing (1985)
John Cusack's better known for Say Anything, but give this earlier film a look. Only 18 during filming, Cusack's hardly ever been more spry and fun, playing Walter 'Gib' Gibson, a teen lothario racing to Southern California to meet a dream girl. On the way, he runs into what could be the right girl.
Say Anything (1989)
Speaking of...Cusack's Lloyd Dobler is one of the ultimate rom com heroes. Why? Because he's straight up honest and genuine, and he sincerely loves his girl, Diane Court. So much so, that he has no problem hoisting a boom box outside her window, and playing their song, Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," for all to hear loud and clear.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Until he gets it right, Bill Murray is going to be stuck in Groundhog Day, dangnabit. We're not sure exactly what that means at first, but it definitely has something to do with treating pretty woman Andie MacDowell with the care she deserves.
Four Weddings & A Funeral (1994)
Hugh Grant's also got Andie MacDowell on the brain, and multiple weddings in Four Weddings & A Funeral. The crowd pleaser worked in the early '90s, and still retains all of its English wit and charm.
Steve Martin co-wrote and stars in this modern update of Cyrano de Bergerac, a light and funny tale about a fireman named C.D. Bales, who has a big nose, and a bigger heart. Darryl Hannah is the lovely Roxanne, who may be in love with the body of C.D.'s hunky co-worker, but it's C.D.'s letters that really get her.
Joe vs. the Volcano (1990)
It may be the least profitable pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but Joe vs. the Volcano became a bona fide cult hit due to its offbeat imagination, its crazy story about a man named Joe jumping into a live volcano, and the appearance of Meg Ryan in three wildly different and memorable roles.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Woody Allen deserves his own rom com subgenre, but of his great recent rom coms, Hannah deserves special mention. The story of the three sisters, their romances and their affairs, is smart, funny and painfully relatable - but in a good way.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Amongst the top teen rom coms is John Hughes' classic Sixteen Candles, which introduced the world to Molly Ringwald's Samantha Baker, and her crush on unattainable cool guy...the not-seen-much-since Michael Schoeffling as sensitive jock Jake.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
For a film where they don't actually meet until the very end, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were sure able to generate a lot of heat and chemistry in Sleepless in Seattle. Of course, making us wait, and wonder, made their eventual meet-cute that much more cute and satisfying.
About a Boy (2002)
It's about a literal boy who befriends Hugh Grant's eternal loner, but it's also a great rom com about that sad kid helping to open up an equally sad man to the fact that, yes, a real relationship with a woman, and other human beings, might not be so bad after all.
Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Once upon a time, Chevy Chase was a tall, dark and funny leading man, who was well-cast opposite Goldie Hawn as her philandering ex-hubby who makes her life all sorts of hectic and hilarious after hiding out from the police in her backyard garage, while her unknowing lawyer hubby hobknobs with the governor at the dinner table. It's fine and funny stuff from playwright Neil Simon.
Bull Durham (1988)
See it for pitcher Kevin Costner's speech about what he believes in, including high fiber and kisses that last three days. While the heat's scorching between Costner and Susan Sarandon's sexy femme fatale, strangely enough, in real-life, she married co-star Tim Robbins, cast here as Costner's entertaining, doofus teammate.
There's Something About Mary (1998)
There is definitely something about Mary, and no, it's not just the crazy hair 'gel.' The Farrelly brothers spin lots of raucous and gross-out laughs in this story about Ben Stiller's infatuation with all things Cameron Diaz, but there's also a sweet underlying premise that's guaranteed to get you smiling.
Love Actually (2003)
There are a lot of threads in this large ensemble piece, about people looking for love at the Christmas season, but they're all fairly involving and entertaining, and there's a cool wrap-up at the end that, for once, shows a great montage of activities at the airport.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
The Apatow gang strikes again with this rom com about a schlubbish TV composer dumped by his star girlfriend, only to find real love waiting for him in Hawaii. Watch for the first appearance of Russell Brand's crazy rocker Aldous Snow, soon appearing in theaters again in Get Him to the Greek.
She's All That (1999)
While teen rom coms weren't as prevalent in the late '90s as they were throughout the '80s, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook were able to make a lasting impression as the cool dude and the duckling-turned-hottie who try to keep it real whilst prepping for their high school prom.
Working Girl (1988)
It takes a lot to go toe to toe with high-powered exec Sigourney Weaver, but working girl Melanie Griffith does just that in Mike Nichols' winning, sophisticated rom com. Harrison Ford's game, too, as the business suit who catches the girls' attention.
If Darryl Hannah's smiling mermaid washed up on shore, we can understand why Tom Hanks or any other member of the male species would want to take care of her. As Hanks finds out, it's a little hard to take her on extended road trips, but there are all kinds of other adventures to be had.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Cutest movie rom com couples would have to include Adam Sandler's '80s wedding singer and adorable waitress Drew Barrymore. When he enlists the aid of Billy Idol and serenades his girl on an airplane, it's a genuine ah-shucks moment that works for girls and guys.
When Cher tells lovelorn Nic Cage, her fiancee's brother who's just pledged his undying devotion, to "snap out of it," we're as hooked as he is with this funny and beautiful woman. Norman Jewison's rom com is actually stock full of colorful and endearing characters, and a quirky and somewhat unpredictable script.
Notting Hill (1999)
If you've seen it, or even seen the ad, then you already know Julia Roberts' speech about being a girl in front of her guy Hugh Grant, and asking him to love her. That's the romance part. The comedy, and there's a lot of it, has all to do with this particular girl being an A-list movie star, and this boy being a simple book shop owner.
Coming to America (1988)
Eddie Murphy stars as an African prince who comes to Queens, New York, to find, well, his Queen. Besides the lovely Shari Headley, the film's pleasures include Murphy and sidekick Arsenio Hall taking on multiple and hilarious side roles.
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Winner of Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress for Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, and nominated for Best Picture, this film from James L. Brooks - about a bigot who learns to become better through his relationships with a woman and his neighbor - is about as good as the title proclaims.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Not at all your typical romantic comedy, this Best Picture nominee is a subtle, touching and funny love story about two souls lost in Japan who, thankfully for them and us, happen to find each other.
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
What would Nicolas Cage do for SATC girl Sarah Jessica Parker? How about dress up as Elvis Presley, or fly to Hawaii, or parachute into Vegas? They make a cute couple, and Cage makes a great frantically obsessed commitment phobe who may still make it to the altar.
Purchase ANY ticket with Fandango & receive a link for a free kids LEGOLAND® admission ticket (up to $134 value) with the purchase of a full-price adult admission ticket to LEGOLAND®.
Not a member? Join now or during checkout - it's free!