Ten Iconic Rom-Coms
For those that love romantic moves, one of the best genres is, of course, Rom-Coms! Romantic comedies are some of the most popular movie genres you can get if you are thinking about the drama between two lovers with added humor and a good feeling to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
Why do we like them so much? Sure they might not be your ‘Lady Hawks’ or your ‘Lord of the Rings’, but they are still stellar at what they do, which is a heartwarming romance to make you laugh, smile, and cry. So today, we will share our top ten Rom-Com movies that everyone needs to watch!
Some Like it Hot (1959)
This iconic piece of film history might be rough around the edges compared to films made in the same vein today, but the performances and writing give the modern-day viewer a real kick at light humor. Don’t let the black-and-white hold you back as you get to see Monroe in one of her most iconic roles!
The story revolves around two men (played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) fleeing from the Marfia, and the only way to hide is to pretend to be women in a traveling band. Along the way, they fall in love with the central female character (Marilyn Monroe). During their attempts to keep their true identities and genders secret, they find themselves starting to break the boundaries of what it means to be a man and a woman.
At the film's end is a boat scene where it is revealed that a man has fallen for Daphne (Jack) and is still intent on marriage despite all efforts to get him off their tail. Exasperated, Jerry removes his wig and snaps, "I'm a man!" Osgood, unfazed, replies: "Well, nobody's perfect." Jerry, nonplussed, tries to digest this. At the same time, Monroe ends up with Curtis.
The film shares for the first time openly gay characters despite the infamous Hays Code still looming his ugly head over films at this time. Despite the pressure to erase LGBT themes from media, it failed with this film. And good thing for us as we have an iconic romantic comedy with progressive themes!
What if a Disney princess fell through a rift in her cartoon fantasy land and into the real world? You have Enchanted, the 2007 film with music, love, comedy, and romance! You have the delightfully optimistic Giselle who dreams of finding a prince and having her ‘happy ever after’.
She finds herself trapped in a strange world just as she is en route to her wedding to Prince Edward. Next, she falls into the real world, where she must find a way to escape, but on the way, she runs into a single dad (Robert). She soon falls in love with him in a slow burn as he helps her to try and find a way back home.
Characters from her world also turn up, hoping to find Giselle and get her safely home. But then the evil Queen Narissa shows up, and all hope seems lost, then they discover the true power of love and friendship, and the Queen is defeated. So Giselle stays in ‘the real world’ with Robert whilst Edward returns to the fantasy one with a new woman (Nancy) he intends to marry.
You've Got Mail (1998)
This is an ICONIC movie from the 1990s. Before the internet, the concept of meeting someone inside the house seemed like a foreign concept. But what if you could find the love of your life through email? It is a sweet romance between two close penpals struggling to run their businesses.
Kathleen Kelly runs a small bookstore that is beloved by the local area, but when a big book chain moves into the area and starts to dominate the market, it almost gets too much to make ends meet. Quickly a rivalry between Kelly and the book chain owner (Joe Fox) develops. Kelly rants to her online pen pal about Fox numerous times, although making explicit rules to not reveal to each other who or what they do for a living. Neither of them knows that they are also each other’s penpals.
They slowly fall in love with each other over emails but always find excuses never to meet up. Finally, when the bookstores and tensions between rivals are at their worst, they decide to meet up. By then, it is obvious they are the same people, but both are reluctant to admit the truth, for they still feel a sense of bitterness for each other. In the end, they overcome their differences and see the love they have for each other when they don’t have business between them.
It is a slow journey, but the payoff is worth all the heartache.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
The anomaly that is Bridget Jones is beyond words at times. It is a brilliant example of early 2000s romantic comedies with three ‘sexy’ actors in the leading roles. First, we have Colin Firth in the ‘Mr. Mark Darcy’ role of an upper-class pompous git, but with a heart of gold and often misunderstood. Then we have Huge Grant is very good at playing Daniel Cleaver, the ‘sleazy, smooth-talking boss’. And finally, we have the brilliant Renée Zellweger playing Ms Jones herself. It is a brilliant cast for a hilarious movie.
At 32, Jones is not yet married, and she is single! She worries about her weight and feels hopeless about the prospects of love in her future. At this low point in life, she works at a publishing company under Daniel Cleaver and is quickly whisked off her feet by his dirty good looks. It isn’t long before they start seeing each other, but it quickly becomes clear he isn’t interested in her for a serious affair.
At the same time, Jones runs into a childhood family friend at a Christmas dinner, Darcy. He comments she got naked the last time he saw her, about the fact she was a child. He has a fiancee, and Jones thinks him rude and pompous, so thinks little more of him. However, after she finds Cleaver sleeping with someone else, she ends it and, over drinks, learns that Darcy too had a troubled past with love.
She keeps running into Darcy at event after event, and slowly they start to show feelings for each other. In a very Pride and Prejudice manner, Darcy confesses his love, but he has too much going on. It is at a disaster of a birthday party where she tries to cook that they finally see these feelings in the front of their minds. There is an ‘its raining men’ montage as Darcy runs into Cleaver, and they fight over Jones’ affections before Jones leaves. Jones picks Darcy in the end as she realizes Cleaver ruined both of their lives.
The Mummy (1999)
Not precisely a ‘rom-com’, but I will stand by this judgment when I say ‘The Mummy’ is not just the most fantastic adventure movie of all time, but also a romantic comedy! We have Brendon Fraiser (Rick O’Connell) and Rachal Weiz (Evelyn Carnahan) in the leading roles in a partnership that feel natural and is always a pleasure to witness. Their dialogue is sometimes straight out of a much lighter ‘chick-flick’ but with the danger of a mummy trying to kill them.
Rick is a former army captain and now turned adventurer that runs into a recently arrived Egyptologist in Cairo, Evelyn. She has an artifact that leads them and her brother to an Egyptian tomb, where they unwittingly awaken a vengeful high priest Imhotep who can defy death. They then must go on a massive journey across Egypt to find a way to reverse the curse and send the mummy back to the afterlife before he inflects the whole world.
Why is The Mummy a great romance? It is the fact that their partnership is gradual and develops naturally. Firstly they seemingly can’t stand each other, but as they save each other and experience the close kiss of death numerous times, they suddenly start to fall for each other. The dynamic is clean and fresh for an adventure genre that often puts the girl as the prize, but usually, Rick has to get saved just as much as Evelyn. What's even better is the sequel to this movie paints their marriage as usual and happy with no need to add drama for the sake of the plot.
Ten Things I hate About you (1999)
This movie stars Julia Stiles (Kat) and Heath Ledger (Patrick) in a cast of other iconic names and characters starting their careers in the late 90s. It is a simple tale of young love caught up in high school politics.
The movie begins with a new kid turning up to school, Cameron, who quickly falls in love with Kat’s sister Bianca. However, there are just two problems. The first is that Bianca’s father will not let her date anyone unless her older sister is also dating someone. Secondly, Kat refuses to date anyone as she is too focused on herself and is described as ‘shrewish’.
Cameron and Bianca hire Patrick to try and date Kat, with his first few attempts going less than stellar. But with some advice from those who know her well, he can secure a date at a party. When all is going well, Kat becomes upset by seeing her sister kissing a boy called Joey, and she gets drunk. Patrick comforts her when she reveals her insecurities, and they almost kiss -but he pulls away, and she leaves.
Patrick is conflicted about his growing feelings for Kat and the guilt of being paid to perform them. However, he wins Kat by singing to her with a band, and then they go on a romantic date where he asks her to the prom. She gets angry about the suggestion and says no. It is later revealed that things happened in her past which made her decide she would not do something just because it was expected of her.
Cameron reveals at the prom, as he watches the girl he loves date Joey, that he paid Patrick to date Kat. She leaves heartbroken, and all seems over the following week at school. But then Kat reads her version of a Shakespeare poem called ‘Ten Things I Hate About You’, which reveals she still loves Patrick even if he is not perfect. Patrick buys her a guitar with the money Cameron paid him, and they make up with a kiss.
About a boy (2002)
Perhaps the best Grant movie ever? It's got romance, plenty of comedy, but most of all, a heartfelt friendship between a young boy (Marcus Brewer aka Nicholas Hoult) who is without a father figure and a single thirty-something man (Will Freeman aka Hugh Grant).
We have Will, a self-absorbed man who lives off the royalties of a Christmas song by his father and seemingly has a perfect life. However, he decides to join a single parents support group with the false story of a child to meet single women. Through this rouse, he starts to date Suzie, and through one outing, he runs into the socially awkward Marcus. When dropping him home, they find Marcus’ mum (Fiona) attempted suicide, so they rush to save her.
After this close call, Marcus discovers that Will’s imaginary son does not exist. To ensure his mother gets better, he blackmails Will into agreeing to date Fiona, so she does not try to kill herself again. Naturally, he agrees, even if he is not impressed. Although Will does not like Fiona romantically, he does bond with Marcus as they spend time together. They start to help each other become better versions of themselves until the truth about his deception is revealed. But Fiona sees the good in their friendship, so she lets it continue.
Will slowly becomes a natural part of their family even if there is no romantic relationship between Fiona, and they share Christmas. Suzie is not impressed by his lies, but Marcus defends Will in front of her. Together they meet crushes and share and give tips on how to not ‘stuff it up.
Even at their lowest point, where they fight and bicker, they realize their friendship is crucial as it makes them feel less lonely. Will does not want to be the man he was before, and Marcus wants to do anything to help his mother.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Via: MX Player
The oldest movie on this list, yet Roman Holiday is a classic. It follows a news reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), falling for a wild Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) and all set to the backdrop of Rome!
Princess Ann is on a royal state trip to Rome and is tired to structure, so she decides to sneak out! Unfortunately, she falls asleep on a park bench, and a man comes to her aid and gives her a room to sleep in his apartment. Little does she know he is a news reporter, and little does he know she is the princess and the talk of the week!
When he discovers she is the princess, he starts to make plans to take photos of her and profit off of this good luck. However, when he tries to encourage her to get out and see the streets of Rome with him, she refuses and leaves, intent on making the most of the freedom on her own whilst she still has it.
Joe chases after her and finds her on The Spanish Steps, by which time she has cut her hair short. She agrees to a coffee date, and they soon find themselves riding a Vespa through the clogged streets. They are arrested but escape using Joe’s press passes, which he assures her are fake. The tour around other parts of Rome includes the ‘Mouth of Truth’, where Joe pretends his hand has been bitten off, and the Colosseum.
They shared a romantic night cruise dance before government agents tried to take her away. Her hairdresser and Joe rescue her, and they flee. Joe falls into the river, so she jumps in to save him and pulls them both to the river bank, where they share a kiss. They return to the embassy and share one final kiss before she resumes her princess role.
Joe does not write the story and refuses to sell the photos he took of their day together. He sees her one final time after the press conference, where they share last words before she walks off, and he is left alone. Caught by the hands of duty, they must part…
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride follows the love story between Buttercup, the princess, and her one true love, a farm boy called Westley. When pirates capture Westley, Buttercup must come to accept that he is dead. Five years pass, and she is forced to marry Prince Humperdinck; however, she is kidnapped before the wedding by three outlaws. On the mountain, the outlaws are defeated, and Buttercup is saved by a masked man who turns out to be Westley.
He survived his time as a pirate and has now become one! He did not just kill the former Dread Captain Roberts; he took over the role. They are captured by Prince Humperdinck and split apart, with Buttercup agreeing to come so long as Westley is unharmed. Her request is refused, but Prince Humperdinck lies about this fact as he does about also assuring her he does not intend to kill her. He wants the throne, and he will succeed by getting her out of the picture.
With the help of other outlaws, Westley is freed from the Pit of Dispair, although close to death but is revived. They are all needed to work together to storm the castle to free Buttercup and stop the reign of terror. During the siege, Prince Humperdinck tries to hurry the marriage ceremony, and Buttercup makes plans to kill herself. Westley arrives in the ding of time to stop her and save her from a horrid fate. They defeat Prince Humperdinck, and Westley hands over his title of Dread Captain Roberts to one of the outlaws that helped him. Then he turns to Buttercup, and they share a passionate kiss as their new lives begin.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Have you ever seen a movie title put into the English Dictionary to represent a specific situation? That's the case with Groundhog Day, which is a repetitive and monotonous experience. But this movie… that's far from what you experience as we have a classic 1990s romantic comedy.
You follow the poor Phil Conners (Bill Murray) as he relives the same day. A terrible day where many things went wrong for Phil the first time around. He stuffed up his job and ruined his chances for a love life. But when he relives it repeatedly, he starts to see a way to use this found gift as an advantage to live his best life with the single day he has been given.
He is a television weatherman sent to cover a story of a dramatic weather event set to go off on Groundhog day outside of Pennsylvania. But, against his predictions, they become caught in the brunt of the storm and become stuck in town. He spends this first day trying to escape with his producer Rita Hanson.
When he awakens after several more times on the same day, he realizes he is in the time loop, so he indulges in various activities without consequences. Until he decides to focus his attention on Rita as he realizes his feelings for her, he goes out of his way to seduce her, and each time, after each reset, he finds himself yearning for her more.
He can push through the time loop when he lives the perfect day and uses it to help others, better himself and draw Rita’s attention naturally. Then, finally, he awakens to a new day, and Rita is still beside him; he declares he no longer despises this town and wants to live there with her.
That was a wild ride. There we have it. Ten iconic Rom-Coms and so many more we were just aching to tell you about. I guess we will have to do a part two, ha? Well, until then, perhaps you might want to enact some of the scenes from these movies. Spice up for the dating scene with a ‘Holiday in Rome’ or perhaps sci-fi time loops are more up your alley. Regards, this is us at Thorum stepping out!Check out our list of Classic Romance Books – Thorum