Following Channel 4’s entertaining programme looking at some of the best romantic comedies to have been made, it made Love London Love Culture wonder: what are the best romantic comedies?
20. Hitch, 2005: Will Smith attempts to help men get the girl of their dreams – but struggles with his own love life. Plenty of laughs and Will Smith’s charisma makes this a heartfelt and just on the right side of cheesy film that is enjoyable to watch.
19. Two Weeks Notice, 2002: Hugh Grant is best known for his roles in romantic comedies and this one also starring Sandra Bullock is right up there with the best. It is a classic story of how opposites attract – whether they want to or not. Plenty of sparky humour and the chemistry between Grant and Bullock is just right.
18. French Kiss, 1995: now what if you flew across the world to try and get your relationship on track and end up falling for someone else? French Kiss might not be a particularly well remembered romantic comedy, but it has a certain charm about it that makes it worth a watch.
17. While You Were Sleeping, 1995: Sandra Bullock once again stars in another gem of a romantic comedy. Lucy is lonely and unlucky in love except for a crush on a man she hasn’t even spoken to. When said crush ends up in hospital, Lucy encounters his family – who mistakingly believe that she is his fiancee and leads to some hilarious moments throughout.
16. 27 Dresses, 2008: This film turns the expression ‘always the bridesmaid and never the bride’ into reality in this rather sweet but corny film. A young woman who has been a bridesmaid 27 times is now forced to be a bridesmaid for her younger sister – who just happens to be marrying the man she is secretly in love with.
15. Letters to Juliet, 2010: some of the acting might be a little bit weak in places, but that doesn’t stop Letters to Juliet being a sweet and heartfelt film about following your heart and doing things for the right reasons. Set in Verona, the film follows Sophie as she discovers a long lost letter to Juliet and decides to answer it, setting off a chain of events that helps her gain confidence in doing what she really wants.
14. Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001: loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Helen Fielding’s hilarious book about a 32 year old singleton became a hugely successful film thanks to the performances of the cast and is probably one of the best examples of a modern romantic comedy.
13. One Fine Day, 1996: Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney are two single parents trying to juggle their responsibilities around when their kids miss a school trip, leading to difficult situations and misunderstandings from beginning to end. Lighthearted and entertaining, it is a straightforward and enjoyable film.
12. The American President, 1995: Michael Douglas plays Andrew Shepherd, President of the United States of America who pursues a relationship with environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening). The film shows how the course of love never runs smoothly – even if you are the President!
11. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002: Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos is a Greek-American woman who falls in love with non-Greek Ian Miller – but with her family being strictly traditional – can she stay true to both her family and the man that she loves?
10. What Women Want, 2000: Mel Gibson plays Nick Marshall, a character who is a bit of a womaniser and doesn’t necessarily treat women with respect. So when an accident leaves him being able to hear women’s thoughts, he decides to use it to his advantage at work to find out Darcy McGuire’s (Helen Hunt) plans for a new campaign – what he doesn’t expect is to fall for her.
9. The Proposal, 2009: this is really the first time that Sandra Bullock plays a nasty character – of course it doesn’t take too long before she softens towards Ryan Reynolds’ character, but it still is a laugh-out-loud film for a evening in with the girls.
8. Runaway Bride, 1999: Richard Gere and Julia Roberts team up once again, following on from their successful pairing on Pretty Woman, this time with Julia playing a character who is afraid of commitment and leaves countless men at the altar, with Richard Gere playing a journalist trying to get to the real story as to why she is the way she is.
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994: a classic British romantic comedy from Richard Curtis that follows the luck of Charles as he stumbles his way through several wedding receptions – leading to several hilarious moments that are memorable for all the right reasons, but still has plenty of heart about it to charm audiences.
6. Pretty Woman, 1990: who knew that a romantic comedy involving a prostitute and a billionaire could prove so popular? The film’s success in coming across as a believable romantic comedy is down to the two central performances of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts – proving that love can be found in the most unexpected places.
5. Charade, 1963: not just filled with comedy and romance, this classic Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn film also adds a touch of mystery to proceedings, adding an additional layer to stop it from being a simple straight-forward romantic comedy.
4. Notting Hill, 1999: another classic British comedy, this time involving a film star and an ordinary book shop owner, an unlikely pairing made believable thanks to the film’s sensible nature – constantly making the audience aware that this is a couple who under normal circumstances wouldn’t be together.
3. Shakespeare in Love, 1998: this Oscar winning film whisks audiences back to the Elizabethan era to create a brilliantly down-to-earth romantic comedy, with a wonderful cast and script that even if some historical facts have been left out still makes for an entertaining watch.
2. Love Actually, 2003: this cleverly constructed film takes 10 different couples and wraps their stories up into one, interlinking them all effectively. Being set around Christmas also adds (for obvious reasons) to the heartwarming quality of the film, that makes it a firm favourite in the romantic comedy genre.
1. The Holiday, 2006: another festive treat that really warms the heart, The Holiday explores the very different experiences of love of four very different characters that is told in a very grounded and unsophisticated way that won’t fail to win you over – no matter how many times you watch it.