These Romantic Comedies Actually Make You Believe In True Love

Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX Shutterstock.
Rom-coms! Sure, they can be cheesy and overly optimistic, presenting a rose-colored view of the world that couldn’t exist even if TSA didn’t require full-body scans before you can race after the love of your life, who’s getting on a flight to Guam. Also, why are you racing after her, buddy? She’s only going for a week. Have you tried an apology text with a cute emoji? It often does the trick. Everyone sure is overly dramatic in those Kate Hudson movies.

Every so often, though, a romantic comedy comes along that makes you suspend disbelief long enough to fall in love with the characters falling in love on screen. You get caught up in their courtship and swept away in the ongoing question of will they or won’t they get together. Usually, they’re going to, but the best romantic comedies come up with clever ways to prolong the inevitable union.

And hey, who doesn’t love a little escapism every so often? You can lose yourself in a world where two people are simply destined to be with one another. Mindy Kaling is a huge fan — and so are we. So the next time you need a cheeky, charming dose of romance and comedy, cue up one of these flicks. They’ll warm your heart and make you believe.
1 of 25
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) grew up in Alabama, but now she’s a big-time fashion designer living in New York City. She’s engaged to a fancy rich guy. But, before she marries him, she has to head back home to take care of one, tiny thing: She’s still technically married to Jake (Josh Lucas), her high school sweetheart.
2 of 25
Hitch (2005)
Hitch (Will Smith) is a “date doctor.” What does that mean? Basically, he’s not a traditional matchmaker. He sets out to improve your look and attitude so that you actually find a romantic partner. His focus is on his client Albert (Kevin James), whose appearance and game he alters completely. But what happens when Sara (Eva Mendes) calls bullshit on Hitch’s ways? What happens when we put a fake version of ourselves forward for romance? A solid two hours of entertainment, that’s what.
3 of 25
Roman Holiday (1953)
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck

She (Hepburn) is a sheltered European princess who decides to slip free of her strict guardians for a night off during a royal tour stop in Rome. He (Peck) is an American reporter who finds the princess heavily sedated and passed out on a bench (her doctor gave her a sleeping pill so she could rest up and fulfill her busy schedule of royal duties the next day). The journalist secretly arranges to have their day out photographed for a splashy exposé, but the two have undeniable chemistry. Will he still exploit the princess’ secret to further his own career?
4 of 25
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard

Paul Varjak (Peppard) becomes fascinated with his new neighbor, Holly Golightly (Hepburn), a mysterious, elegant party girl who lives in his New York City building.
5 of 25
Harold & Maude (1971)
Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort

This May-December romance movie about an introverted teen (Cort) finding love with a septuagenarian (Gordon) was a critical and box-office flop, but has gone on to become a cult classic.
6 of 25
Annie Hall (1977)
Starring: Diane Keaton, Woody Allen

Alvy Singer (Allen) tries to figure out why he and Annie Hall (Keaton), who seems like the perfect woman, just can’t make it as a couple.
7 of 25
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Starring: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal

The first time they meet, they hate each other. The next, it’s a cold animosity. Then, they become best friends. Add in an iconic fake orgasm in a deli and see if this movie can answer the all-important question of whether or not a man and woman can ever just be friends.
8 of 25
Pretty Woman (1990)
Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere

Vivian (Roberts) is a hooker with a heart of gold. Edward (Gere) is a jaded businessman. When he picks her up in L.A. one night, how are they to know that they’re actually perfect for each other?
9 of 25
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Starring: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks

A Baltimore reporter (Meg Ryan) falls for a widower (Hanks) when his son (Ross Malinger) calls into a radio show to say he wants his dad to find a new wife.
10 of 25
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger

“You had me at hello.”

“You complete me.”
11 of 25
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
Starring: Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs

Stella (Bassett) is all about work and no play. On a trip to Jamaica, she meets a hunky islander (Diggs) who’s 20 years younger than she is. Their vacation romance soon blossoms into something deeper, but can their love last in the real world?
12 of 25
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Starring: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks

Let me tell you about the first version of online dating. It’s called dial-up internet, people. And Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks braved the wild west of late-'90s AOL to bring you a pretty endearing love story about it. This isn’t some swipe-right situation. These two have no idea what the other person looks like. That’s some serious blind-date action.
13 of 25
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler

Robbie (Sandler) is a wedding singer who once dreamed of rock stardom. Julia (Barrymore) is a waitress who works at the reception hall where Robbie’s band usually performs. They’re both engaged to other people, but they’re so obviously perfect for each other. Commence rapping, grandma.
14 of 25
Notting Hill (1999)
Starring: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant

A sweet, unassuming bookshop owner (Grant) somehow falls in love with one of the most famous female movie stars in the world (Roberts). A quaint, charming romance ensues, as this all takes place in and around London’s Notting Hill neighborhood and park.
15 of 25
Miss Congeniality (2000)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt

FBI agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) goes undercover at the Miss United States pageant to stop a bomb threat and Agent Eric Matthews (Bratt) can’t help but notice how great she looks while doing so.
16 of 25
Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Starring: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen

Feeling like she’s dated every eligible (and ineligible) man in New York City, Jessica Stein (Westfeldt) explores a romance with a bisexual artist (Juergensen)
17 of 25
Amélie (2001)
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz

A quirky French fille (Tautou) charmingly meddles in the lives of everyone around her while searching for love herself.
18 of 25
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth

After being mortally embarrassed in front of the dreamy Mark Darcy (Firth) at a holiday party, Bridget Jones (Zellweger) vows to change her life for the better and write it all down in a diary. It doesn’t go exactly as planned.
19 of 25
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes

A Senate candidate (Fiennes) falls in love with a hotel maid (Lopez) thanks to the help of her adorable son (Tyler Posey).
20 of 25
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Starring: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey

Andie Anderson (Hudson) is a how-to columnist at a women’s magazine who dreams of writing serious features. Benjamin Barry (McConaughey) is an advertising executive who thinks he can sell anything to anyone. His boss says that if he can make Anderson fall in love with him in 10 days, he can have a big diamond account. And, wouldn't you know it, she’s working on a piece about how to lose a guy in the exact same amount of time! What a coincidence.
21 of 25
Deliver Us From Eva (2003)
Starring: Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J

In this update of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Gabrielle Union is the titular Eva from which everyone needs to be delivered. LL Cool J (who goes by his real name, James Todd Smith, in the credits) plays Ray, the man hired by Eva’s sisters’ partners to seduce her and get her to stop meddling in their lives.
22 of 25
Love Actually (2003)
Starring: Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant

Various couples fall in and out of love around the holidays in England.
23 of 25
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener

Andy (Carell) is a perfectly affable guy who somehow made it to 40 without ever having slept with a woman. When his coworkers learn this fun fact, they make it their mission to get their buddy laid.
24 of 25
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Watch hopeless romantic Tom (Gordon-Levitt) and non-believer-in-love Summer's (Deschanel) relationship as it progresses from from friends to something that’s definitely more than friendship through a scattered, out-of-order timeline.
25 of 25
About Time (2013)
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson

Yes, this Richard Curtis movie involves time travel, but in the least sci-fi, most charming way possible. Tim (Gleeson) uses his ability to travel in time to find love and spend more time with his family. Expect tears and a new appreciation for the minutiae of everyday life by the time the credits roll.