The Greatest Romantic Comedies Of All Time

When it comes to romantic comedies, everyone has an opinion. Some people think they shape harmful preconceived notions about what relationships and courtships should be like. Other people think that it's a shame Hollywood doesn't churn out five a year. Most of us, though, have a favorite rom-com that we will defend against all rom-coms. Mine is Moonstruck. I'll take Nicolas Cage's ravaged monologue over "you had me at hello" any day.
The joy of romantic comedies comes from seeing two people be their funniest, smartest, best selves for each other. The charm of these movies is based around connection and chemistry, not around plot — that's what makes rom-coms so easy to watch multiple times. Each viewing, you can watch the magic happen over and over again.
Valentine's Day is 48 hours away, and stores are peddling you chocolate, flowers, and Fifty Shades Freed-inspired sex toys. For peak romance, watch a movie instead. Even if the movie's relationships aren't realistic, the feeling of mutual fascination and happiness that brews between two people definitely is.
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If you're pining for a getaway, watch:

Roman Holiday (1953)

Being a princess isn't all fun and tiaras, as Princess Anne (Audrey Hepburn) can tell you. During a tour of the European capitals, she's confined to a rigid schedule and has no freedom. Anne is filled with the spirit of rebellion while in Rome, and runs away from her entourage for a night. Things don't go as planned, and she's saved from certain doom by an American journalist named Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). When Joe finds out Anne's identity, he sees the opportunity for one helluva juicy story. Rome is the perfect backdrop for this royal-commoner romance (and war of wits).
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If you have a friend-crush, watch:

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

The first time Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) meet is on a road trip from Chicago to New York. Harry is sure that men and women cannot, under any circumstances, be friends — sexual tension will always get in the way. Sally disagrees vehemently, as she does with Harry on most issues. So begins a 12-year-long friendship made up of conversations much like this one.

The majority of When Harry Met Sally consists of two people being witty, funny, and kind to each other. Essentially, being their best selves. After watching the evolution of their long friendship, it makes sense why they'd decide to get together. We've seen every step of the way.
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If you're stuck in a texting relationship, watch:

You've Got Mail (1998)

In real life, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) are mortal enemies. Kathleen owns a small, indie bookstore, and Joe is the scion of a Barnes & Noble-esque conglomerate threatening the life force of stores like Kathleen's (funny that years later, indie bookstores are thriving and Barnes & Noble isn't.) But Kathleen and Joe have a vibrant, vivid relationship over email. You've Got Mail shows the divide between our in-person relationships and the crackle and sizzle often found in email (and now texts).
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If your family is always getting involved, watch:

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Toula's (Nia Vardalos) family can't understand why she doesn't want to get married. She's 29, and has lived her whole life among her Greek-American relatives, who all seem to be fixated only on marriage and procreation. Toula had bigger dreams for herself than working as a waitress in the family diner, but can't seem to escape her family's expectations. Until the day she meets Ian Miller (John Corbett), a dreamy English teacher whose WASP-y family is nothing like hers. They fall in love – now it's a matter of convincing her family that he's the one for her, even though he's not Greek. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a celebration of all different kinds of love, and has some of the most iconic one-liners in movie history.
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If you rebel against the status quo, watch:

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

"Rom-com" is too narrow a classification for this big-hearted movie about tradition, parental expectation, and of course, soccer. At 18, Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is of the age when her Indian parents want her to start thinking of marriage. But she's far more interested in trying out for the women's soccer league near her house, even though her parents have expressly forbidden her playing sports. Jess is recruited by the team's star, Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley), who becomes her best friend. Then, she meets the coach, Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), and any chance at being set up goes out the window.
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If you feel torn, watch:

Something New (2006)

Kenya (Sanaa Lathan) has everything — a stellar career as a lawyer, a beautiful home — except for a partner. She wants someone who will check all her boxes, and Brian Kelly (Simon Baker), the landscaper she's just fallen for, definitely doesn't do that. Mark Harper (Blair Underwood), the man her friends introduce her to, was more what she was expecting: a Black, handsome professional. Kenya will have to choose between what she thought she wanted, and what she wants.
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If you're willing to give a "truly appalling individual" a chance, watch:

As Good As It Gets (1997)

Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is the kind of man who your friends, family, and loved ones would tell you not to date. He's a gruff, reclusive genius who shirks company in order to write his romance novels, of all ironies. As Good As It Gets tracks his great softening from asshole to less-of-an-asshole, thanks to the help of a puppy, a friend, and the waitress (Helen Hunt) who gives him a chance.
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If you can't help but love your S.O., watch:

Moonstruck (1987)

Loretta (Cher) thinks she's cursed. Her first marriage ended in her husband's sudden death. She's finally willing to get married again, to a friendly, if a little boring, Italian man named Johnny (Danny Aiello) under the condition that they do things the right way. She sends him to Sicily to tell his mother they're engaged. While Johnny's away, Loretta has to tell his brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage), that they're engaged. Ronny, who's still sore about the accident that left him without a hand, wants nothing to do with his brother — and everything to do with Loretta. Alongside Ronny and Loretta's plunge into some crazy kind of love, there are a few other romantic storylines involving Loretta's neighbors in Brooklyn Heights.
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