ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Favorite Romantic Comedies of a Rom-com Hater

Updated on September 2, 2015
Source: Public Domain, wikimedia commons
Source: Public Domain, wikimedia commons
For some reason Jason Statham doesn't do many rom-coms. Source: Wikimedia Commons, fadedcaralunagirl, CC BY 2.0.
For some reason Jason Statham doesn't do many rom-coms. Source: Wikimedia Commons, fadedcaralunagirl, CC BY 2.0.

WARNING- I am going to discuss the plots including the ends of You’ve Got Mail, Notting Hill, 50 First Dates.

This may seem an obvious article topic for Valentine’s Day, reviewing my favorite romantic comedies. The surprise here is I don’t really like romantic comedies that much. Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino’s movies are among my favorites and I am game for anything Jason Statham is in. I like some chick flicks, my definition of chick flicks is a movie where the central characters are women and the central plot is about the relationships between these women. In the case of chick flicks, men don’t really factor in that much. I guess overall I prefer movies where romance isn’t the central theme-chick flicks and action movies representing the two opposite sides of the spectrum. Romantic comedies are a tough category. How many times can we see two leads fall in love? There are many different scenarios but they’ve all been done before. Also there is such a fine line between romance and utter cheesiness. So with these thoughts taken into considered you can imagine my list of favorite romantic comedies is short- and it is.

1. You’ve Got Mail (1998) - I’ve never actually seen Sleepless in Seattle (see I told you I don’t really like romantic comedies). But I love this re-pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly. I like that the initial attraction comes from the pair conversing online, chatting about the little things in life that make them smile. The supporting roles are superb in this movie- Parker Posey steals every scene she is in and Greg Kinnear is great too. Also Ryan’s bookstore colleagues are an entertaining oddball crew. The movie is an ode to New York City which I really like. The premise is good- the two leads ‘hate’ each other in the professional world while falling for each other online. I appreciate how there is a big focus on their careers, it’s not just about romance. It navigates through Kathleen’s journey of closing her store and trying to figure out what to do next. The soundtrack is wonderful- Harry Nilsson’s version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ at the end, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’ and so on. I feel like the music really suits the movie. I could go on and on about this movie, there are so many great lines and memorable scenes.

A favorite exchange

(Kathleen and boyfriend Frank figure out Joe Fox is Kathleen’s professional enemy when they run into him at a party)

Frank to Joe- …Tell me, how do you sleep at night?

(Joe’s girlfriend Patricia walks up, misses the hostility and takes Frank’s question at face value)

Patricia- Ah. I use a wonderful, over the counter drug- ‘Ultradorm.’ Don’t take the whole thing, just half, and you will wake up without the even the tiniest hangover.

Rhys Ifans plays Spike, the scene-stealing roommate to Hugh Grant's character in Notting Hill. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Mikhail Popov, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Rhys Ifans plays Spike, the scene-stealing roommate to Hugh Grant's character in Notting Hill. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Mikhail Popov, CC BY-SA 3.0.

2. Notting Hill (1999)- Granted I don’t think William (Hugh Grant) should take Anna (Julia Robert) back in the end, she treats him poorly a number of time throughout the film and shouldn’t get a pass on that just because she is a famous actress. But regardless of that I really like this movie. I love the scene when William finds himself in the middle of the press junket for a sci-fi movie of Anna’s and has absolutely no idea what is going on and isn’t able to cleverly go along with it. I love the supporting characters, the more realistic relationships in the movie, for example William’s best friends- the married couple. An ordinary couple still so in love years after being married and dealing with what life gives them- in their case the wife being newly wheelchair-prone. The husband carries her up the stairs every night so lovingly and insists she not miss the shenanigans in the great final scene when they all rush to get William to Anna’s press conference. I love how William's zany sister and crazy roommate get together and love each other for who they are. Notting Hill also boasts a pretty good soundtrack- Bill Withers’s ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Elvis Costello’s ‘She,’ and Al Green’s ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

I absolutely hate the famous exchange ‘I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her…’ makes me gag- but there are some good lines in this film. Many of the good ones are said by or in regards to Grant’s scene-stealing roommate Spike played by Rhys Ifans.

A favorite exchange

William (at the press junket after claiming he worked for the magazine ‘Horse & Hound’) – I enjoyed the movie very much. I was just wondering, did you ever consider having more horses in it?

Anna- Well, we would have liked to. But it was difficult, obviously, being set in space.

3. 50 First Dates (2004) – I love Hawaii and I love the sense of love prevailing in this movie. It’s an interesting premise, having to make someone fall in love with you again every day. I like how Henry (Adam Sandler) learns how being in love changes everything and until you have it you just don’t understand it. Again I like the supporting characters, Lucy’s (Drew Barrymore) father and brother (Sean Astin in a scene-stealing role as a body builder) and although Rob Schneider is always in Sandler flicks, and it seems he always plays a different nationality than his own (which begs the question why not just cast an actor of said nationality) I think he is pretty funny in this. Even if I catch the last five minutes of the movie on TV, I always tear up when Henry goes back to find Lucy and hanging in her art studio are all her paintings and drawing of him even though she doesn’t remember who he is. And I enjoy the final scene where Sandler is still able to pursue his expedition but with his family by his side.

A favorite exchange

Ula (Rob Schneider’s character, overseeing the marriage of Henry and Lucy, in response to Henry saying ‘I do’)- Really? Even though in 10-15 years she could possibly let her herself go and then sex would be like, nauseating, for you?

Henry- What are you nuts? Your wife’s right over there.

Ula- I’m just kidding, Muumuu!

Interestingly, compiling this list makes it clear in order to be a good romantic comedy there are certain criteria that need to be met in order for it to past my test. I particularly enjoy The Holiday and Love, Actually for the same reasons mentioned above but those are Christmas movies and seeing as this is a Valentine’s themed article, I cannot mix holidays (but you can see my thoughts on them in my Christmas movie hub). Overall the saving grace to movies in this genre, for me, is a great supporting cast and making the location an additional character. I appreciate when the individual’s entire life is explained, professional as well as personal. It not only gives the characters more depth but it also shows you can have both. The soundtrack adds to it as well, when you hear a song on the radio and you instantly think of a particular scene of a movie- that’s a good soundtrack.

Sometimes the couple shouldn’t end up together and I appreciate when writers stay true to this. Even though the scene at the end of ‘Notting Hill’ where William and the gang track Anna down at her press conference is great, I don’t think they should end up together in the movie. Several of my favorite movies are among my favorites because the writers have the strength to resist the urge for the happy ending. It makes sense that not every movie end with the couple together because in the real world relationships end- even great ones. That doesn’t take away from the story behind the failed relationships, the love the two people felt while they were together.

Essentials for a Successful Rom-Com

1. Great supporting cast.

2. The location as an additional character.

3. Realistic couples.

4. A great soundtrack.

In the end I ask of my romantic comedies to be somewhat realistic. I enjoy those that show three dimensional characters who have jobs, careers, family, and friends they care about outside of their romantic partner. The story is even better if these careers and people in their lives add to the movie, sometimes for comic effect, sometimes to show a more realistic couple. Also location, location, location- use the setting of the love story as an additional character. And lastly make good use of the soundtrack; it needs to fit in with the overall feel of the story. The You’ve Got Mail soundtrack fits the couple and the feel of the story and I always tear up, at then end, as ‘Over the Rainbow’ starts up when NY152 meets up with Shopgirl in the park.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)