Hi – My name is Stacey and I have an unrealistic expectation of love due to the many, many romantic films I have watched in my nearly 30 years. Now we have that understood, here is my list of my top ten romcom faves – I’m surprised it took me this long to share! Enjoy 🙂
Notting Hill, 1999
All the criteria needed for a timeless romantic classic. Hugh Grant – check. Julia Roberts – check. Pretty London setting – check. What more could you need? I go back to this film time and time again, it’s a charming warm hug of a movie that’s perfect for when you need a pick me up. A few years ago I visited Notting Hill and saw some of the key locations used in the movie. Fun fact: The bookshop is really there! If you’re interested you can find more info here. Notting Hill is currently streaming on Netflix.
Iconic Line: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy…”
Pretty Woman, 1990
This film is filled with classic movie moments that are widely referenced even three decades on, even people yet to watch the film will recognise some of the one liners. Julia Roberts is a freaking revelation as the down on her luck but endlessly charming Vivian and Richard Gere is the epitome of Hollywood leading man. Ultimately, people fall in love with this movie because of the old age tale of the poor girl being saved by the handsome man , the fairytale concept is even referenced in the film. Probably not one that is best placed in 2021 but if you’re willing to put that to one side and take the film as it is; an old fashioned romance, you’ll love it. Pretty Woman is available on Amazon Prime.
Iconic Line: “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”
Love Actually, 2003
Can you even celebrate Christmas without watching Love Actually? I think not. I think this is probably the most re-watched film on this list and for good reason. Sweet, heartwarming, superstar ensemble cast and a bit (lot) cheesy for good measure. Special mention for Emma Thompsons bedroom crying scene – gets me every time. Love Actually can be rented/bought on Amazon prime.
Iconic Line: “Well, we need Kate and we need Leo, and we need them now”
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, 2018
Most of the films on this list are from several years ago (some decades ago). I think these days romcoms just aren’t made like they used to be. However Netflix’s 2018 film series “To all the boys I’ve loved before” is a super sweet, modern high school love story. It’s also based on the books by Jenny Han for book lovers of YA fiction out there. This was an unexpected smash hit for Netflix around the world and the two main stars, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo saw their Instagram following increase by millions over night. Despite being over a decade out of school and nearly 30, I really enjoyed these films (I genuinely watched the first one 3 times in one week!). The last movie in the series dropped earlier this month and it was as sweet and lovely as the first. TATB can be found on Netflix worldwide.
Iconic Line: “Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s part of the risk.”
A Star is Born, 2018
Oh boy. There was no way I could miss this off my list, it’s honestly one of the best films I’ve ever watched but it’s definitely not one I’d watch over again. I saw this in the cinema with my sister and when I tell you I SOBBED, believe me I sobbed. In fact I was definitely crying in the car on the way home and it took me a while to get over it. At the core of the film is a gorgeous love story which is why it makes this list but comedy it is not. It covers some really serious topics and both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were fantastic, and totally robbed in awards season. Everyone should watch this! It is available now on Amazon Prime.
Iconic Line: “I just wanted to take another look at you.”
When Harry met Sally, 1989
Can men and women ever be just friends? Thats the running question for this film. I was pretty late to the party on this one and only watched it last year but I think it is a must watch for any romcom lover like me. Not least because it gives us that iconic cafe scene! Epitome of the “when opposites attract” narrative, it’s pretty predictable but it’s fun watching it play out. Plus, can you even call yourself a Romcom fan without watching WHMS? Available to rent/buy on Amazon Prime.
Iconic Line: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The Notebook, 2004
Man or woman, I dare you to try and get through this film without crying your eyes out! Firstly, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams’ chemistry is next level amazing (no surprises they ended up dating in real life) and secondly, the rain screen is worth watching in itself. A must watch in the romcom genre, you won’t regret spending a couple of hours with this pairing. Also based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. You can watch The Notebook on Netflix.
Iconic Line: “If you’re a bird… I’m a bird…”
How To be Single, 2016
I had to put this on the list because not every romcom needs a soppy ending to be great. The anti-romcom because really, the most important person you need to love is yourself. I came away from this film agreeing with the concept that it is so important to feel comfortable being alone rather than forever focusing your energy on needing to be in a relationship. Even if you’re in a relationship, I think this is a really good lesson to learn and if nothing else this film is a really funny watch. Rebel Wilson is hilarious in particular! Available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Iconic Line: “I know breaking up sucks but you know what is even worse? Wasting a night in New York City.”
Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001
Believe it or not, loosely based on Pride and Prejudice (Mr Darcy?!) Bridget Jones is an absolute classic still today. Billed as the relatable normal girl, (although we’ll skim past the idea that she was supposed to be “a little bit fat” at 9 stone something – eyeroll) Bridget goes through life one embarrassing moment at a time. You’ll root for her from start to end. Still, having Hugh Grant and Colin Firth fighting over you (literally) must be pretty nice. You can stream Bridget on Netflix.
Iconic Line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 2003
Last but definitely not least is the movie that introduced me to the delightful partnership of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, who go on to star in several more films together. It’s a fun watch as a viewer, being in on the secret that is in a weird way keeping them together and the big reveal is very satisfying! The chemistry is spot on and the montage from the motorbike to the bathroom scene is one of my favourites. You’ll not regret this one. You can stream this on Netflix and NowTV.
Iconic Line: “Is Princess Sophia Going to Come Out and Play?”
If you got to the end of this post I’m highly impressed! Please let me know in the comments if you have watched any of the above and if you think any are missing?
Thanks for reading