Ah, rom-coms. The best romantic comedies can make us feel like we’ve found the One in movie form—the kind of love story worthy of watching over and over again. But as much as we love the genre, it’s often criticized (and for good reason) for a host of issues—including giving fans unrealistic expectations about relationships, continuing problematic stereotypes, and its overwhelming lack of diversity. Rom-coms should be held to a higher standard; after all, these movies are continually watched and rewatched by millions every day. We deserve to see our real-life relationships reflected onscreen.
And the genre has been changing by leaps and bounds in recent years. The power dynamics in the relationships have changed (see: Always Be My Maybe, in which celebrity chef Sasha dates a slacker guy trying to find himself). The massive success of Crazy Rich Asians shut down any bullshit notions that diversity can’t win at the box office. (Of course, there’s still a long way to go—the lack of rom-coms with a LGBTQ+ or differently abled lead is striking.) Even how we consume rom-coms has shifted: Streaming services like Netflix are consistently producing new classics, and TV has welcomed the genre with shows like New Girl and You’re the Worst. They’re getting more subversive too—just look at films like Isn’t It Romantic and What Men Want, which play on the tired tropes of rom-coms past.
Interestingly, a poll on Glamour‘s Instagram once revealed that 88% of our followers love rom-coms, but 61% of those fans said they’ve referred to them as “guilty pleasures.” Here at Glamour we want to encourage you to reject that label. Think about it this way: Historically, rom-coms have been considered a genre meant for women. So it’s not lost on us that society finds it easy to dismiss them as throwaway fluff, movies not worthy of awards or even shame-free enjoyment.
The one thing all romantic comedies have in common is that they take two things everyone wants in life—rom and com—and marry them into a palatable product. What’s so wrong about that? To celebrate that, we are sharing some of our favorites. Below, are the 105 best romantic comedies of all time.
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