The Top 10 Romantic Comedies Of All Time Are Going To Surprise You

I love a good romantic comedy. Let’s be real, kids, I also love a bad romantic comedy (you’re looking at someone who has seen Failure To Launch in its entirety). I love mediocre sexist drivel that attempts humor and is not so much about romance as it is about the wedding-industrial complex (I own the DVD of Bride Wars). I know my taste is questionable at best, so it’s never surprising to me that when lists are released of the “Best Romantic Comedies”, I haven’t heard of a lot of them, let alone seen them. I know what I like in a movie; I haven’t the foggiest what makes a movie critically “good” (what does cinematography even mean?). Movie critiquing is an art that I haven’t the faintest hope of figuring out. I’m much more of a numbers person. Math is objective.

So it’s surprising to me that I’m even more baffled by this list of the top-grossing romantic comedies of all time. Highest grossing implies people went to see it, which you’d think would indicate either popularity or quality, but there’s a number of films that made the list which I don’t think have either (and in some cases, I don’t even think should be classified as rom-coms). Also, the slideshow is misleadingly titled “Top Romantic Comedies of All Time”, and I think we’ll agree that “made the most money” does not always mean “best”. Let’s break it down.

10. As Good As It Gets

So we’re leading off the list with a movie I haven’t seen, mostly because I think Jack Nicholson is too old for Helen Hunt. Apparently other people did not share my sentiment, to the tune of almost $150 million. The fine folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t hate this one either, so maybe I’m just being ageist.

9. Knocked Up

Do I buy that this was a popular movie? Sure. Would I classify it as a romantic comedy? Certainly not. What I’m about to say may be controversial, but I didn’t find anything particularly romantic or comedic about two rather incompatible people trying to force a relationship for the sake of a child conceived by mistake.

8. Runaway Bride

This was a cute movie, and no one would doubt it’s a rom-com, but one of the top ten, ever? Color me dubious.

7. Sex And The City

I have no doubt this movie made a ton of money, and I’d be a giant liar if I so much as attempted to pretend I didn’t enjoy it. That said, I’m not sure you can call it one of the best romantic comedies of all time when the movie was basically an extended fashion show that did its best to ruin every one of the relationships that existed in the show (with the exception of Charlotte, because the movie mostly forgot she existed).

6. The Proposal

This is the first movie whose presence on this list I”m not going to fight. We have an awesome female lead, a cute male lead, and Betty White. Sold. I think it was a funny movie, and managed to appeal to more than just the typical chick-flick crowd, so I’m not surprised it made this list.

5. There’s Something About Mary

So I haven’t seen this one in anything more than occasional bits and pieces on TBS. This one is similar to Knocked Up in that, while it was certainly a popular movie, I always put it more in the ‘gross out buddy comedy’ category than ‘rom-com’. Does “romantic comedy” now just mean “a comedy movie that happens to feature a romance somewhere in the plotline”?

4. Pretty Woman

There should be only one Roberts-Gere movie on this list, and this should be the one. Classic.

3. Hitch

Seriously, list? This movie was fine, but it always struck me as more of a ‘straight-to-basic-cable’ type movie than the third best romantic comedy ever. Also, I like Will Smith best when he’s fighting aliens, not giving love advice to Kevin James, but that’s my personal preference. Apparently $180 million worth of people disagree with me.

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  • Maeby Hyland

    In total agreement this list is a terrible representation of what a romantic comedy is. Where is when Harry met Sally, The Wedding Singer or for a more obvious movie that is not here and should be Bridget Jones Diary? The above list reads more like a box office return top ten of middle aged romantic comedies. It doesn’t even include any cult classics or teenage romantic comedies like Say Anything, Pretty in Pink or Clueless. These are the movies that would be rewatched endlessly at slumber parties with abundance of ice cream and mani pedi’s and far more accurately represent what a ‘good’ romantic comedy is.

    • Johanna Marie Johnston

      I could not agree more with these comments! what happened to; sleepless in seattle? when harry met sally? bridget jones diary? ummm, TITANIC?! need i say more? i literally could not loath this list more, the only film i can agree with is pretty woman, i mean, who doesn’t love a good film where prostitute gets pulled out of the slums by everyones dream guy?
      numer one? come on, we can do better than that, right?

      • Allison Glean Hansard

        haha yeah Titanic was an awesome romcom.

  • Alisa Gulapa

    When Harry Met Sally!

  • Meredith Rabs

    agree with your disagreements on the list. in addition to not a single kate hudson or jennifer lopez movie, where is John Cusack?! Say Anything, America’s Sweethearts, Serendipity, hell, if Knocked Up made it, High Fidelity….the man is like, a RomCom King

  • Shalaka Salian

    This list is totally wrooooong. Ugh. Ok, well, except for Pretty Woman., there is hardly a movie in here that has great chemistry between lead roles or great storyline. Pfff. Please, I would rather watch an action movie than spend my weekend watching Knocked-Up kind of a movie. And by the way, where is Meg Ryan?? I mean c’mon, she is the ultimate queen of romcom.

  • Katy Littlejohn

    Where’s When Harry Met Sally?? Where is it!?

    • Katie Male

      I agree! or what about You’ve Got Mail? There most certainly should be some Nora Ephron on this list.

    • Sadia


  • Jennifer Thorn Forsman

    I agree with you on some of these but I, personally, loved Hitch. I thought it was hilarious – my husband even liked it.

  • Aimee Mariah Smith

    How about Roman Holiday? Or Bringing Up Baby? How about things that weren’t made in the late 20th and early 21st century… because honestly known of those movies is on my top 10 romantic comedies of ALL TIME.

    • Aimee Mariah Smith

      … um one should not write things when they first wake up, that should be *none not known…

      • Katy Littlejohn

        I was definitely thinking the same thing! Where’s Audrey and Marilyn? Gentlemen Prefer Blonds and Sabrina are two of my favourites.

  • Colleen Marie Siler

    Pretty Woman romanticizes being a hooker, not good in my opinion.

  • Christy-Lynn Jenkins

    I actually really liked As Good As It Gets and What Women Want. Especially What Women Want. There’s Something About Mary, too. I laughed, I “awwwh’d”. They’re cute and light! :)

  • Christy-Lynn Jenkins

    Maybe they don’t belong on a top 10 list, but they’re pretty good movies in their own right!

  • Kelly Elizabeth Terrell

    Thank you! I was beginning to think I was the only one that felt that way about Knocked Up. I spent the whole movie yelling at whatever her characters name was that she could do better. Those two just didn’t belong together and to make it worse the movie only had maybe one or two funny moments it the whole thing.

    • SuperWittySmitty

      I kept thinking that HE could do better. As I recall, she was pretty, but her bitchy personality was a deal breaker. In the film, and apparently in real life, he is way ahead of her in charm and personality.

  • Cassie Richards

    Agree with everything except that Failure To Launch is not a decent rom-com. I have a shameless amount of love for that movie.

  • Sasha Sirozh

    Where is love actually? Jeezuz, I know that it’s an English film, with an almost entirely Enlish cast, but come on! An elegant plot line, and just an over all adorable film with interesting characters, and Knocked up is “better”???
    What’s the matter with you list???

    Knocked up?? Seriously???

    Needless to say, I’m indignated.

    • Alyssa Dykes

      Agreed, where is Love Actually? It’s my favorite romantic comedy and I believe that many others feel this way. Show some love for Brit flicks!

  • Angela Rose Richardson

    You’ll be a little happier with this list:,ovies
    A lot of good, classic romantic comedies are on there!

  • SuperWittySmitty

    Of all the movies listed, As Good As It Gets was, by far, the best of the lot. It’s not about a romance between Jack and Helen. I think you lose a lot authority as a writer of films when you dismiss a move of such quality.

  • Alice-Marie Brady

    This list is highest grossing, which basically means these movies had the best/most in your face advertising. Both Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride would have done well in the box office because they star Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Hitch did well because it was being advertised CONSTANTLY, you couldn’t go anywhere w/out seeing an ad, and both Will Smith and Kevin James were hella popular at the time (I know they’re both still popular, but they were at a peak at that time). In comment someone mentioned why When Harry Met Sally isn’t on the list, I wasn’t alive when it came out but maybe, for whatever reason, people didn’t want to see it in theatres. Maybe there was some national tragedy at the time of the release, maybe, in the 80s, people jus didn’t get it. But this list didn’t take a poll and see what movies most people likes, it is based on how many people saw it in theatres.


    Why don’t you jus make your own top 10 instead of tearing apart every single movie in it?, I don’t agree with the top either, but just reading you complaining about every single movie is depressing and make this article really hard to read. (Excuse the poor lenguage , i don’t speak english very well!)

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