Hooking up? No problem. “Meet cute” at the book shop? Happens all the time. Finding the right one, falling in love, and getting married? What else are you gonna do? But compiling the ultimate list of the Freshest romantic comedies? It’s complicated.
For our list of the 150 best romantic comedies of all time, we searched high and low throughout movie history for every permutation of (hilarious) courtship and love captured on camera. We have the dazzling wit of the early studio system (His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby), the realistic cynicism of the ’70s (Annie Hall, The Goodbye Girl), and the sweeping romance in-between (The Apartment, Roman Holiday). There was plenty to find in the John Hughes, teen-driven era (Say Anything…, Pretty in Pink), and the bubbly ’90s decade that followed (Groundhog Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral, While You Were Sleeping). Then we dabbled in 21st century raunch (Knocked Up) and twee ((500) Days of Summer), leading into our current era of new voices declaring that they too are entitled to their own messy relationship stories (The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians).
The only stipulation for a rom-com to get a shot at love on this list was achieving a minimum of 20 reviews, before we sorted it all by Adjusted Tomatometer. And because we want you feeling red, and not seeing red, we want to prepare you for some of the relatively low placements for beloved classics like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and Sleepless in Seattle. The Tomatometer, just like the heart, does not deceive.
Ready to dive into the sea of love? Then continue on with open arms into Rotten Tomatoes’ 150 best romantic comedies of all time!
The Film Fatales, a collective of women indie directors, put together a list of must-see movies made by women.
Founded in 2013 by "I Believe in Unicorns" director Leah Meyerhoff, Film Fatales is a bicoastal collective of women filmmakers who mentor and collaborate in an indie space that's far removed from the sexist world of Hollywood—and therefore all the more likely to make impact.
“At a time when audiences are hungry for a diversity of stories on screen, we’ve compiled a list of recent films directed by women that everyone should see, as well as a selection of older titles which continue to inspire us,” said Film Fatales founder Leah Meyerhoff, who shared the following list with Bitch Media.
Film Fatales in NY and LA include Meyerhoff, Eliza Hittman, Ry Russo Young, Stewart Thorndike, Marielle Heller, Leslye Headland, Sasha Gordon, Jess Weixler and Josephine Decker. Here are their picks for the best films made by women, including "Appropriate Behavior," "Diary of a Teenage Girl," "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," "Pariah," "Selma," and classics from Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Kathryn Bigelow and Lynne Ramsay.
- Recent Women-Directed Films That Everyone Should See (A-Z)
- Women-Directed Films That Inspired the Work of Film Fatales (A-Z)
Two times a year—at the halfway point and during list-making season in November—I send out a list of “significant” movies to the film staff so they can try to see as many as possible before our Year In Film feature. It’s just a simple checklist, presented in the order each film was released theatrically in New York City. The idea is to give our writers time to catch up and give relative obscurities like The Arbor (last year’s No. 13 on our conjoined Best Of The Year list) the same collective consideration as more widely heralded efforts like The Tree Of Life. In the interest of transparency—and recommending a bunch of movies we love—I’m making the halftime list public this year so our readers can play along at home. A few caveats:
- My staff inevitably comes back to me with omissions, and I suspect there will be many in the comments below. We’ll add the big ones to our year-end checklist.
- Normally, the list goes out without categories. The ones below, particularly “The Essentials,” are a reflection of my taste and priorities. Mileage will definitely vary.
- Within the categories, titles are still listed in order of release in NYC through the weekend of July 13th, not in order of preference.
- Overall, the momentum from last year’s embarrassment of cinematic riches has continued into 2012, so now’s the time to get those queues in order.
The Essentials: From "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" to "Django Unchained"
Hollywood: The System Works!: From "The Grey" to "Lés misérables"
Auteur Obligations: From "Crazy Horse" to "Killing Them Softly"
Notable Documentaries: From "West of Memphis" to "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"
Indie Curiosities: From "Return" to "Promised Land"
Imported Goods: From "Declaration of War" to "Sister"