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Iconic Rom-Coms We Can’t Forget

Feeling like something’s missing with “Anyone But You”? Time to revisit some classic rom-coms that tick all the right boxes and show how it’s done!

Have you ever watched a romantic comedy and thought, “There’s something missing”? Recent films like Anyone But You and How to Date Billy Joe may have the necessary rom-com ingredients, but they often lack the magic that made earlier movies so special. To understand what made the classics so memorable, let’s revisit some of the most beloved romantic comedies of the past and explore why they continue to warm our hearts and laugh out loud.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

the movie cover for 10 things I hate about you.
Credit: Disney

Starting off with a classic, let’s talk about 10 Things I Hate About You. This film is the ultimate high school rom-com that captures all the feels. A modern twist on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, it’s packed with teenage angst, excitement, and laughs. Set in Seattle, it follows Bianca Stratford, a popular girl whose overprotective father forbids her from dating unless her older sister, Kat, does too. The catch? Kat is fiercely independent and disdainful of boys. However, Patrick Verona, a mysterious outsider is paid to win Kat’s heart so Bianca can date.

The film stars Heath Ledger as Patrick, who oozes charisma, especially in the iconic bleacher scene where he serenades Kat with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Julia Stiles plays Kat, a strong, independent character who breaks the typical rom-com mold. The chemistry between Ledger and Stiles is electric, and their witty banter keeps you hooked. Bianca, played by Larisa Oleynik, just wants to date, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Cameron is the sweet new guy with a huge crush on her. The film also features standout side characters like Michael (David Krumholtz), who adds hilarious comic relief.

screenshot from 10 things I hate about you
Credit: Youtube

What makes this film iconic is not just the cast but the memorable moments that are remembered like Kat’s drunken dance on the table to “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. and her emotional poem, “10 Things I Hate About You,” which hits you right in the feels. My favourite line by Kat: “I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time”? The film’s killer soundtrack, with hits like Letters to Cleo’s “Cruel to Be Kind” and Semisonic’s “FNT,” perfectly captures the late ‘90s vibe.

10 Things I Hate About You is a forever favourite that keeps getting better with time. It’s got everything: humor, heart, iconic lines, and unforgettable scenes. It sets the bar high for winning a girl’s heart. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re seriously missing out on one of the best rom-coms ever made.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

the movie cover for How to lose a guy in 10 days
Credit: Prime

The next beloved romantic comedy, that recently went viral on TikTok is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. The plot focuses on Andie Anderson, a journalist writing an article on how to drive a man away. That man being Benjamin Barry, an advertising executive betting he can make any woman fall in love with him. All done within ten days! Their hilarious antics and misunderstandings lead to genuine feelings, creating both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud moments.

Iconic scenes include Andie’s over-the-top behaviors, like invading Ben’s poker night and the “You’re So Vain” duet at the party. Their undeniable chemistry shines, especially during their motorcycle ride and the heartfelt finale. Hudson and McConaughey’s performances, combined with sharp humor and an engaging storyline, make How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days a must-watch that sets the bar for romantic comedies.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

a clip of Bridget, from Bridget Jones's Diary, standing alone in the street snowing.
Credit: Netflix

A rom-com with all the feels and relatability is Bridget Jones’s Diary. The story follows Bridget who’s in her early 30s, determined to improve her life and document her progress in a diary. She works in a London publishing house and struggles with her weight, smoking, and a lacklustre love life. Bridget’s New Year’s resolution is to take control of her life, which includes finding a better job and a boyfriend. However, her love life is a little complicated as she is torn between two men. Her love triangle is between the charming boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and the honorable Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Bridget navigates her relationships, faces numerous comedic and heartfelt challenges, all while maintaining her endearing, self-deprecating sense of humor.

A great rom-com includes many memorable moments. In this case, Bridget’s hilarious diary entries, the “bunny costume” party, and the awkward yet heartfelt encounters between Bridget and Mark, are all iconic moments. My favorite scene is Bridget, with a glass of wine in hand, passionately belting out Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” The film’s witty script and unforgettable scenes, like the fight between Daniel and Mark, elevate it to classic rom-com status.

This film perfectly captures the highs and lows of modern romance with charm and humor. All you have to do is watch the first 10 minutes and I promise, you will be hooked! And if you want more, there are sequels that dig further into Bridget’s life, such as Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby. These films offer more hilarious and heartfelt moments as she continues navigating love, career, and the chaos of adulthood.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)

A clip of Geogia and her friends walking down the street from Angus, Thongs, and the Perfect Snogging
Credit: Prime

Lastly, let’s talk about my favorite rom-com of all time, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a British teen rom-com that follows the adventures of Georgia Nicolson (Georgia Groome). The film is actually based on Louise Rennison’s beloved book series. The plot centers on Georgia’s quest for the perfect boyfriend and the normal struggles of being a teenager. Alongside her loyal group of friends, the Ace Gang, Georgia takes on hilarious misadventures, ill-fated crushes, and disastrous attempts at self-improvement.

There are numerous iconic scenes in the movie that have grown to be treasured moments. Georgia’s plans to win the heart of handsome Robbie (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the pool scene where he notices Georgia’s “cheeto” legs. There’s also the”snogging scale” scene where the ace gang use a homemade chart to grade their kissing ability. My favorite moment is when Robbie tells Georgia, “I wrote a song about you. It’s called Bitch in a Uniform.”

Complementing the film’s charming storyline is its fantastic soundtrack, featuring a mix of indie pop and classic hits. Songs like Scouting for Girls’ “She’s So Lovely” and The Stiff Dylans’ catchy “Ultraviolet” perfectly capture the film’s nostalgic vibe. Overall, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging remains a standout for its humor, heart, and unforgettable scenes.

Credit: YouTube

These beloved rom-com classics from the past—10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging—offer a perfect blend of humor, heart, and iconic moments that newer films often struggle to match. Whether it’s the unforgettable characters, witty dialogue, or the soundtracks that defined an era, these movies continue to warm our hearts and make us laugh out loud. If you haven’t seen them yet, do yourself a favor and watch some real rom-coms.

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