Ranking 5 Forgotten Rom-Coms (No Spoilers)



5. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

“Childhood friends Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) and Michael O’Neal (Dermot Mulroney) had a deal to marry each other if they were still single by age 28. Now, four days before her 28th birthday, O’Neil announces that he’s marrying a gorgeous 20-year-old named Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Suddenly realizing that she’s actually in love with him, Julianne vows to stop the wedding at all costs. However, when she is appointed maid of honor, things get even more complex.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Simply, I hated it. Starring Julia Roberts, whom I’ve seen in Pretty Woman, I expected great things. As probably one of the better known movies on this list, I chalked up it’s lack of impact on the rom-com community as something to do with the other, greater hits that came out at a similar time such as Notting Hill, also starring Julia Roberts, and Jerry Maguire, which is a fabulous rom-com, in my opinion. However, its 3.4 star rating should’ve been my first red flag. I am shocked it is still called a rom-com as, instead of laughing and enjoying a love story, I was actively rooting against every single person except Kimberly, and even that got hard when she kept letting Julianne get away with an assortment of inexcusable behavior. Honestly, in what world is it considered romantic to be invited to someone’s wedding and attempt to stop it because “whoops, I just realized I’m in love with the groom”. Realizing that late that you love someone also probably doesn’t mean you love them, it just means you like their attention and, now that you no longer have it, you want it back. So, while I wish I had enjoyed this movie because of the big stars involved, I will never get behind that this is a romance.

4. 16 Candles (1984)

“With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister’s upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with typical adolescent dread. Samantha pines for studly older boy Jake (Michael Schoeffling), but worries that her chastity will be a turnoff for the popular senior. Meanwhile, Samantha must constantly rebuff the affections of nerdy Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), the only boy in the school, unfortunately, who seems to take an interest in her.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

So, I have mixed thoughts. Overall, it’s a classic many teens nowadays don’t know, but, anyone who was a teenager in the 80s definitely knows. Samantha is a relatable lead and the audience can’t help but root for her. Despite her flaws, she really just wants her 16th birthday to be a day to remember and, as a 16 year old girl, I feel for that. Her crush, Jake, seems like a typical “popular boy” rom-com lead; handsome, smart, blah blah blah. However, what makes this character interesting is how awful he actually is. He goes around showing how much he cares about Samantha and her feelings yet seems to disregard anybody else, including his own girlfriend. I admit, the way he treats and talks about Samantha had me giggling but any other time he was on screen he reminded me of why this movie wouldn’t stand today. And don’t even get me started on Ted. He was a creep throughout and had no character development whatsoever. The movie played his creepiness off as a joke but, if he were a real person, he would be in jail for life for his actions in the movie alone, much less what happened after and before. So, if someone wanted to watch it for nostalgia or even just to try it out, they would just have to disregard the racism, misogyny, and sexual assault that happens throughout the movie to actually enjoy it. Suit yourself.

3. Enchanted (2007)

“Banished by an evil queen, Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) from a fairy-tale world lands in modern Manhattan, where music, magic and “happily ever after” are sorely lacking. She is adrift in this strange new place until a divorce lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) comes to her aid. Giselle begins to fall for her flawed benefactor, but the storybook romance gets complicated when a prince from her world comes to rescue her.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

To many this movie, when remembered, is often seen as a family movie but it’s actually a rom-com by Disney themselves. I saw this movie once when I was around eight and then again when I was around eleven and both times I left the movie pleasantly surprised. Eight year-old me thought it would be too sophisticated, which I was very wrong about. This rom-com takes a lighthearted and kid-friendly approach to rom-coms along with poking fun at other fairytale stereotypes that Disney has built its name upon. Eleven year old me, who thought I was extremely mature, thought this movie would be too childish, but as most family movies go, the characters are somewhat relatable or at the least entertaining and the movie even throws in a few jokes or awkward moments that genuinely got a laugh out of me. I haven’t watched it in a while, and while my taste in movies has left the kid-friendly-rom-com stage, I would sit and enjoy it even 5 years later.

2. Penelope (2006)

“Born with the snout of a pig, young Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci) spends life a virtual prisoner in her home. Believing that the only way to break the curse is to marry one of her own kind, she meets a number of suitors, but all reject her. Two devious men, one with a grudge against the family, hire a man (James McAvoy) to pose as a suitor, but complications arise when he begins to fall in love with Penelope, and she makes a bid for freedom.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Another example of how this article brings me my favorite movies. It’s technically a rom-com but I wouldn’t call it that. I, personally, would call it a family movie, as it focuses more on the message than the actual romance. I cried at the end of this movie. Absolutely bawled. I’m a relatively sensitive movie watcher, so if I’m invested enough, I’m bound to shed a few tears for little to no reason but for this I had a really good reason that I can’t share because that would spoil it. I watched it once when I was around 6 and absolutely hated it, turning it off before the halfway mark. Going into it again, I didn’t have high expectations but it quickly shattered all my previous beliefs when I was audibly laughing 10 minutes in. Though not special in a rom-com lens, from a family movie one, I think it’d be good for tweens/teens and their parents as the lesson on self love is super cute. And, from the rom-com perspective, the lead couple is super cute and will have anyone watching rooting for the two. The characters are likable, and if not at least they are entertaining, and though the end wasn’t quite what I wanted, I am still satisfied.

1. Get Over It (2001)

“A comic look at a romantic problem that has plagued mankind since the very first boy-girl breakup: how’s a guy supposed to survive in a world where ex-girlfriends continue to exist … and attract? When Berke (Ben Foster) and Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) break up he has a hard time dealing with her dating the new hot guy in school.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

This is my favorite rom-com of all time. I mean it. I only watched it because of this article and did so curled up under my blankets and half asleep but, even if I was in tears after the worst day of my life, I’d still have the best movie-watching experience. This movie has it all: relatable characters, funny one-liners, big stars before fame(Kirsten Dunst, Martin Short, and more), early 2000s CGI, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s such a shame this movie isn’t as popular because it definitely deserves to be. Critics hate it (43%) and the audience score isn’t much better (51%) but I thought it was exactly what a rom-com should be: lighthearted, short and absolutely unbelievable which is what makes this movie so much fun and something I would definitely watch again to put me in a better mood. Also, Kirsten Dunst can sing. Who knew?




Works Cited






Blair Academy