Being in love can be complicated. But being in love in a romantic comedy? Despite the high stakes and silly trappings, the swoon-worthy arc is surprisingly simple. There's the meet-cute, which leads to the obstacles and then the smoochy resolution. It's not exactly complicated. Which is why we're taking a closer look at some of the greatest romantic comedies ever made and summarizing them in one to three sometimes upsetting sentences. Here's the frills-free version of what really happened.
You've Got Mail
A man destroys a woman's livelihood while flirting with her via AOL and hiding his identity. But he has a cool dog and buys her flowers on occasion. So.
A virgin who can't drive tries to get it on with her gay BFF, thwarts advances from a variety of d-bags, and decides on a relationship with her ex-step brother who pretends to enjoy Kafka. Majorly, totally, butt crazy indeed.
Man hires hooker, who enjoys shopping, Prince in the bathtub. He dresses her well, decides to keep her around longer, and presumably finances her post-ho lifestyle.
Read on for Love Actually, and, Notting Hill, obvs, Sleepless in Seattle.
Beautiful woman hooks up with not-beautiful man, gets pregnant, and has his baby for some reason. Also file under: mysteries.
A bunch of terrible and/or troubled people have a pretty shit Christmas.
Never Been Kissed
A word-loving lady-dork masquerades as a high school student, begins flirtation with hot teacher who gets mad AT HER when he finds out she is not who she says she is. With some help from Brian Wilson, they make out on a baseball field.
Pride and Prejudice
Colin Firth wins the only wet T-shirt contest that has ever mattered in the world, also our hearts for all eternity.
When Harry Met Sally
Meg Ryan finds Billy Crystal attractive. Not to be applied in real-life scenarios. Studies prove inconclusive.
A movie star plays a movie star standing in front of Elizabeth Hurley's bumbling ex. Turns out, he's a good guy with a bad roommate and access to an exceptional bench.
An exhausting man who thinks he knows everything dates a woman with spectacular sense of style. Neuroses collide, lobsters are cooked, and it very much does not work out.
While You Were Sleeping
A sad cat lady is obsessed with a one-balled stranger whom she saves from being run over by a train. When he ends up in a coma, she poses as his betrothed. After his family takes her in, she decides to marry his brother and take her dream vacation.
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Cool, hilarious woman falls for friend of LeBron. Tragically, she succumbs to pressures both societal and Apatowian. But boy can she eulogize.
Sleepless in Seattle
Woman becomes obsessed with a man she hears on the radio. She stalks him (even though she's engaged and doesn't even know whether he has a cute butt) and then gets catfished by his son.