Film and TV

What Actually Happened in Your Favorite Romantic Comedies

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.

Clueless
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.

Pretty Woman
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.
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski