What Actually Happened in Your Favorite Romantic Comedies

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

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.

Knocked Up
Beautiful woman hooks up with not-beautiful man, gets pregnant, and has his baby for some reason. Also file under: mysteries.

Love Actually
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.

Notting Hill
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.

Annie Hall
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.

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. 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.