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The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

Updated June 7, 2019 464 votes 62 voters 3.3k views55 items

Who are the best romantic comedy directors in film history? You get to decide. Making a good rom-com is harder than it looks. The director first needs to have a good script -- one with sympathetic characters the audience will want to see fall in love. Next comes finding lead actors who have strong chemistry together. If we don't believe they're falling head over heels for each other, the whole thing falls apart. It's also crucial for romantic comedy directors to find the right balance between jokes and emotional content. When mixed together in just the right way, magic happens.

Cinema has had some incredibly talented filmmakers in the genre over the decades. Directors like George Cukor, Frank Capra, and Ernst Lubitsch set the template in the '20s, '30s, and '40s. In the '80s and '90s, folks like Rob Reiner, Garry Marshall, and Cameron Crowe picked up the mantle and ran with it. More recently filmmakers such as Michael Showalter, Judd Apatow, and Nicholas Stoller are finding new things to do with the format. 

Vote up your favorites from this list of famous romantic comedy directors. If you feel that one is missing, add them to the list. Don't forget to check back later to see how other users rank your picks.

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  • 1
    Nora Ephron is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

    You've Got Mail (1998)

  • 2
    Garry Marshall is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Overboard (1987)

    Pretty Woman (1990)

    Runaway Bride (1999)

    Valentine's Day (2010)

    New Year's Eve (2011)

  • 3
    Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    The Sure Thing (1985)

    The Princess Bride (1987)

    When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

    The Story of Us (1999)

    Alex & Emma (2003)

  • 4
    Anne Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    27 Dresses (2008)

    The Proposal (2009)

  • 5
    Richard Curtis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Love Actually (2003)

    About Time (2013)

  • 6
    Nancy Meyers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Something's Gotta Give (2003) 

    The Holiday (2006) 

    It's Complicated (2009)

  • 7
    Marc Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Two Weeks Notice (2002)

    Music and Lyrics (2007)

  • 8
    Andy Tennant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Fools Rush In (1997)

    Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

    Hitch (2005)

    Fool's Gold (2008)

  • 9
    Donald Petrie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Mystic Pizza (1988)

    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) 

    Just My Luck (2006) 

    Little Italy (2018)

  • 10
    Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

    Knocked Up (2007)

    Trainwreck (2015)

  • 11
    Glenn Ficarra is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

    Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

  • 12
    Robert Luketic is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Legally Blonde (2001)

    Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)

    The Ugly Truth (2009)

  • 13
    Sharon Maguire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

    Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)

  • 14
    Cameron Crowe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Say Anything... (1989)

    Singles (1992)

    Jerry Maguire (1996)

    Elizabethtown (2005)

    Aloha (2015)

  • 15
    Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Annie Hall (1977)

    Manhattan (1979) 

    Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

    Midnight in Paris (2011) 

    To Rome With Love (2012)

  • 16
    Jon M. Chu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

  • 17
    Albert Brooks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Modern Romance(1981)

    The Muse (1999)

  • 18
    Peter Chelsom is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Serendipity (2001)

    Shall We Dance (2004)

  • 19
    Todd Strauss-Schulson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History
    5
    2

    Todd Strauss-Schulson

    Isn't It Romantic (2019)

  • 20
    Michael Showalter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    The Baxter (2005)

    Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)

    The Big Sick (2017)

  • 21
    Mike Newell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

  • 22
    Nicholas Stoller is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

    The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

  • 23
    Amy Heckerling is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Look Who's Talking (1989)

    Clueless (1995)

    Loser (2000)

    I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

  • 24
    Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Sabrina (1954)

    The Seven Year Itch (1955)

    The Apartment (1960)

    Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

  • 25
    Blake Edwards is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

    Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) 

    10 (1979) 

    The Man Who Loved Women (1983)

    Blind Date (1987)

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