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The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

Updated June 7, 2019 567 votes 85 voters 4.4k 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.

  • Nora Ephron1

    Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

    You've Got Mail (1998)

  • Garry Marshall2

    Overboard (1987)

    Pretty Woman (1990)

    Runaway Bride (1999)

    Valentine's Day (2010)

    New Year's Eve (2011)

  • Rob Reiner3

    The Sure Thing (1985)

    The Princess Bride (1987)

    When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

    The Story of Us (1999)

    Alex & Emma (2003)

  • Richard Curtis4

    Love Actually (2003)

    About Time (2013)

  • Anne Fletcher5

    27 Dresses (2008)

    The Proposal (2009)

  • Nancy Meyers6

    Something's Gotta Give (2003) 

    The Holiday (2006) 

    It's Complicated (2009)

  • Albert Brooks7

    Modern Romance(1981)

    The Muse (1999)

  • Andy Tennant8

    Fools Rush In (1997)

    Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

    Hitch (2005)

    Fool's Gold (2008)

  • Donald Petrie9

    Mystic Pizza (1988)

    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) 

    Just My Luck (2006) 

    Little Italy (2018)

  • Amy Heckerling10

    Look Who's Talking (1989)

    Clueless (1995)

    Loser (2000)

    I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

  • Marc Lawrence11

    Two Weeks Notice (2002)

    Music and Lyrics (2007)

  • Sharon Maguire12

    Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

    Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)

  • Robert Luketic13

    Legally Blonde (2001)

    Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)

    The Ugly Truth (2009)

  • Glenn Ficarra14

    I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

    Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

  • Judd Apatow15

    The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

    Knocked Up (2007)

    Trainwreck (2015)

  • Jon Turteltaub16

    While You Were Sleeping (1995)

  • Michael Showalter17

    The Baxter (2005)

    Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)

    The Big Sick (2017)

  • Mike Newell18

    Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

  • Peter Chelsom19

    Serendipity (2001)

    Shall We Dance (2004)

  • Woody Allen20

    Annie Hall (1977)

    Manhattan (1979) 

    Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

    Midnight in Paris (2011) 

    To Rome With Love (2012)

  • Jon M. Chu21

    Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

  • Mike Nichols22

    The Graduate (1967)

    Working Girl (1988)

  • Frank Coraci23

    The Wedding Singer (1998)

    Blended (2015)

  • Cameron Crowe24

    Say Anything... (1989)

    Singles (1992)

    Jerry Maguire (1996)

    Elizabethtown (2005)

    Aloha (2015)

  • Nicholas Stoller25

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

    The Five-Year Engagement (2012)