For those with an aversion to anything too sappy, the romantic comedy is the perfect bridge between romance and humor. Romantic comedies often allow people to enjoy love stories that are a little more down to earth and realistic, or at least somewhat more self aware about the ridiculous nature of cinematic romantic gestures. These romantic comedies for beginners are all films that helped establish the conventions of the rom-com as a genre. From classics like When Harry Met Sally to more modern films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, all the below movies had a major impact when they were released.
While romance films tend to idealize romantic relationships, romantic comedies tend to show us average people navigating average relationships. Characters go through normal ups and downs where nothing is perfect, things are often funny, and people fall in love the same way we all do. These essential rom-coms often feature highly imperfect romantic leads who are just as awkward about romance as the average viewer. This is part of the reason romantic comedies tend to be so popular - people love seeing relatable characters. While most of us will never have the brooding intrigue of Casablanca's Rick Blaine, we may be as klutzy as Bridget Jones or as cynical and surly as Phil Connors of Groundhog Day.
It's highly unlikely you are completely new to the genre, but this list will serve as an intro to romantic comedies just in case you're not well versed. These must-see romantic comedies often made their stars famous and gave us scenes and jokes widely recognized today. These are truly movies everyone should watch, if only to understand the many references to films like Pretty Women and Sleepless in Seattle that dot popular culture.
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