They say romance is dead, and after the run of brilliant 1990s productions, rom-coms have been on the decline. However, looking at the list below, there are still some classics to enjoy.
More often than not, we find ourselves engrossed in “feel-good” rom-coms, using the films as a way of escape from the harsh reality. From fawning over the leads kissing amidst a heavy downpour or feeling frustrated at angsty heartbreaks, rom-coms supply us with memorable scenes and dialogues that remain immortalised within our minds.
With just a week left until Valentine’s day, no matter how anti-establishment you are, you can feel the burgeoning romance in the air. Netflix has a wide variety of rom-coms, that range from originals like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Crazy Rich Asians to other old classics, starring quintessential romance film heartthrobs, namely Richard Gere, Julia Robert, Hugh Grant and others.
Rom-coms see a fun balance between romance, comedy, misunderstandings and eventual happy endings. Amidst Netflix’s eclectic mix of films, we decided to scourge through and find the five best classic rom-com films for you to binge on and start off Valentine’s week.
Here are the five best classic rom-com films on Netflix for Valentine’s week!
The 5 best classic rom-com films on Netflix for Valentine’s day
5. Notting Hill (Roger Michell, 1999)
A British bookstore owner meets a well-known American actress by chance, and they eventually fall in love. However, the differences in their lifestyle, financial status and other vital classifications, lead to various misunderstandings as their relationship proceeds and changes with every passing season.
With Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts as the lead protagonists, this feel-good romantic comedy sees romance blossoming between the unlikeliest duo. From heartwarming dinner scenes to quiet nightly strolls and bickering sessions, the sheer sappiness of the film lies in the camaraderie between the actors, who hated each other in real-life!
Available: Netflix UK, Canada, Australia
4. My Best Friend’s Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1997)
Starring Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney, the film revolves around the age-old trope of unrequited love between best friends. Despite the jealousy, heartbreak and infatuation, the film subverts the general stereotypes and boasts charming and brilliant performances from the leads, especially Roberts.
The film revolves around Roberts’ Jules, who daydreams of marrying her best friend Michael, who, according to her, is single. However, all her dreams shatter completely when the latter informs her of his marriage plans to the sweet and pretty Kimmy, played by Diaz.
Available: Netflix US, Canada, UK
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Joel Zwick, 2002)
A compelling romp that involves romance, comedy, cultural shock and epic misunderstandings, this absurdist take on the genre of romance is attributed to the sheer genius of the screenplay writer Nia Vardalos, who also stars in the film — an ode to the opulent Greek culture. The brilliant screenplay also won the film a nomination at the Academy Awards, making it one of the highest-grossing rom-com of all time.
With a film sequel and a television series, the franchise is still expanding, as confirmed by Varadlous in 2021. The film revolves around the hilarious and heartwarming struggle of a Greek woman and her non-Greek lover when the former’s family struggles to accept her choices.
Available: Netflix UK, Australia
2. As Good As It Gets (James L. Brooks, 1997)
A misanthropic and cynical best-selling romance novelist is a homophobic bigot who takes an interest in a single mother waitress. He finds his life turns topsy turvy when he is entrusted with the duties of his gay neighbour’s dog after the latter is in the hospital. Nicholson’s lead battles other social anxiety disorders that lead to unlikely friendships and blossoming romance. The film immortalised the dialogue, “you make me want to be a better man.”
Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Skeet Ulrich and others, the film saw the epic Academy Award win for Nicholson and Hunt as the lead actor and actress. A box-office hit, it was an honest, funny, melancholy and beautiful portrait of real-life love.
Available: Netflix US, UK
1. My Fair Lady (George Cukor, 1964)
Starring the iconic Audrey Hepburn as the lead, alongside Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway and Gladys Cooper, the film won eight Academy Awards. It was adapted from a 1956 stage musical by Lerner and Loewe and featured various songs by Hepburn and Harrison that immortalised various sequences within the film. Their brilliant chemistry and heartfelt performance elevated the overall viewing experience for Cukor’s absolutely vibrant and elegant rendezvous.
Set in early 1900s London, the film saw a proud and conceited phonetics professor take it upon himself to give a Cockney working-class girl undergo a cultural transformation and become suitable for the British elite society. However, he forms an unlikely bond with the girl and their relationship is soon disrupted by a regal suitor who tries hard to win the girls’ affection.
Available: Netflix US, Canada, UK