32 of the best romcom couples of all time

From heartwarming pairings who got a happily-ever-after, to those with a sadder ending, here we have 32 of the best romcom couples of all time

32 best romcom couples
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Over the decades, the silver screen has been the birthplace of some seriously iconic characters, storylines and moving moments - especially when it comes to romance. 

Of course, we love the timeless movies that have provided us with the best on-screen female friendships and introduced us to now-beloved actors who played the 'girl next door' perfectly. But there's something about a forbidden love prevailing, a high school romance or a tear-jerking story of heartache that really gets our hearts fluttering. 

32 of the best romcom couples of all time

Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun from The Notebook

The Notebook movie

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The Notebook is based on Nicholas Sparks’s novel of the same name and the love story of Allie and Noah has become world-famous since the release of the 2004 film. Played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, The Notebook follows well-off Allie and mill worker Noah whose love starts as a teenage summer romance. Spark even revealed that Allie and Noah were loosely based on his then-wife’s grandparents after they told him the story of how they “met and fell in love”. 

Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson from Titanic

Jack and Rose in Titanic

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One of the most iconic love stories of all time, the pair’s forbidden romance begins when depressed socialite Rose (Kate Winslet) contemplates jumping off the stern of The Titanic.

When she slips and nearly falls overboard, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) saves her life and the two share a whirlwind romance over the following days. Despite Rose’s engagement to Cal, the rich son of a steel tycoon and Rose’s mother’s ticket out of bankruptcy, she falls deeper in love with Jack, staying by his side until the ship goes under and she says her final goodbye to him on that famous door in the freezing Atlantic. 

Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis from Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

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Responsible for some of the most quotable movie lines of all time, Vivian (Julia Roberts) from Pretty Woman is one of the most iconic female film characters of all time - not to mention her super sweet love story with wealthy businessman Edward (Richard Gere). Despite being from parallel worlds, sex worker Vivian and Edward begin to fall for one another after he hires her to stay with him for the week - but as their bond grows, their opposite backgrounds become more and more obvious. 

While we can’t imagine Vivian and Edward being played by anyone other than Julia and Richard, he reportedly turned down the film at first. Julia won him over, though, and convinced him to change his mind - and Vivian and Edward were born. 

Natalie and David from Love Actually

Love Actually

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One of the many utterly heartwarming romances in Love Actually, Natalie and David’s love story follows as Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) begins to fall for his assistant (Martine McCutcheon). From David’s door-to-door search through London's Wandsworth for Natalie to their smooch behind the stage curtain at a school talent show, these two have an all-round adorable Christmas tale that makes us smile every year. 

Jenna Rink and Matt Flamhaff from 13 Going On 30

13 Going On 30

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Amid her frustrations over navigating high school popularity as an awkward 13-year-old, Jenna makes a magic wish to be “thirty, flirty and thriving”. Waking up the next day, she finds herself to be exactly that - an ultra-cool and successful 30-year-old with a high-flying job at a fashion magazine.

But 30 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for Jenna (played by Jennifer Garner) as she discovers that teen best friend Matty (Mark Ruffalo) is now a grown-up with a fiancee and no interest in knowing her because of an argument the night she made her wish. When Matt chooses to marry Wendy over starting a new life with Jenna, one final wish makes everything right. 

Anna Scott and William Thacker from Notting Hill

Notting Hill

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Notting Hill is one of the many brainchildren of romance movie genius, Richard Curtis - and Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and Will Thacker (Hugh Grant) are one of the most beloved on-screen couples to ever have graced the romcom world. A timeless tale of unlikely love, the film sees incredibly beautiful and successful (yet ultra unlucky-in-love) Hollywood actress Anna stumble into the Notting Hill bookshop where Will is working. A few scenes and some spilled orange juice later, Anna kisses Will in his flat - and their story begins.

Richard Curtis reportedly revealed that he got the idea for Anna and William’s romance amid pondering over what it would be like to arrive at a friend’s house for dinner with the most famous person in the world. “It all sprang from there ... That was the starting point, the idea of a very normal person going out with an unbelievably famous person and how that impinges on their lives,” he said. 

Amanda Woods and Graham Simpkins from The Holiday

The Holiday

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A festive love story that always makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, the Christmas holiday romance that blooms between Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Graham (Jude Law) when Hollywood movie trailer director Amanda swaps homes with Graham’s sister, Iris, is timeless. Swapping LA for a cosy cottage in Surrey, heartbroken but emotionally stunted Amanda meets Graham when he drunkenly knocks on her door one chilly evening.

Contending with her confusion over love and having to return to the States doesn’t stop Amanda from slowly falling for Graham, who is busy battling with his own concerns about sharing one particular secret with Amanda. 

Cher Horowitz and Josh from Clueless


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Clueless is a 1990s chick flick that has no doubt stood the test of time, although the plot twist romance between Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and her ex-stepbrother (Paul Rudd) has actually been hailed as “unusual” by Alicia herself. In the film, Cher clearly declares that her father was “hardly married” to Josh’s mother “five years” before the movie is set. But that hasn’t stopped fans from questioning the couple’s relationship over the years.

Speaking to Vogue ahead of the film’s 25th anniversary, Alicia remarked, “I mean I know we're not blood, so it's not like illegal in that way. But it is really weird when you think about it. I mean it's a funny thing to grow up that way, but then again they weren't related. It’s very unusual, but it's cool!”

Donna Sheridan and Sam Carmichael from Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

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When the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! the musical hit cinemas in 2008, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan’s take on Donna and Sam’s love made the couple more epic than ever. Despite appearing in the sequel of the movie, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again for a matter of minutes, Donna and Sam’s love was as pivotal as ever in the second film. And Meryl hasn’t written off a return to the world of Mamma Mia! for a third instalment.

"I’m up for anything. I’ll have to schedule a knee scoping before we film, but if there’s an idea that excites me, I’m totally there,” she told Vogue, adding, “I told [producer Judy Craymer] if she could figure out a way to reincarnate Donna, I’m into that. Or it could be like in one of those soap operas where Donna comes back and reveals it was really her twin sister that died.”

Margaret Tate and Andrew Paxton from The Proposal

The Proposal

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Despite his unbearable boss, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) is determined to stick out his job as a PA to book publisher Margaret (Sandra Bullock) in the hopes he’ll be promoted. When Canadian national Margaret is threatened with deportation, she enlists the help of Andrew and asks him to marry her so she can stay in the US.

With his career in mind, Andrew goes along with the risky plan and takes Margaret home for a weekend with his family. As their faux engagement plot slowly begins to crumble, Andrew realises that there might be more to Margaret than meets the eye. Getting to know her and seeing over her walls, romance blossoms and it dawns on Andrew that he might just want to marry his boss for real… 

Jamie and Dylan from Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits

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Teaming up for the 2011 movie, Friends With Benefits, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis played Jamie and Dylan, friends who are convinced that adding sex to their platonic bond can only mean convenience - allowing for the intimacy they crave without the added stress of feelings or commitment. When emotion starts to seep into their agreement, they realise it might be harder than first anticipated to keep their friendship with benefits as just that. Hilariously, Jamie and Dylan’s scenario mimics how Mila and husband Ashton Kutcher’s relationship began. Speaking on The Howard Stern Show in 2017, Ashton explained that the pair “legitimately lived out” the film. “We were just like, let's just hook up. Let's have fun. We're both single. We both trust each other. Everything's great,” he added. 

Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko from Grease


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Worldwide icons, Sandy and Danny were first born as part of the original Grease musical that launched in Chigaco in 1971. Flashforward to 1978 and the release of Grease the movie saw millions fall in love with Sandy and Danny, played by John Travolta and the late Olivia Newton-John. Following the film’s creation, Olivia and John remained close friends for decades, until Olivia’s death in 2022. Amid the news that Olivia had passed away after a long battle with breast cancer, John’s incredibly moving statement referenced how Grease was the start of their life-long friendship. He wrote, “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

Cady Heron and Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls

Mean Girls

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While the love story between Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) and Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett) is far from one filled with innocence, romance and wholesome tales, the Mean Girls couple are undeniably two of the most legendary movie characters of the noughties. Decades on from the release of the film and Aaron is still an inescapable part of Jonathan’s daily life. Speaking to TODAY, he said, “For the last 15 years, almost every day, I get recognized as Aaron Samuels, whether it's the person at Starbucks writing 'Aaron Samuels' on your cup before they give it to you and I'm, like, 'My name's Jonathan’.

“Everywhere you go, someone calls you Aaron Samuels. I don't know what it's like not to be, I guess. Like, I don't remember what it's like waking up and having that not happen.”

Summer Finn and Tom Hansen from 500 Days Of Summer

500 Days Of Summer

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500 Days Of Summer isn’t your average love story - in fact the film begins by warning that it categorically isn’t one at all. Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel)  is a commitment-phobe who doesn’t believe in love while Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hopeless romantic who falls for Summer a little too quickly. Despite the lack of labels on their on-again-off-again romance, Tom continues to hold out hope that his idealisation of the relationship will eventually materialise, resulting in heartbreak when reality swamps his expectations of Summer. While Summer and Tom don’t have the happy ending you might expect from a big-screen romance, their story is likely one of the most realistic in the rom-com movie world.

Juno MacGuff and Paulie Bleaker from Juno


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Juno (Elliot Page) and Paulie (Micheal Cera) are two incredibly awkward teens who are left dealing with the looming reality of unplanned parenthood after a cosy night on a basement armchair. Desperate to give her unborn child the best life she can (and avoid life as a teenage mother), Juno decides to give the baby up for adoption to a local couple desperate for a child of their own. As the film follows Juno and Paulie’s adorable friends-to-high school lovers storyline, Juno is left with a big decision to make as the baby’s future parents come with some unexpected hurdles. Not only did the film become an instant classic in the world of dysfunctional teen love stories, it also led to Elliot becoming an Oscar winner for the role of Juno. 

Lucy and Henry from 50 First Dates

50 First Dates

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When Henry (Adam Sandler) spots beautiful Lucy (Drew Barrymore) in a diner one morning, he can’t help but try to woo her. What he doesn’t know is that Lucy’s amnesia means she forgets her entire day the moment she goes to sleep each night. Despite the realisation that Lucy will never remember him, Henry makes it his mission to make love work with her - having to win over her protective family, too. Not only did Drew and Adam bring to life one of the sweetest (albeit, rather unrealistic) romcom love stories ever, the duo are super close in real life, too. Speaking about their bond in February 2024, Drew told Entertainment Tonight, “We're so close. We text all the time. We see each other. We text.”

Rosie and Alex from Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie

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Love, Rosie is the 2014 film adaptation of the 2004 novel, Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. The movie brought to life the complex and long-spanning friends-to-lovers story of Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin). The two are best friends who have known each other for as long as they can remember - but things start to get complicated when they have a near-kiss at Rosie’s 18th birthday party and even more so when Rosie falls pregnant after a night with school hunk Greg with Alex jetting off to America for university.

Louisa Clark and William Traynor from Me Before You

Me Before You

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Based on Jojo Moyes’s book of the same name, Me Before You sees cheerful Louisa (Emilia Clarke) take on a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a handsome, wealthy and successful city guy who became paralysed in a car accident two years before. Despite his ongoing struggles with accepting his post-accident life, Louisa’s radiant charm begins to give Will a reason to smile again. With a real tear-jerker of an ending to their love story, Will and Louisa’s journey and bond are incredibly moving.

The couple’s poignant on-screen chemistry was no doubt down to the real connection Emelia and Sam had in reality. Speaking to Grazia, Sam said, “Despite the fact the plotline is dealing with very, very heavy subject matter, it is a love story and it is a happy one in my eyes. Emilia and I really hit it off. We’ve known each other for a few years but we really got to know each other. It was easy to get on. There was no work needed.”

Mary and Tim from About Time

About Time

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One of Richard Curtis’s many classics, About Time captures the life of a seemingly ordinary Cornwall boy, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), who is blessed with a genetic ability to time travel, passed down from the men in his father’s side of the family. When he meets gorgeous American Mary (Rachel McAdams), his powers allow him to erase any cringeworthy blunders and eventually get the girl.

But as the pair grow further into adulthood and face the hardships that come with it, Tim’s time-altering decisions get a little more tricky. In what Richard Curtis has dubbed the film an “anti-time travel move”, Mary and Tim’s wholesome relationship adds the perfect amount of heartwarming romance. 

Carrie Bradshaw and Big from Sex And The City

Sex And The City

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What can we say about Carrie and Mr Big? The turbulent pair’s love story, played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth, spanned the decades of Sex And The City with the couple finally managing to make marriage work for 11 years after countless hurdles, breakups, rekindlings, new romances, affairs and plenty of heartache for Carrie - with the tale of the twosome ending in even more devastation for Carrie after that Peloton plotline in And Just Like That…. 

Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew from One Day

One Day

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Based on the novel by David Nicholls, One Day follows Emma and Dexter as they meet on the same day every year for 20 years. The pair’s story warmed and broke the hearts of romance movie lovers when it hit cinemas in 2011, as Anne Hathaway and Tim Sturgess took on the roles.

The world was reminded of Dexter and Emma’s tale again in 2024 when Netflix released its smash hit series adaptation of One Day. David Nicholls said that Emma and Dexter’s story was born from his desire to write an “epic love story” surrounding “an ordinary day that turns out not to be ordinary at all”. 

Bea and Ben from Anyone But You

Anyone But You

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Released in 2023, Anyone But You is one of the most recent romcoms to have cinema-goers looking heart-eyed in their seat. After Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glenn Powell) share what seems to be the perfect first date after a coffee shop meet-cute, things quickly go downhill in the morning and both are left with a sour taste in their mouths.

Months later, they’re thrust together again as they both jet to Australia for a very special wedding. Not only did the movie become an instant classic, but it skyrocketed Natasha Beddingfield’s Unwritten right back into popularity almost 20 years after its initial release - and for that, Bea and Ben are one of our favourite rom-com couples. 

Barbie and Ken from Barbie

Barbie and Ken

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While the 2023 release of smash hit Barbie may not have seen Barbie and Ken as the ultimate loved-up couple some might have imagined them as their whole childhood, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling’s portrayal of the plastic pair ended with a far more meaningful sentiment that has to be appreciated.

With a heart full of unrequited love for Barbie, Ken eventually realises that he can be more than his feelings for her as she apologises for taking him for granted and encourages him to find purpose within himself - reminding him that he is “Kenough”. 

Sally Albright and Harry Burns from When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally

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When college students Harry and Sally share the long car ride from Chicago to New York for a friend’s graduation in 1977, they begin debating whether men and women can ever truly be just friends. Ten years on, they serendipitously reunite in a book store - sparking their interest in whether a platonic friendship can really exist once again. 

Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary

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If you don't love Bridget Jones, are you really a romcom fan? Beginning with the 2001 release of the first film in the franchise, Bridget Jones's Diary, the will-they-won't-they romance between Bridget (Renée Zellweger) and stern but charming barrister, Mark (Collin Firth), spanned all the way to 2016 when Bridget Jones's Baby hit cinemas. 

Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox from You’ve Got Mail

You've Got Mail

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Bookseller Kathleen (played by Meg Ryan) is furious when rival bookstore owner Joe (Tom Hanks) moves in across the street from her boutique. All the while the couple are unknowingly growing closer and closer via a back-and-forth of anonymous emails. While communicating with the help of Wi-Fi is an everyday occurrence now, the 1998 film dates back to the early days of the internet - and Meg Ryan reportedly didn't even own a computer until she was given one on set. 

Mia and Sebastian from Lala Land

Lala Land

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Aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone), and wannabe hit jazz musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), meet while pursuing their dreams of fame, fortune and artistic success in Los Angeles and bond over their hopes of making it big someday.

Emma Stone won the 2017 Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Mia in the heartbreaking love story - although there was plenty of controversy surrounding the film that night when it was mistakenly announced as the winner of Best Picture instead of the real winner, Moonlight. 

Jenny and Forest from Forest Gump

Forest Gump

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A duo whose bond spans from their very first day at school after meeting on the bus all the way to a heartbreaking end, Forest Gump (Tom Hanks) and Jenny (Robin Wright) have captured the hearts of millions of movie lovers across the globe since the 1994 release of the film. 

In March 2024, Robin opened up about reuniting with Tom on the set of another movie and revealed that it felt like nothing had changed between the two of them. Appearing on ITV's This Morning, she said, "We just worked again together, Tom and I just did a movie called Here," adding that "it was like no time had passed". 

Kat and Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About you

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10 Things I Hate About You is the beloved 1999 chick flick loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew. The film centres around the Stratford sisters - fiery Kat (Julia Stiles) and younger Bianca - and their family rule that Bianca cannot get a boyfriend until Kat does.

When a charmingly handsome new boy, Patrick (Heath Ledger) arrives at school, Bianca urges him to try to get Kat to fall for him, so that she can be allowed a boyfriend of her own.

Julia Stiles opened up about her desperation to play the role of Kat during a 2019 interview, as she admitted she loved that she was a little different to the usual leading ladies.

She told Entertainment Weekly, "It was so refreshing to see a teenage girl who was so feisty. I thought that the writers had a healthy dose of cynicism with their humour that you don't always find with teen romantic comedies."

Baby Houseman and Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

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The forbidden romance between Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) begins when Baby's disappointing summer results in her being enlisted as dance pro Johnny's new partner.

Featuring that world-famous lift and being responsible for the success of (I've Had) The Time of My Life, the 1987 film has also, no doubt, secured Baby and Johnny a place in the hearts of romcom lovers forever. 

Alison Scott and Ben Stone from Knocked Up

Knocked Up

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Journalist Alison (Katherine Heigl) has a spanner thrown in the works of her career plans when she falls pregnant after a drunken and regretful one-night stand with Ben (Seth Rogan). Instead of navigating the struggles of single parenthood alone, Alison decides to stick around with irresponsible and unreliable Ben in the hopes he will rise to the challenge of becoming a father. 

Years after the 2007 was released, Seth revealed how much he loved working with Katherine in a 2016 interview with Howard Stern and admitted he had hopes they could become a seriously iconic romcom power duo.

"As we were making the movie, honestly, I was like, ‘I would make a dozen movies with her. I would be whatever the s*** version of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan is," he said. 

Poppy Moore and Freddie Kingsley from Wild Child

Wild Child

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When spoiled Malibu teen, Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts), is shipped away to boarding school in the dreary English countryside in order to be disciplined, she makes it her mission to get expelled by any means necessary - including kissing the headmistress's off-limits son, Freddie (Alex Pettyfer). 

But as she begins to grow close to Freddie and form an unmatched boarding school bond with her roommates, Poppy realises that her ticket out of the school is the exact reason she wants to stay. 

It's little wonder that Emma Roberts nailed the role of an American falling in love with a handsome Brit, as her aunt is none other than romcom queen and Notting Hill star, Julia Roberts. 

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.