20 Rom-Coms Every Woman Should Watch Before She Turns 30

Cue the makeover montage!
PHOTO: 13 Going On 13/Columbia Pictures

Romantic comedies: you love them or you tolerate them, but they're always good for some light entertainment and a life lesson or two. (Okay okay, and sometimes a few tears.)

Here, the best and most classic rom-coms to watch before you break 30:

1. 13 Going On 30

All Jenna Rink wants to be is "30, flirty, and thriving" until she actually gets what she wishes for. The bewilderment of being 13 in a 30-year-old's body is played pretty much perfectly here by Jennifer Garner, and this film captures the exact moment where the world truly fell in love with Mark Ruffalo.

2. TiMER

If you've ever mulled over the question of what it means to have a soulmateTiMER lets you imagine what it would be like to wear a futuristic device that counts down to the exact moment when you'll meet your "one." The film captures the anxiety of growing older without a concrete romantic prospect in sight (get used to it!), and debates the idea of living in the moment versus waiting for your prince charming.

3. Bridget Jones's Diary

The hilarious and uncensored Bridget Jones (played by Renée Zellweger) forever has our loyalty as a news anchor caught in a love triangle with her boss and her childhood friend Mr. Mark Darcy (actually modeled off the brooding Pride & Prejudice suitor). The British humor is pitch perfect and glorifies the idea of being unapologetically yourself, flaws and all. 

4. 10 Things I Hate About You 

One of the most clever teen comedies of all time, 10 Things I Hate About You is a classic for its whip-smart script and hilarious camaraderie between the actors (see a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Not to mention, all the signature rom-com moments, from epic dance and song scenes (honestly, it's worth watching just to see Heath Ledger's immortal dance number with a marching band) to public declarations of love.

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5. Clueless

Obviously you have seen this, so you don't need to read a description. (Okay okayyyy if somehow you haven't, here you go: This modern update of Jane Austen's Emma sees a California high-school girl as she balances her social life, bettering herself and others, and keeping up her expansive closet.) 


6. Harold and Maude

One of the darkest and most offbeat of romantic comedies, Harold and Maude is about a morbid young boy with a penchant for faking his own death who falls in love with a carefree 80-year-old woman who teaches him a new appreciation for life. 

7. Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer Lawrence. Bradley Cooper. Attitude. Dance Competition. Done.

8. Annie Hall

Woody Allen is his signature neurotic self in this New York-based comedy about the ups and downs of one relationship over the course of several years.

9. Pretty Woman

Clearly this is a requirement. Julia Roberts is epic in this movie about a wealthy businessman who becomes smitten with a prostitute he hires on a whim.

10. The Wedding Singer

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore play a waitress and a wedding singer who are engaged to the wrong people, until they have the good fortune to meet each other. 

11. When Harry Met Sally

This quintessential rom-com begs the question "can guys and girls ever truly be friends?" Rom-com queen Meg Ryan goes toe-to-toe with Billy Crystal in a story about an 11-year friendship between two pals who try to keep the line between friends and lovers separate. 

12. Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn plays the ultimate "woman of the world who doesn't want to settle down" in this classic '60s film about a writer who falls in love with his society-girl neighbor. 


13. There's Something About Mary

A story in which a teenage dirtbag lands his dream girl for the senior prom, and then...mishaps occur. This classic comedy follows him several years later as he gets reunited with her and tries to win her back.

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14. Obvious Child

Though abortions aren't typically the stuff of comedy gold, writer/director Jillian Robespierre frames this hilarious and heartwarming comedy around a standup comic's accidental pregnancy via a one-night-stand.  The anxiety and odd humor of the film makes this one of the most groundbreaking and relatable films about pregnancy and relationships in a long time.

15. Enough Said

Two single parents come together in this sweet comedy about learning to love someone past the honeymoon phase, even after you've discovered all their little flaws. The banter between Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini (who ditches his mob boss character for a much softer role—his last, sob) is golden, and the casting is spot-on. 

16. Amelie

This offbeat French film details the solitude of a do-gooder young waitress who falls in a love with a stranger she sees in the metro. All the feels, all the sepia tones, all the quirk.

17. Love Actually

The gift that keeps on giving, Love Actually is a go-to comedy during the holiday season, and everyone has their favorite plot line from the many diverging love stories that take place.

18. Say Anything

An '80s boy-meets-girl classic, from the Peter Gabriel boombox scene to the teenage coming-of-age love story.

19. 500 Days of Summer

All of the millennial angst of meeting someone who you believe to be the one, followed by disillusionment and despair, is captured in this excellent non-romance starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Bookmark this to watch alone, and feel all the feels. 

20. Never Been Kissed

A former geek gets to revisit her high school past when she's assigned to go undercover as a 17-year-old student, and gets re-invented as a popular kid. 

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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