15 rom-coms from early 2000s you must watch, if you haven't already

Love, drama, tears, cuddles and more await you.

Harper's Bazaar India

Oppenheimer, Barbie, PathanMission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, Spider-Man: Across the far, 2023 has given us one cinematic treat after another in every possible genre—there is action, drama, fantasy and more. Each story was fresh and unique and had something new to offer, making cinema lovers around the world happy and creatively stimulated. But, sometimes you just need to sit back and watch a slightly grainy, predictable film that will make you feel all mushy and cosy. Yes, we are talking about rom-coms, the genre that ruled the film industry in early 2000s. If you, like us, want to just curl up in bed and watch two people fight all odds to get their happily ever after, you should put the below movies on your binge list.

What Women Want (2000)

In 2019, we saw What Men Want starring Taraji P Henson, but its predecessor, the Mel Gibson film, What Women Want was released almost two decades earlier in the year 2000. The movie, then marked a turning point for rom-coms—it moved away from the tried and tested boy-meets-girl, hate each other, then fall in love, and live happily ever after narrative. It added something new: Gibson's characters could read women's minds and work around it. The old-school rom-coms became more innovative but, of course, did not lose their feel-good aspect.


Wedding Planner (2001)
This film marked JLo’s foray into the world of romantic comedies. She made her way into it and planted herself in there, giving us the most hilarious and swoon-worthy films like Maid in Manhattan, Monster-in-Law, and Marry Me, to name a few. Alongside Matthew McConaughey, we watch Mary play the wedding planner who (Jennifer Lopez) is trying hard not to fall in love with her client.


Serendipity (2001)

"When love feels like magic, you call it destiny. When destiny has a sense of humour, you call it serendipity". Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet while shopping for gifts for their partners, but that one night turs out to be unforgettable for them both. However, at Sara’s insistence, they decide to leave it to fate to see if they are meant to meet again. we know how this one ends, do you?

A Walk to Remember (2002)

Sometimes you fix the guy but are not around long enough to enjoy the new him. The journey of Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter is one of redemption, love, sacrifice, and heartbreak. The movie has been adapted from a book by Nicholas Sparks, and stars Mandy Moore and Shane West.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Written by Nia Vardalos, this romantic comedy hits home, especially for Indians, who know all about living in big, boisterous families. Modelled on her own family, Vardalos shows us the struggle of falling in love with a non-Greek man. This hilarious film has all the elements needed at a wedding—the OTT aunts, the protective dad, and the noisy cousins. The movie was so good, a second part released in 2016, and a third part will be released this month!

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Hands down, one of the best films ever created. Kate Hudson and Matthew McCounaghey have you conflicted on whether you hate them or love them. Andi (Kate Hudson) is a journalist on a mission to be broken up with within 10 days. Her tactics range from smothering him with love, plants, and having a child (their rat dog), and this is just the tip of the iceberg for her tricks. However, the guy she chooses, Benjamin, is an ad executive who has been challenged to make a woman fall in love with him. This roller coaster of a film is a delight to watch and has immense significance in pop culture.

Love Actually (2003)

'90s rom-coms were dominated by Hugh Grant. The English actor, with his charming looks and accent can make your heart flutter with films like Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility, and many more, but Love Actually is a little too special for us. This Christmas romantic comedy follows eight couples who navigate the holiday season and complicated relationships. Apart from Grant, this film has a star-studded cast, including Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, et al.

The Prince and Me (2004)

Whoever says they do not enjoy the royal and commoner trope is lying. Yes, it’s been done before, and yes, it’ll be done again, but it’ll give you butterflies every single time. It gives you hope that maybe one day that guy sitting across you in the coffee shop, who asked for the time, is a prince who will fall in love with you and will you sail off into the sunset with him.

Before Sunset (2004)

If you have not seen this movie, you have definitely seen its stills on Instagram. One of the most quote-worthy films, it is the second part of the 'Before' trilogy. It's set nine years after Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Celine (Julie Deply) on a Eurorail train, and they spend the night together exploring the city of Vienna. The movie is about how they explore what could have been if they had followed their heart that day. This film is minimalistic in its treatment yet focuses on topics such as love, death, and the lack of time.

A Cinderella Story (2004)

There are countless versions of the Cinderella fairytale, but this one starring Chad Michael Murray, Hillary Duff, a masquerade ball, and old-school texting is our favourite.

The Notebook (2004)

*Cue tears* This movie set the standards for love everywhere. Another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, it has Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as the leads. An elderly man reads out a story from a notebook to a fellow nursing home resident. It’s a love story about two young people who are in love but the world isn’t convinced of their union.

The Holiday (2006)
I think it’s safe to say Nancy Meyers is one of the queens of romantic comedies. Most classics that we know and love have Nancy Meyer on their credit list. The Holiday, a multi-starrer film sees Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) swap homes, which happen to be on different continents. As they adapt to each other’s lives, they are also introduced to the people in them like Graham (Jude Law) and Miles (Jack Black). We follow them as they discover themselves and love. This is a must-watch, especially during the holidays, preferably with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

This film was a breath of fresh air. For a lot of our lives, we have always seen male characters as strong, stoic, and afraid to emote, but Jason Segel does anything but that. He wears his heart on his sleeve, shows more emotion than you may be used to, and is on a quest to forget his ex, Sarah Marshall.

The Proposal (2009)

What's a logical solution if your visa is ending and you’re about to be deported? Of course, you get married to a citizen; even better if the citizen is your employee! This Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds-starring film is saucy, hilarious, and oh so cute. Another plus: it stars Betty White!


27 Dresses (2010)

"Always the bride, never the bridesmaid"; that is, until you find the right guy, get over your boss who you’ve been in love with forever, get over the fact that he is in love with your sister, deal with your sister cutting up your mother's wedding dress, and all things drama. It’s a lot we know, but Katherine Heigl and James Marden make this chaos memorable.