The British rom-com scene has developed over the years, and while new movies regularly prove to be great, some of the old classics are hard to forget. Many movies feature familiar faces, with actors like Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant becoming staple names in the genre.
That's not to say that rom-coms are only suited to a few select actors. Some have spread their talents to various genres but have also been an asset to British rom-coms. Whether they're set in the fast-paced capital City of London or the quaint, idyllic countryside, there's a British romantic comedy out there for everyone and some that stand out as the best.
10 Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones's Diary was a perfectly cast romantic comedy, with Renée Zellweger taking on the titular role. The American artist embodied the young, London-based woman who finds herself amid the trials and tribulations of love and careers. Zellweger delivered such a believable British accent that some audiences didn't realize she was American.
The movie had two sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones's Baby, though the first ranks the highest on Rotten Tomatoes at 80%. Bridget is a warm character that viewers can't help but root for. Her problems are relatable, and her bubbly personality gives the ideal humorous edge to the movie.
9 Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually has several narratives running alongside each other, with characters from each setting linking everyone together. The star-studded movie became known for its Christmas setting and moments that remained with fans. In one of those moments, David (played by Hugh Grant) danced around, thinking no one was watching. Interestingly, Hugh Grant's signature scene nearly didn't happen. Thankfully for audiences, his better judgment brought his dance moves to fruition.
A large cast of famous faces kept viewers hooked with funny, heartbreaking, and unusual stories. Romanticizing London helped to bring the joyful setting of the festive season. And the mix of different love stories set Love Actually apart from other romantic comedies.
8 The Holiday (2006)
The Holiday is an American movie, but the film was a 50/50 split between America and England. The main locations gave a strong sense of American glamor and British coziness. Starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, and Cameron Diaz, the film followed two love stories linked between brother and sister, Graham and Iris.
One of Jack Black's best musical moments was included in the movie, helping to set the tone of romance and showcasing Black's talents.The four main actors gave audiences everything that could be hoped for in a simple but engrossing rom-com. Again, based around the festive season, it's a great way to kick off the festivities.
7 Notting Hill (1999)
Hugh Grant has built up a catalog of movies that fit the romantic genre, but he's widely known for his role in Notting Hill as William Thacker. Julia Roberts played the lead female character of Anna Scott. As a duo, the pair encompassed the charm that every high-standard rom-com requires.
The story of two worlds overlapping and fighting for love centered around the conflict between the life of a famous actress and a fairly ordinary guy. William's humble lifestyle was given a different point of view when he was struck by the gracefulness and endearing characteristics of Anna. The comedy was brought in by many of the cast, making the minor roles just as vital.
6 Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Another classic rom-com movie for Hugh Grant, Four Weddings and a Funeral, ranks highly with a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. The first of a few films written by Richard Curtis to star Grant, the film followed a group of friends. Their continual unlucky streak was somewhat broken when Charles (Grant) kept crossing paths with Carrie (Andie MacDowell), the same woman he started to develop feelings for.
The film was unique in its narrative, and British humor was explored throughout and delivered brilliantly. Though all the typical components of a rom-com are there, the creators made Four Weddings and a Funeral distinct in the genre.
5 Me Before You (2016)
Out of a sad story came an unprecedented love between Will and Louisa. Becoming a caregiver to Will, Louisa's positivity was pushed to the limits as Will took time to get used to her. As the saying goes, love conquers all, and the pair naturally fell for each other.
Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin provided the perfect balance between humor, love, and heartfelt emotion. The development of both characters and their relationship brought funny interactions between them and others. At the same time, the character arcs were also so beautifully written that they made for some of the most moving rom-com scenes.
4 Man Up (2015)
Simon Pegg's best movies to date have ranged from zombie to action. In between, he's filtered in romantic comedies like Man Up. A twist of fate encouraged Jack and Nancy to meet, and chaos ensued. Their unlikely meeting turned out pretty well, but they were challenged along the way.
Simon Pegg (Jack) and Lake Bell (Nancy) were the perfect leads for this fun, high-energy rom-com. Both have impeccable comic timing and undeniable chemistry in their work. The storyline was easy to follow and left audiences smiling.
3 About a Boy (2002)
Adapted from a book with the same title, About a Boy delved into the realities of growing up. The film used the main characters, Marcus and Will to show what it takes to become a mature adult. Though only a child, Marcus helped Will see life differently, while Will helped Marcus with his studies.
A young Nicholas Hoult gave an impressive performance. His innocence as Marcus was a great contrast to Will's (Hugh Grant) wishful cool-guy thinking. Paul and Chris Weitz did a superb job of bringing tenderness and laughter to such an original movie.
2 Wimbledon (2004)
Considering the title, it's no surprise that Wimbledon used the premise of sport to create a joyous rom-com. With Kirsten Dunst in the lead role, the film was guaranteed to be an appealing watch. When tennis player Peter (Paul Bettany) found himself slipping down the ranks of his profession, Lizzie (Dunst) stepped in to improve his game.
A love story took off amidst the dedication of two sports players. Overall, it was an easy watch. However, the film didn't shy away from the intricacies of love and how it impacts a sporting career.
1 Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Bend It Like Beckham took a very different approach than other romantic comedies. Jess (Parminder Nagra) was the daughter of strict parents who didn't allow her to play soccer. Making excuses to get to practice, Jess managed to pursue her passion and found love along the way.
Romance and comedy were abundant in Bend It Like Beckham. But the inspiration and uplifting feeling the film drummed up in audiences was second to none. Each element was cleverly geared toward creating a beautiful tale that can have viewers laughing and crying at any moment.