10 Worst Lines in Rom-Com History
Nora Ephron single-handedly revolutionized the romantic comedy. The genius of her movies is that there’s something in them for everyone—maybe you swoon over Harry declaring his love for Sally in the middle of a New Year’s Eve party (“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”), or maybe you prefer the oddball humor of the “baby fish mouth” Pictionary scene, or Harry exclaiming in horror, “That’s it? Some faceless guy rips off all your clothes, and that’s the sex fantasy you’ve been having since you were twelve?” And do you remember hearing the line “I’ll have what she’s having” for the very first time? That’s what romantic comedy can be, at its best. The following are times the genre fell just short of her high mark.
1. Autumn in New York
Will (Richard Gere): “You don’t want to die! You want to live!
Charlotte (Winona Ryder): “You don’t think I’ve been through this so many times? I don’t want to give people hope when there isn’t any!”
Will: “Why not? Maybe we need hope.”
Oh right, Will—because your need for a little “hope” is more important than Charlotte coming to terms with the fact that she’s dying. And because you’re an aging playboy who finally fell in love (with someone three decades younger), she’s supposed to pretend she’ll get better just to celebrate the fact that you love her, you really luuuurrrve her? Try picking on someone your own age next time.
2. As Good As It Gets
Melvin (Jack Nicholson): “You make me want to be a better man.”
You can almost hear the drum-roll in the background in the moments leading up to this line: here it comes, five… four… three… two… one… BAM! We like to think that we hated this line the very first time we heard it, that we detected a self-satisfied smirk on Nicholson’s face when he uttered it. Or maybe we just hate it because it’s been more overplayed than a Cher song in a gay night club. Mostly, though, we’re just pissed that this movie ruined what is—we admit—an admirable sentiment.
3. Four Weddings and a Funeral
Carrie (Andie MacDowell): “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”
Oh, come on! Why is it only in the movies that people never seem to mind making out in the rain?
Molly (Demi Moore): “I love you. I really love you.”
Sam (Patrick Swayze): “Ditto.”
A grown man who can’t say those three little words? We’re sorry, but we saw Dirty Dancing and we’re just not buying it.
Hitch (Will Smith): “Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.”
in a tie with…
Hitch: “Any man, anytime, has the chance to sweep a woman off her feet. He just needs the right broom.”
Put these sentiments on a Hallmark card, STAT.
6. Jerry Maguire
Dorothy: “You had me at hello.”
Our major beef with this one—besides its general mawkishness—is that it’s weak. The dude already told her he didn’t really love her like crazy cakes, he was just fond of her son… and then all he has to do is show up looking all Tom-Cruisey and she forgives him on the spot. As if not being in love with someone is something you get past on your way home from the supermarket.
7. Jerry Maguire
Jerry (Tom Cruise): “You complete me.”
Jerry Maguire scores another spot on this list for when the commitment-phobic sports agent lays it all bear for Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) in front of a bunch of her sister’s friends. We shudder to think how many couples subsequently included this line in their customized wedding vows. (Because Hollywood says it so much more beautifully than all that “in sickness and in health” stuff.)
8. Love and Other Drugs
Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal): “Sometimes the things you want the most don’t happen and what you least expect happens. I don’t know—you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person and your life is changed forever.”
Wow, that’s deep, Jamie. That’s poetry. That’s, like, something we’ve never been able to put into words before — that feeling — and you just nailed it. If you just took out all the uppercase letters and added a few line breaks, you’d have a prose poem on your hands.
Anna Scott (Julia Roberts): “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
Oh, infantilism, it’s so charming! Oh, and also: you’re a freakin’ movie star! (Anna Scott the character, we mean.) You make millions of dollars. And yet you’re worried that this is a little intimidating to someone of the opposite sex—little emasculating, even—and so you downplay it all and turn yourself into a giggling schoolgirl. Woman up!
Sara (Kate Beckinsale): “You don’t have to understand. You just have to have faith.”
Jonathan (John Cusack): “Faith in what?”
First of all, this is the most ridiculous plot line we’ve ever heard of—you meet the guy of your dreams and you decide to intentionally lose his number and hope that fate or faith or destiny or some Hollywood screenwriter will deign to bring you back together. Good luck with that.