Romantic comedies get a lot of heat for being cheesy and shallow, but isn’t that what makes them great? While they won’t be winning Oscars anytime soon, they also aren’t trying to. Rom-coms are the perfect antidote for a shitty day, because really, Citizen Kane just doesn’t go with a big glass of Pinot. Here are some awesome romantic comedies that critics hated, but you’ll love.
Drive Me Crazy (1999)
This movie is one of my go-to rom-coms. It has all you could ever want: cheesy 90s attire, a boy-next-door crush, and a teenage house party. Even if Sabrina (yes, she will always be Sabrina) can be a little annoying, you will be powerless to resist a young Adrian Grenier’s bushy eyebrows.
She’s All That (1999)
Ahh, another classic. Freddie Prinze Jr. is in his prime, Usher DJs, and a gothic Anna Paquin makes an appearance. Obviously it has some issues—namely its treatment of women—but if you watch it for what it is, a silly 90s version of My Fair Lady, it’s pretty epic. There’s a synchronized dance at the prom, a great makeover scene, and the characters obviously get together in the end (Ed Note: UGH, SPOILERS MUCH?). What more could you want!?
Never Been Kissed (1999)
This movie might just be my favourite on this list. With some themes that went over my head as a kid (I did not clue in to the whole student/teacher thing), it still remains one of the cutest rom-coms to date. Drew Barrymore and Michael Vartan have such adorable, innocent chemistry that you can’t help rooting for them. (Also, the final scene in this movie still gives me goosebumps, even if the concept of time is ~a little bit~ skewed)
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver star as a mother-daughter con-artist duo. Basically, they get rich guys (young and old) to marry them, find a way to break up, and then take all their money in the divorce. Of course, as any good rom-com goes, things change when one of them falls in love. Death, cheating, lies… this movie has everything.
The Sweetest Thing (2002)
I am shocked that this movie has such a bad rating. This is on the raunchier side of the rom-com spectrum (“follow the yellow brick road” will never again have the same meaning), which sets this movie apart from the rest of the list. There’s an epic makeover scene that doubles as a movie montage, Selma Blair has an unfortunate run-in with a piercing, and Cameron Diaz is actually funny! (And of course, shout-out to Christina Applegate for being a badass bitch). If you have to watch one movie from this list, this is the one.
Chasing Liberty (2004)
I have to say it: I love Mandy Moore, she’s just so classy. She’s one of those stars that stays out of the spotlight, and I always appreciate that. This movie is super cheesy, and obviously very predictable, but it’s great for anyone with a little wanderlust, as the entire thing revolves around a Euro trip. It’s the ultimate traveler’s dream: go to Europe, see the sights, meet a handsome stranger (who just so happens to be Matthew Goode! Brb buying a ticket to Europe).
Coyote Ugly (2000)
Have you ever gotten drunk and danced on a bar? (Hey, no judgement, we’ve all had one too many tequila shots before). Coyote Ugly is basically that moment on steroids. Piper Perabo is the innocent small town girl who tries to make it as a songwriter in the city, only to land in a bar with a crazy name. There’s some very risqué dancing, Tyra Banks has a small role, and Perabo’s love interest is Australian Adam Garcia. Even if the rest of the movie sucked—which, I swear, it doesn’t—his accent alone would make this movie worth watching.