A Hollywood A-lister that has charmed us over time and again is Julia Roberts. Who could escape her megawatt smile and serious acting chops that has gone on to bag all the major awards? The years have honed her to be one of the most celebrated stars of her generation, and has allowed her to portray iconic roles that are to be remembered for generations to come. A bunch of those roles fall under the romantic comedy genre. Roberts never fails to bring something new to the table, and has gifted us with such memorable performances that we can always go back to. Here are the five best Julia Roberts romantic comedy of all time, in no particular order:
5. Runaway Bride
Experiencing cold feet before your big day is not a rare occurrence. To be honest, weddings can be quite terrifying. This premise is further explored in the film, as Roberts portrays the role of Maggie Carpenter, a free-spirited woman who seemingly has commitment issues, as she is known to be a “Runaway Bride”, who has left a string of fiancés at the altar. Roberts stars alongside Richard Gere (Nights in Rodanthe), who plays Ike Graham, a columnist who is tasked to write an article about Maggie and her wedding “escapades”. The film marks the reunion of Roberts and Gere, who first made waves when they partnered up in the hit 90’s romantic comedy, Pretty Woman. The film focuses on self-discovery and the importance of not settling. It may have taken a couple of misses before Maggie was able to find the one for her, but this beats rushing things and settling down with the wrong person any day. At the end of the day, true love waits.
4. My Best Friend’s Wedding
Who doesn’t love a classic “I’m secretly in love with my best friend” storyline? Roberts plays Jules Potter, a successful career woman, who has hidden romantic feelings for her long-time best friend, Micheal O’ Neal, portrayed by Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), a sports writer. The two made a pact that they would marry each other, if they were still both unmarried by the age of 28. Jules has been holding on to that promise for quite some time already, as they were both nearing this age. Jules’ life takes on a 180-degree shift when she receives an excited phone call one day from Michael, who informs her that he has fallen into a whirlwind romance with a woman named Kimmy Wallace, portrayed by Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky), and is about to marry her. Jules goes on panic mode, as she realizes that this might be the last time she is able to let Michael know of her true feelings. Viewers are brought on an adventure, as Jules is unstoppable in her plan to ruin the impending union. She even uses the age-old jealousy card as she asks her gay friend, George Downes, portrayed by Rupert Everett (An Ideal Husband), to act as her boyfriend to make Michael jealous. The film teaches us to be true to our feelings, and to seize the moment. As Michael said in the film, “If you love someone, you say it. You say it right then, out loud. Otherwise, the moment just passes you by.” The film will remain to be a timeless classic that serves as a benchmark for best friend romances.
3. Notting Hill
The nation was swept away by the fairytale-like romance of a bookseller based in London, William Thacker, portrayed by Hugh Grant (Two Weeks Notice), and famous Hollywood actress, Anna Scott, portrayed by Roberts. The film was realistic in its depiction of the internal struggles that come with fame, and how this can all change with one chance encounter. The two leads were from different worlds, and viewers were instantly smitten by their undeniable chemistry. Roberts give a true-to-life portrayal of what it is like to be a famous celebrity, and Grant was so effective in acting like an innocent boy next door. It’s true when they say that opposites do attract.
2. Mystic Pizza
This 80’s romantic comedy drama is a coming-of-age film that follows the lives of teenage girls working in a pizza parlor. Roberts plays one of the teenagers, together with Annabeth Gish (The Bridge) and Lili Taylor (American Crime). Together, the girls navigate growing up, as they deal with life, love, and everything in between. Their other co-stars include Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black), William Moses (Jane Doe), and Adam Storke (The Stand). The film is like a trip down memory lane, as it focuses on the issues that are usually experienced during one’s teenage years. The good old days where all you had to worry about were friendships, puppy love, and studying. Seeing Roberts in such a youthful role is also a breath of fresh air. It’s one of the characters that jump-started her career, and a reminder that the best things come from humble beginnings.
1. Pretty Woman
The film screams iconic from every angle. The soundtrack, outfits, one-liners, and romantic scenes will always be part of romantic comedy history. The film was originally based on a darker storyline, but the executive producers were fortunately able to turn this around. The story followed a happy-go-lucky prostitute named Vivian Ward, portrayed by Roberts, who meets a dashing and wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, portrayed by Richard Gere (Chicago). Vivian is hired by Edward to be his escort to a couple of social functions during his week-long stay in Los Angeles. The business transaction takes on a romantic turn when the two of them get to know each other more, and form a deeper bond. The film was able to break stereotypes, defy the odds, and prove that true love knows no boundaries.