Romantic comedies are undoubtedly one of the most popular movie genres – few women in particular can resist the combination of comedy and romance and the comedic angle often attracts male viewers too. A successful romantic comedy is bound to help any of the stars make their mark on the movie world. Of course, any list of top actresses known for romantic comedies is going to be subjective, but the five following actresses have proved themselves again and again.
Meg Ryan already had a solid movie career beforehand, but ‘When Harry Met Sally’ was undoubtedly the film that made her name as a good romantic actress. Her simulation of an orgasm in the middle of a restaurant has been talked about ever since. However, Ryan also went on to star in a number of stand-out romantic comedies, perhaps most notably ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ both of which also starred Tom Hanks. She hasn’t been quite so successful in romantic comedies in the twenty-first century, but she has already more than made her mark on the genre and will be talked about for many years yet.
Sandra Bullock has proved herself to be a versatile actress over the years, but it is for her romantic comedy roles that she is most loved. She may not be the classic blonde-eyed beauty so common in roms coms, but she has a ditzy, loveable side to her that has made her so popular. It was ‘Speed,’ more an action film, which really brought her to people’s attention, but romantic comedies such as ‘While You Were Sleeping,’ ‘Miss Congeniality’ and ‘Two Weeks’ Notice’ quickly followed. She may now be well into her forties, but she is still starring successfully in films such as ‘The Lake House’ and ‘The Proposal.’
A more recent star is Katherine Heigl, who is now a household name thanks to her roles in romantic comedies. It may have been her role of Dr Izzie Stevens in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ that made her famous, but it was really ‘Knocked Up,’ ’27 Dresses’ and ‘The Ugly Truth’ that cemented her success. ‘Knocked Up’ was particularly successful because of its sometimes irreverent comedy and the combination of a rather strait-laced Heigl with co-star Seth Rogen. A more recent role in ‘One for the Money’ wasn’t quite so successful, but few people have any doubt that she will soon be back on top of her game.
With her mother being Goldie Hawn, who was also a successful rom com actress, Kate Hudson was already famous before she made her name as an actress in her own right. However, she has always wanted to prove that she could make it in Hollywood without any help from her famous parent – and she has done that through sheer hard work. She showed her versatility in ‘200 Cigarettes’ in 1999, but it was ‘Almost Famous’ in 2002 that put her on the map. Since then, starring roles in ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,’ ‘Alex and Emma’ and ‘Fool’s Gold’ have ensured she has continued to capture people’s attention.
It seems as though Cameron Diaz has been around for a long time, even though she is only just in her forties. She became well-known in the early nineties for her role as Tina Carlyle in ‘The Mask,’ but that was quickly followed by ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ with Julia Roberts, which catapulted her to international fame. That success has been recreated time after time in films like ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ ‘The Sweetest Thing,’ ‘In Her Shoes,’ ‘The Holiday’ and ‘Bad Teacher.’ She is far from being purely a rom com actress though and has had a number of roles in more serious films, and, of course, she is well-known for being the voice of Princess Fiona in the Shrek movies.
There are countless other actresses who deserve an honorable mention, including Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst. However, the five actresses listed above have both made their name and built on their success in Hollywood, and are more than likely to continue going from strength to strength.