Play Hard

6 Rainy Day Rom-Coms

Because how else would you spend a weekend in November?

Written by High Life North
Published 20.11.2020

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989) – Amazon Prime

The Plot: Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) first meets Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) when the college graduates share a contentious car ride to New York, during which they argue about whether men and women can ever really be ‘just friends’. Fast-forward ten years and when the pair bump into each other at a bookstore, they vow to strike up a friendship without sex becoming an issue between them.

Why Watch It: In our humble opinion, it’s one of the best rom-coms out there. Smart, cynical and unashamedly romantic, the storyline is powered by the natural chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Also, cosy winter fashion inspiration for days. 

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998) – Amazon Prime

The Plot: A young William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is out of ideas – and money. Luckily for him, he meets the woman of his dreams (Gwyneth Paltrow), who inspires him to write one of his most famous plays. 

Why Watch It: A tongue-in-cheek romance about the greatest love story ever written, Shakespeare In Love plays about with all of the Bard’s well-known storylines to deliver a showbiz satire with sexy, witty romance in bucketloads. Not just for fans of period drama.  

THE BIG SICK (2017) – Amazon Prime and Netflix

The Plot: Pakistani comic Kumail meets American student Emily at one of his stand-up shows and the pair hit it off. But just as Kumail starts to worry about what his traditional Muslim parents will think, Emily suddenly develops an illness that leaves her in a coma and, all at once, he finds his whole world turned upside down. 

Why Watch It: The genius of The Big Sick is in its transformability. The moment you think of it as an ethnic satire, it changes into an out-and-out rom-com; the next thing you know, you’re in a hospital comedy-drama. But that’s life. Proof that there’s still life in the old rom-com formula yet. 

NOTTING HILL (1999) – Amazon Prime and Netflix

The Plot: William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is a London bookstore owner whose humdrum existence is thrown into romantic turmoil when famous American actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) appears in his shop. But as the average bloke and glamorous movie star draw closer together, it becomes more and more difficult for them to reconcile their radically different lifestyles.

Why Watch It: Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts at their ‘90s peak. The pair’s crackling on-screen chemistry is irresistible, while the storyline offers a distinctly British commentary on celebrity culture. Never. Gets. Old. 

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) – Amazon Prime

The Plot: Spoiled heiress Ellie (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her tycoon father (Walter Connolly) to spirit her away on his yacht. But after jumping ship, Ellie falls in with cynical newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable), who offers to help her reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. But during their travels, the reporter finds himself falling for the feisty young heiress.

Why Watch It: An absolute golden oldie, It Happened One Night is chock-full of simmering tension and biting wit and has only got better with time – with its amusing portrayal of a bygone social culture adding to its charm.

ABOUT TIME (2013) – Amazon Prime and Netflix

The Plot: When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: the men in their family can travel through time. Although unable to change the course of history, time travel can help Tim win himself a girlfriend – and that’s where Mary (Rachel McAdams) comes in. But as his life progresses, Tim discovers that his extraordinary gift can’t protect him and the ones he loves from the problems of everyday life. 

Why Watch It: Throwing a little sci-fi into the sugary-sweet mix makes About Time a rom-com with a difference. And, as with basically every film she’s ever starred in, Rachel McAdams dazzles.

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