We love romantic comedies. Not because we actually think we’ll end up in one someday — very rarely do they mirror real life (things never work out that well in reality) — but because they remind us that love exists and give us hope when we feel like our own love lives are dead.
There are some truly wonderful rom-coms out there: When Harry Met Sally, Legally Blonde, Pretty Woman, to name a few. But not all of them can be great. And a few of them are downright awful. We’ve rounded up 17 of the worst romantic comedies of all time in the hopes that you don’t waste your precious movie-watching hours (or good mood) on them.
17. Fever Pitch
First of all, Jimmy Fallon? Don’t get us wrong, we love him, and are dedicated Late Night with Jimmy Fallon viewers, we’re just not really sure that he’s leading man material. Second of all, the plot of this Farrelly brother movie just isn’t great. It’s a 100-minute-long story about a guy who’s so obsessed with a baseball team that literally nothing else in his life matters. After some classic back and forth, he decides that love may be greater than baseball, but only just. Not really the kind of feeling we’re looking for at the end of a rom-com, to be honest. Poor Drew Barrymore could have done so much better.
16. Home Fries
Another Drew Barrymore flop, this one has a totally bizarre story. It’s basically a semi-incestuous love story centered around a fast food joint, with a revenge-driven ex-wife and a man frightened to death by a helicopter thrown in for good measure. Even worse? Vince Gilligan, the man behind Breaking Bad wrote it. We’d expect a lot more out of a rom-com from a man with that big of a talent, but not everything can be a winner. And at the end of the day, as over-the-top and funny as this movie can be, we just can’t move past the fact that the leading lady sleeps with multiple men from the same family. Ew.
15. Employee of the Month
As hard as this movie tried to be good, it just wasn’t. Employee of the Month revolves around two big box store employees, played by Dane Cook and Dax Shepard, who are vying for the heart of the store’s newest employee (Jessica Simposon). It’s corny without nearly enough well-written jokes and has one of those storylines we’ve watched a thousand times before. That’s on top of the fact that Jessica Simpson isn’t much of an actress. Her best, and biggest, role before Employee of the Month was as *herself* on Newlyweds — not exactly great credentials and it shows. Basically, it’s just not worth the hour and a half of your life it would take to watch.
14. Made of Honor
Made of Honor is basically just like every other wedding-centric romantic comedy, except that the roles are switched. Patrick Dempsy is asked to be the maid of honor at his best friend Michelle Monaghan’s wedding, only to realize that he’s madly in love with her, and has been since college. All of the classic things follow: he tries to be supportive of her new-found love but can’t, so he tries to sabotage her wedding only to have everything backfire on him. In the final, fatal, minutes he disrupts the wedding to profess his love in an attempt to finally live happily ever after. Our biggest beef with this movie is that it’s basic. You’ve seen something exactly like it before, and the ending is far too predictable. Boring.
13. Just Go With It
This one grosses us out, and it’s not just because Adam Sandler is supposed to be the heartthrob. The whole plot of Just Go With It is that Danny (played by Adam) gets women into bed by pretending to be unhappily married and on his way to divorce. Maybe it just us, but we can’t get invested in a movie where the protagonist pretends to be an adulterer. Or tricks women into sex. We can’t feel sorry for him, and we can’t root for him. And in the end, we just feel bad for the woman he ends up marrying. Whose standards are that low? It’s all so bad, that the only good thing this movie has going for it is Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker performances. The rest is just trash.
12. Just Like Heaven
Just like we find ourselves unable to care about a movie where the protagonist is an adulterer, we also can’t convince ourselves to care about a movie where one-half of the main couples is a ghost. In Just Like Heaven, Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elizabeth Masterson, is in a life-threatening coma. Magically, her spirit is able to separate from her body, and she runs into David Abbott (played by Mark Ruffalo) who has moved into her former apartment. The two begin to bond and form a weird ghost-human relationship. After a series of increasingly weird events, David’s kiss basically ends up bringing Elizabeth’s body back to life. The whole thing just feels long, and boring, and it’s so far from believable while still trying to pass off as believable that we just can’t enjoy it. We love Reese in pretty much every single one of her other movies, though, so one bad romantic comedy is pretty good.
11. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Some films are just tone deaf, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is one of them. The movie starts with a pretty offensive plot: Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James) enter into a fake relationship and marriage in order to reap the benefits of a life insurance policy — not something that any ally of the LGBT community should be okay with. And it only gets worse with things like Rob Schneider in yellowface and a totally inappropriate AIDS joke at the end. This is one rom-com the world absolutely would have been better off without, and that you would totally not be missing out on if you never saw.
10. Return to Me
Return to Me is based on the shaky scientific theory that true love is rooted in the organ of the heart. So, if the woman you’re madly in love with dies and donates her heart to a worthy recipient, you will also fall in love with the recipient. Because we all know that it’s those 11 ounces of blood-pumping muscle that determines who were are, and who will love us. Right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s actually wrong, and it also makes for a pretty weak plotline for a rom-com. Not even Minnie Driver could save this one
Ah, Mariah Carey. She may be one of the biggest pop divas of all time, with an insane voice, but she was never meant to star in movies. Glitter is a joke from start to finish. Mariah’s often blamed the project’s lack of success on the fact that it premiered on September 11, 2001. And while that may have affected ticket sales initially, it’s the plot that really buried the film. The fact that they both write the same song? The lipstick prints on the sheet music? Sylk and Dice are just too cheesy for our tastes. Even the soundtrack was a bust, with not one of Mariah’s songs topping the charts (the soundtrack was her lowest performing album of all time).
8. All About Steve
The most famous line from All About Steve is “If you love someone, set him free; if you have to stalk him, he probably wasn’t yours in the first place.” And if you’ve never seen this obscure Sandra Bullock romantic comedy, that’s really all you need to know about it. It follows an awkward crossword puzzle writer as she falls in love with a CNN cameraman and chases him across the country after he flees after trying to let her down gently. It’s frankly one of Sandra’s worst performances ever (she won an Oscar the same year this film was released for her role in The Blind Side), and there are far better things you could watch with Bradley Cooper.
The ONLY reason Gigli ever had a single viewer is because Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, who were together at the time, also played a couple on-screen. The movie was basically made as a hype vehicle for the real-life relationship, which explains why no one in production seemed to care that the plot was beyond horrible. Gigli is widely recognized as one of the worst films of all time (alongside Mariah Carey’s Glitter) and it barely recouped ten-percent of what it cost to make. It was such a disaster that director Martin Brest (who had previous films nominated for Academy Awards) hasn’t made a movie since. Talk about a career sinker!
6. Failure to Launch
If we’re going to sit down and watch a romantic comedy, chances are it’s because we want to lose ourselves in an ideal world for a few hours. We want to insert ourselves into that dreamy scenario — one where someone comes into our lives and sweeps us off of our feet, and would do anything to end up with us. We’re less interested in watching something that’s basically real life, like the grown man who lives at home with his parents and is totally dependent on them. We don’t know about you, but there’s nothing ideal or romantic about that for us.
5. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Another ghost movie, our real beef with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is that it’s the women’s job to teach Connor Mead ( Matthew McConaughey) a lesson. Rather than grow up a little bit and take a good hard look at his romantic past and the places where he may have been lacking, Connor places the burden of his emotional education on three women. He’s such a jerk throughout the entire movie that we can hardly stand to watch whenever he’s on screen, and we found ourselves relieved when it was over. It’s so chauvinistic, we want to barf and warn every woman we can find to steer clear of this atrocity.
4. Beauty and the Briefcase
We love Hillary Duff so much that it pains us a little to put Beauty and the Briefcase on this list, but there’s really no denying the fact that it’s bad. Hillary’s character works for Cosmo and takes an assignment to go undercover in a corporate job setting in order to report what it’s really like to date a businessman. She commences dating as many of her co-workers as she can manage, taking notes all the while, and sending the message to young girls that any job in a male-dominated field should only be used for husband hunting and nothing more.
3. From Justin to Kelly
What do you two with the top two contestants from one of America’s biggest new TV shows after their finale? Put them in a movie together, of course. Coming of the end of the first season of American Idol, winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini made the 2003 classic From Justin to Kelly. Neither one can act worth a lick, but that didn’t seem to be all that big of a concern for the production company. Neither did plot — the entire movie revolves around the fact that Kelly loses Justin’s phone number.
In the end, both artists would have been better off devoting the time they spent working on this movie recording another album. Maybe then Justin would have actually had a shot at a career.
2. New Year’s Eve
New Years Eve isn’t all bad. It has its sweet moments mixed in, but we’re really not fans of the ensemble cast romantic comedy situation (Valentines Day is another movie that suffers from this set up). There’s just way too much going on. It seems like every available celebrity was found a part and given a plot line, which makes many of the stories this movie tells boring and repetitive. We would have appreciated this movie a lot more if it could have been condensed into two major storylines and dropped 25 of the big name movie stars. The only person who gets a pass for this tragedy is Zac Efron, because, hello, Zac Efron.
1. My Best Friend’s Wedding
Finally, the worst romantic comedy of all the romantic comedies, My Best Friend’s Wedding. We love young Cameron Diaz’s performance, but the plotline in this one is just awful. Julia Roberts plays possibly the most selfish, self-centered restaurant critic of all time, who does everything in her power to destroy her “best friend’s” wedding after realizing that she might be in love with him. She acts despicably the entire time and ends up planting an (unwanted) kiss on the groom-to-be. The film basically ends with Julia Roberts not admitting that she was wrong and apologizing for all of her horribleness, but admitting that Cameron Diaz’s character “won” and that she maybe wasn’t as in love with her best friend as she thought. Every time we watch this one we just get angry.