The Best Movie Meet-Cutes

Elliana Murillo

*Warning some points may include spoilers*

A ‘meet cute’ is the first meeting between two characters that go on to develop a relationship, often a romantic one. It is usually witnessed in romantic comedy movies (rom-coms). For our February theme of ‘flirtation’, Elliana explores some of the ‘cutest’ movie meet-cutes to have graced our screens. 

A Walk to Remember (2002)

“You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me”

Based on the Nicholas Sparks’ book A Walk to Remember, this movie showcases an unexpected ‘meet-cute’ between popular bad boy Landon Carter and the local minister’s daughter Jamie Sullivan. After a practical joke that Landon partakes in goes wrong, he is forced to join after school activities as punishment, including the spring play. Here he meets Jamie, and an embarrassed Landon – having never spoken to her- asks Jamie for her help. Jamie responds with smart-talk and agrees to the deal, warning him: “You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me.”

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump, portrayed by Tom Hanks, recalls the memory of how he came to meet his first love Jenny. The scene cuts to a flashback with Forrest boarding the school bus and no one willing to offer him a seat, but the young Jenny does. A curious Jenny takes interest in Forrest’s life and the leg brace he is wearing on the bus. Forrest describes their first meet ‘like peas and carrots’.

Therefore, this bus ride scene to school is quite touching when realising no one else aside from his own mother would talk to him on the outside. Rather, the act of kindness by Jenny Curran is what keeps the two close throughout the film.

Love Actually (2003)

Director of Love Actually, Richard Curtis, presents a natural and amusing meet-cute interaction between Hugh Grant’s role as David – a newly elected British Prime Minister- and Natalie (Martine McCucheon) – a new household servant.

A nervous Natalie starts to say the wrong things, swearing several times unintentionally in front of David. However, it is simply Natalie speaking her mind and being herself which makes a big impression on him. Instantly to audiences, this meet-cute displays the vivid romantic chemistry between the two.

The Holiday (2006)

A famous rom-com The Holiday (2006) showcases one of the best movie meet-cutes. Although not a romantic relationship, the friendship of Kate Winslet’s character Iris Simpkins and Arthur Abbott is an iconic one. Iris, who has exchanged homes with Amanda (Cameron Diaz) to spend the holiday season in L.A., is one day driving around the new neighbourhood and passes an elderly man Arthur, looking lost. Iris helps Arthur from his situation, describing their first interaction as ‘some meet-cute’ whilst expressing his gratitude to Iris for rescuing him.

Maid in Manhattan (2002)

Jennifer Lopez takes the lead role in the 2002 film Maid in Manhattan where she plays Marisa Ventura, a single mother and a maid who works in a first-class Manhattan hotel. An unexpected meet-cute occurs when Christoper Marshall, an aspiring U.S. Senator (Ralph Fiennes), meets Marisa.

An unexpected meet-cute could lead to anything

Marisa appears at the scene wearing an expensive dress, in the luxurious suite of the supposed inhabitant Caroline Lane. As such, Marshall mistakes Marisa’s identity. Yet this meet-cute leads to a spontaneous dog walk in Central Park, inviting Marisa and her 10-year-old Ty. Marshall quickly finds a liking towards the pair, inviting Marisa again to dinner, only to discover the truth. A Cinderella storyline is embodied in this film, but portrays how an unexpected meet-cute could lead to anything.

Friends With Benefits (2011)

One of the most realistic meet-cutes is in the film Friends with Benefits. Jamie Rellis, an executive headhunter, attempts to recruit art director Dylan Francis Harper Jr. for her client at GQ Magazine. Jamie meets Dylan at the airport and takes Dylan on a mini tour around New York City. This includes viewing Brooklyn Bridge, witnessing a flash mob and taking Dylan to the “Only place in the city where you can see the stars.”

She’s The Man (2006)

However, drifting further from reality, is the crazy meet-cute between Viola and Duke in the 2006 film, She’s the Man. Amanda Bynes switches between playing the role of Viola Hastings and temporarily Sebastian Hastings. Viola, disguised as her brother, encounters Duke and his friends in their dormitory. The comedic scene shows a pack of tampons to fall out the bag of the supposed Sebastian, leaving the men in the room confused. To which, Viola replies in a manly tone “I get really bad nose bleeds”. 

Alternatively, the actual first meet between Viola and Duke (Channing Tatum) takes place when both participate in a kissing booth. The scene captures an ironic first interaction as Viola’s double act is only apparent to the audience.

It has the potential to make or break an audience’s engagement with the film

Often, films have an exaggerated way of showcasing these meet-cutes between two characters to arouse a reaction. An intake of these movie meet-cutes is that they are charming and amusing, but at times unrealistic. Yet, the first interaction of two characters is imperative as it has the potential to make or break an audience’s engagement with the film. So, my question to you is this: which of these meet-cutes, if any, would you fall for? 

Elliana Murillo

Featured Image courtesy of Sincerely Media via Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article trailer 1 courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In-article trailer 2 courtesy of Paramount Movies via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In-article trailer 3 courtesy of Movieclips Classic Trailers via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In-article trailer 4 courtesy of Movieclips Classic Trailers via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In-article trailer 5 courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In-article trailer 6 courtesy of Movieclips Classic Trailers via @youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

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