'Five-Year Engagement' And The Evolution Of The Male Rom-Com Lead

04/27/2012 03:52 pm ET

In "The Five-Year Engagement" (out now), Jason Segel goes from being a successful and put-together chef in San Francisco to a burly, dirty bunny suit-wearing woodsman in Ann Arbor, Mich. and back again. It's an arc that seems perfectly suited for these times. After all, since Richard Gere wooed Julia Roberts' hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold while wearing a bespoke suit in "Pretty Woman," the male leads in romantic comedies have become decidedly more schlubby.

To investigate this trend, HuffPost Entertainment decided to look at the 24 highest-grossing romantic comedies of all time, to see whether featuring an Average Joe (or perhaps worse; see: the dirty bunny suit) helps or hurts a film's box-office potential. (Spoiler: it's mostly split.)

Check out the evolution of male rom-com leads below, with the HuffPost Entertainment-patented Schlub-o-Meter giving schlub ratings to all 24 leading men.

(Key: 100 = Most Schlubby; 0 = Least Schlubby; timeline designed by Chris Spurlock)

Male Rom-Com Leads In Order Of Box Office (Schlub Rating in Parenthesis)

1. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" ($241.4 million): John Corbett (70)
2. "What Women Want" ($182.8 million): Mel Gibson (20)
3. "Hitch" ($179.4 million): Kevin James (75)
4. "Pretty Woman" ($178.4 million): Richard Gere (10)
5. "There's Something About Mary" ($176.4 million): Ben Stiller (50)
6. "The Proposal" ($169.9 million): Ryan Reynolds (15)
7. "Sex and the City" ($152.6 million): Chris Noth (5)
8. "Runaway Bride" ($152.2 million): Richard Gere (35)
9. "Knocked Up" ($148.7 million): Seth Rogen (100)
10. "As Good As It Gets" ($148.4 million): Jack Nicholson (35)
11. "Bringing Down the House" ($132.7 million): Steve Martin (15)
12. "Sweet Home Alabama" ($127.2 million): Patrick Dempsey (5)
13. "My Best Friend's Wedding" ($127.1 million): Dermot Mulroney (40)
14. "Sleepless in Seattle" ($126.6 million): Tom Hanks (45)
15. "Mr. Deeds" ($126.2 million): Adam Sandler (90)
16. "Something's Gotta Give" ($124.7 million): Jack Nicholson (20)
17. "50 First Dates" ($120.9 million): Adam Sandler (80)
18. "The Break-Up" ($118.7 million): Vince Vaughn (75)
19. "Notting HIll" ($116 million): Hugh Grant (55)
20. "You've Got Mail" ($115.8 million): Tom Hanks (10)
21. "It's Complicated" ($112.7 million): Alec Baldwin (15)
22. "Valentine's Day" ($110.4 million): Ashton Kutcher (65)
23. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" ($109.4 million): Steve Carell (70)
24. "How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days" ($105.8 million): Matthew McConaughey (25)

PHOTOS: "Five-Year Engagement" Premiere

'Five-Year Engagement' Premiere

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