CULTURE & ARTS

And The Best Romantic Comedy Of All Time Is...

We asked HuffPost readers to vote on the rom-com to beat all other rom-coms, and the results are finally in.

The best romantic comedies are the ones we’re willing to fight for. Welcome To HuffPost’s Rom-Com Week.

Boy meets girl. Or NY152 meets Shopgirl. Or Hollywood starlet meets charming British bookseller. Or environmental lobbyist meets speechless president. Or disenchanted millionaire meets spunky escort.

There is a bet, a makeover, a misunderstanding, maybe a blowout fight. The prime minister does a funky love dance. Boy plays Peter Gabriel on a boom box outside girl’s window. Woman meets man on the top of the Empire State Building just in the knick of time. There is a speech, a kiss, a happily ever after.

These are the building blocks of a romantic comedy, a cinematic genre that promises true love, happy endings and impossibly witty repartee. HuffPost has been celebrating the subcategory of filmmaking for a few days now, and in the process, we’ve learned something as profound as Nora Ephron’s ability to write Billy Crystal into a certified hunk.

The best rom-com of all time ― according to HuffPost readers, at least ― is ...

... nope, not that Ephron masterpiece.

It’s “When Harry Met Sally...” 

This week marked the anniversaries of two iconic rom-coms, “You’ve Got Mail” and “Working Girl.” To celebrate, we asked for your help in determining the greatest rom-com, selected via a head-to-head contest between 313 English-language films that matched our definition of what a rom-com truly, canonically is: a lighthearted comedy that centers on the budding romance between two central characters.

We asked you, dear readers, to vote in the contest. And vote you did. You expressed your democratic will more than 200,000 times in just three days. (And one particularly dedicated reader expressed their preference a staggering 3,632 times. Whoever you are, we see you and we appreciate you.)

We took the votes, tallied up the totals and used each film’s “win percentage” (the percentage of times a movie won in a head-to-head battle with another title on the list) to determine that “When Harry Met Sally...” is the rom-com to rule them all.

1 When Harry Met Sally... 90.82%
2 Sleepless in Seattle 86.98%
3 Love Actually 86.77%
4 The Princess Bride 84.83%
5 Pretty Woman 84.55%
6 You've Got Mail 84.52%
7 Four Weddings and a Funeral 84.44%
8 Notting Hill 84.37%
9 Moonstruck 82.98%
10 Breakfast at Tiffany's 81.57%
11 The American President 80.11%
12 The Philadelphia Story 79.82%
13 Groundhog Day 79.8%
14 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 79.76%
15 Bridget Jones's Diary 78.45%
16 The Graduate 78.29%
17 Roman Holiday 77.89%
18 Bull Durham 77.74%
19 While You Were Sleeping 77.35%
20 As Good as It Gets 77.27%
21 Some Like It Hot 77.26%
22 Singin' in the Rain 77.04%
23 Shakespeare in Love 76.8%
24 Working Girl 76.33%
25 Sabrina 76.32%
26 Sixteen Candles 76.03%
27 Jerry Maguire 75.79%
28 My Best Friend's Wedding 75.77%
29 Pride & Prejudice 75.73%
30 Romancing the Stone 75.64%
31 Say Anything... 75.56%
32 Chocolat 75.38%
33 Juno 75.24%
34 Something's Gotta Give 74.09%
35 Grease 74.08%
36 Silver Linings Playbook 74.07%
37 Sweet Home Alabama 74%
38 Pretty in Pink 73.26%
39 Mystic Pizza 73.25%
40 The Proposal 73.15%
41 Clueless 73.07%
42 Dave 73.02%
43 Under the Tuscan Sun 72.71%
44 Roxanne 72.57%
45 It Happened One Night 72.53%
46 Splash 72.26%
47 The Apartment 71.36%
48 Bringing Up Baby 70.83%
49 The Holiday 70.8%
50 His Girl Friday 69.9%
51 There's Something About Mary 69.69%
52 About a Boy 69.26%
53 Runaway Bride 67.88%
54 High Fidelity 67.86%
55 Amélie 67.71%
56 Broadcast News 67.62%
57 Sabrina 67.6%
58 Two Weeks Notice 67.53%
59 The Wedding Singer 67.02%
60 Bend It Like Beckham 66.59%
61 Heaven Can Wait 66.51%
62 La La Land 66.34%
63 Grosse Pointe Blank 65.99%
64 Crazy Rich Asians 65.98%
65 10 Things I Hate About You 65.78%
66 It's Complicated 65.63%
67 Crazy, Stupid, Love 65.32%
68 Annie Hall 65.23%
69 50 First Dates 65%
70 Funny Girl (re-release) 64.96%
71 Overboard 64.43%
72 The Big Sick 64.43%
73 French Kiss 64.36%
74 Serendipity 64.23%
75 The Princess Diaries 64.16%
76 Arthur 64.1%
77 The 40 Year Old Virgin 63.73%
78 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 63.63%
79 Muriel's Wedding 63.54%
80 One Fine Day 63.15%
81 Never Been Kissed 62.63%
82 Emma 62.18%
83 Forgetting Sarah Marshall 62.16%
84 Must Love Dogs 61.89%
85 The Wedding Planner 61.71%
86 Harold and Maude 61.35%
87 Ever After 61.25%
88 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 60.52%
89 Coming to America 59.79%
90 13 Going on 30 59.61%
91 The Importance of Being Earnest 59.2%
92 Bridget Jones's Baby 58.95%
93 Kate & Leopold 58.2%
94 Some Kind of Wonderful 57.77%
95 It Could Happen to You 57.44%
96 Enchanted 57.17%
97 Easy A 56.77%
98 The Truth About Cats & Dogs 56.63%
99 Music and Lyrics 56.6%
100 How Stella Got Her Groove Back 56.38%
101 Chasing Amy 55.65%
102 Maid in Manhattan 55.62%
103 Definitely, Maybe 55.6%
104 (500) Days of Summer 55.46%
105 Crossing Delancey 55.42%
106 Hitch 55.23%
107 Reality Bites 54.92%
108 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 54.82%
109 Doc Hollywood 54.54%
110 Enough Said 54.42%
111 Strictly Ballroom 54%
112 The Wedding Date 53.82%
113 Sliding Doors 53.74%
114 Manhattan 53.34%
115 Garden State 53.05%
116 Hairspray 53%
117 Benny & Joon 52.99%
118 Knocked Up 52.35%
119 27 Dresses 51.88%
120 Frankie and Johnny 51.6%
121 Trainwreck 51.21%
122 Fever Pitch 50.94%
123 He's Just Not That Into You 50.89%
124 Nine Months 50.88%
125 Fools Rush In 50.15%
126 Hairspray 50.14%
127 L.A. Story 50.11%
128 Green Card 50%
129 What Women Want 49.97%
130 She's All That 49.66%
131 America's Sweethearts 49.63%
132 Sex and the City 49.53%
133 A Midsummer Night's Dream 49.51%
134 Friends with Benefits 49.19%
135 Leap Year 49.16%
136 Shall We Dance 49.05%
137 The Cutting Edge 48.73%
138 Much Ado About Nothing 48.29%
139 Bring It On 47.42%
140 Joe Versus the Volcano 47.07%
141 Ella Enchanted 46.35%
142 No Reservations 46.02%
143 Along Came Polly 45.97%
144 Cocktail 45.33%
145 Can't Buy Me Love 45.2%
146 Mannequin 44.73%
147 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist 44.64%
148 To All the Boys I've Loved Before 44.09%
149 The Family Man 44.03%
150 Spanglish 43.57%
151 The Break-Up 43.33%
152 Failure to Launch 42.84%
153 Love, Simon 42.57%
154 Mighty Aphrodite 42.56%
155 Cyrano de Bergerac 42.32%
156 So I Married An Axe Murderer 42.25%
157 Punch-Drunk Love 41.84%
158 Home Again 41.39%
159 Something Wild 40.73%
160 Intolerable Cruelty 40.54%
161 Rumor Has It... 40.41%
162 A Foreign Affair 40.41%
163 The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement 39.44%
164 Someone Like You... 39.39%
165 Wimbledon 39.36%
166 Because I Said So 38.43%
167 Yours, Mine and Ours 38.4%
168 Coyote Ugly 38.38%
169 An Ideal Husband 38.18%
170 Kissing Jessica Stein 38.03%
171 Catch and Release 37.55%
172 Love and Other Drugs 37.4%
173 She's Gotta Have It 37.29%
174 Shallow Hal 37.13%
175 Picture Perfect 37.1%
176 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 37.07%
177 Blast from the Past 36.8%
178 Monster-in-Law 36.66%
179 Valentine's Day 36.51%
180 Down with Love 36.31%
181 Elizabethtown 36.23%
182 Just Like Heaven 35.66%
183 Hope Springs 35.5%
184 Don Juan DeMarco 35.48%
185 Keeping the Faith 35.07%
186 Fever Pitch 34.96%
187 The Object of My Affection 34.9%
188 About Last Night 34.73%
189 Admission 34.63%
190 The Prince and Me 34.4%
191 The Sweetest Thing 34.36%
192 Valley Girl 34.33%
193 Can't Hardly Wait 34.21%
194 The Five-Year Engagement 33.92%
195 Mickey Blue Eyes 32.47%
196 Blind Date 32.03%
197 Zack and Miri Make a Porno 31.71%
198 Something Borrowed 31.7%
199 Addicted to Love 31.54%
200 She's Out of My League 31.53%
201 The Pick-up Artist 31.32%
202 Love & Basketball 30.78%
203 Bride & Prejudice 30.63%
204 She's the Man 30.28%
205 The Heartbreak Kid 30.14%
206 To Rome with Love 30.13%
207 First Daughter 30%
208 Austenland 29.94%
209 Chasing Liberty 29.87%
210 40 Days and 40 Nights 29.63%
211 Just Friends 29.61%
212 The Ugly Truth 29.46%
213 The Other Sister 29.41%
214 Confessions of a Shopaholic 29.16%
215 The Back-up Plan 29.13%
216 Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! 28.93%
217 Heartbreakers 28.14%
218 Juliet, Naked 28.06%
219 Don Jon 27.86%
220 A Cinderella Story 27.86%
221 Forces of Nature 27.55%
222 Mallrats 27.25%
223 The Best Man 26.86%
224 Something New 26.73%
225 Woman on Top 26.52%
226 How to Be Single 26.25%
227 Drive Me Crazy 26.24%
228 Sing Street 26.14%
229 John Tucker Must Die 25.97%
230 Jersey Girl 25.38%
231 Café Society 25.36%
232 New in Town 25.11%
233 Bewitched 25.11%
234 Penelope 25.03%
235 Set It Up 24.75%
236 My Best Friend's Girl 24.37%
237 A Lot Like Love 23.85%
238 Obvious Child 23.8%
239 What If 23.73%
240 Destination Wedding 23.65%
241 The Best Man Holiday 23.65%
242 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 23.54%
243 Just Married 23.36%
244 Grease 2 22.87%
245 Life or Something Like It 22.79%
246 Just Wright 22.68%
247 Simply Irresistible 22.11%
248 Le divorce 21.94%
249 Poetic Justice 21.72%
250 Sleeping with Other People 21.67%
251 Imagine Me & You 21.59%
252 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 21.54%
253 Ruby Sparks 21.4%
254 Drinking Buddies 20.74%
255 Brown Sugar 20.65%
256 Down to You 20.5%
257 Alex & Emma 20.49%
258 Think Like a Man 20.34%
259 The Wood 20%
260 A Little Bit of Heaven 19.41%
261 Celeste and Jesse Forever 19.32%
262 Love Jones 19.12%
263 The Bachelor 19.04%
264 It Had to Be You 18.88%
265 Going the Distance 18.41%
266 View from the Top 18.26%
267 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates 18.22%
268 I Think I Love My Wife 17.98%
269 Little Black Book 17.95%
270 Serving Sara 17.86%
271 That Awkward Moment 17.84%
272 Two Night Stand 17.73%
273 The Kissing Booth 17.01%
274 Summer Catch 16.63%
275 Head Over Heels 16.59%
276 Playing for Keeps 16.58%
277 Playing It Cool 15.63%
278 Save the Date 14.64%
279 Top Five 14.59%
280 Deliver Us from Eva 14.11%
281 Love Don't Cost a Thing 14.11%
282 Two Can Play That Game 13.63%
283 Nappily Ever After 13.51%
284 Loser 13.25%
285 Ali's Wedding 13.23%
286 Caramel 13.06%
287 Nobody's Fool 12.99%
288 Romance & Cigarettes 12.74%
289 The Romantics 12.48%
290 Meet the Browns 12.4%
291 Just My Luck 12.3%
292 How to Deal 12.15%
293 Think Like a Man Too 11.9%
294 Get Over It 11.88%
295 I Give It a Year 11.42%
296 Say It Isn't So 10.98%
297 The Next Big Thing 10.83%
298 Breakin' All the Rules 10.71%
299 Swept Away 10.65%
300 Boys and Girls 10.49%
301 All Over the Guy 10.4%
302 Date Movie 10.03%
303 Catching Feelings 9.06%
304 The Favor 8.79%
305 Youth in Revolt 8.37%
306 Shanghai Calling 8.29%
307 The Very Thought of You 7.88%
308 Trust the Man 7.58%
309 Tumbledown 7.3%
310 Duck Butter 6.76%
311 Gigli 4.48%
312 White Wedding 4.03%

What else does our data tell us? The glorious train wreck that is “Gigli” nearly won the least amount of head-to-head battles. “Keeping the Faith” and “The Best Man” are criminally underrated. Classics like “Hitch,” “Reality Bites” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” managed to wind up on the edge or just shy of the top 100. The top 50 rom-coms include hits like “Grease,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Clueless.”

The top of the top choices feature classic rom-com players like Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron and Meg Ryan. In the end, “When Harry Met Sally...” narrowly beat out “Love Actually” and “Sleepless in Seattle” for the title of most beloved rom-com of all time.

HuffPost readers, it seems, can’t resist the slow simmering romance between two quick-talking, cosmopolitan intellectuals whose passion for one another grows finer with age. The first time they met, they hated each other. (Or at least she hated him.) The third time they met, they became friends. And they were friends for a long time, before they weren’t. But don’t worry, they fell in love.

Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a rom-com. 

We also learned, via a HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18, that rom-coms are just as beloved as you’d think they are. Seventy percent of people surveyed reported that they either like or love rom-coms, and only 4 percent hate them with a burning passion. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if a person voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; rom-coms are embraced across party lines. 

While this poll deemed “Pretty Woman” the most beloved rom-com, the respondents’ favorite fictional boyfriend was, fittingly, Harry Burns of “When Harry Met Sally...” So, if nothing else makes sense, let our rom-com results be a respite in this crazy world.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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