There’s no shame in it: being a girly girl who loves chicks by way of flick. Especially a creative "meet cute." It’s a comedic film convention in which two potential romantic leads are thrown together in a contrived and atypical, oftentimes, but not always, over-the-top manner. Screenwriters frequently try to make it as awkward as possible. Either the dude is an utter stumblebum, spilling something all over her white crop top (Notting Hill), or the guy gets thrown out of his apartment, all but naked aside from the gym socks he’s yanked to his knees. Screaming at the door, he pleads to come back inside. The door cracks open, yelling stops for a beat. "Finally," he says. Then he’s hit in the head with a shoe. Elevator ding. Female romantic lead steps into hallway. He’s left only with the shoe to cover his mangerines. They exchange a glance, then she says, "Is that a size 12?" or "Nice socks."
If writers ignore the genitals, they often go for the jugular. You know, woman ranting about how completely inept the guy was who made that decision… and it turns out the man to whom she’s ranting is the guy who made the decision. Or he’s the guy beside him. Or the one standing directly behind her. (The American President ring a bell?) So many meet cutes happen when a woman is busy insulting a man. It makes him, on some level, want her all the more. Though I suppose it also doesn’t hurt when the meet cute is completely inappropriate, when the "other" is off limits (Moonstruck, Waitress, Sweet Home Alabama, My Best Friend’s Wedding), because so many of us are completely charged by the idea of the forbidden.
Along with these formulaic techniques there’s the general embarrassing situation, like when Diane Keaton in Baby Boom, believing she’s in a doctor’s office after fainting, confesses that she’s having a nervous breakdown, that she’s broke, that she’s completely sex starved, only to realize she’s disclosing this sensitive information–cue the horse bray–to a veterinarian. There’s also the unusual circumstances (Garden State) like in Forget Paris, when Billy Crystal meets a woman (Debra Winger) who works for the airline who lost his father (his dead father). Of course! It’s all predictable, from pairing off complete opposites in politics (Two Weeks Notice), social status (Dirty Dancing, Sabrina), temperament (When Harry Met Sally, Anna and The King, Housesitter) by throwing them together in a situation where they’d normally never meet, aside from such a tidy "meet cute." And yet we fall for it, suspending disbelief, hoping the screenwriters will make the journey to the foreseen close well worth it.
Honestly, you don’t need your strings pulled by a team of writers to be paired with your polar opposite, whom you most likely never would have otherwise met in life. All you need is internet dating. Then you’ll spend your ever after working on a meet cute you can tell others when they ask "How’d you two meet?" What I want to know is, where are all the great romantic comedies without such obvious meet cute scenes? And I always love hearing the real life meet cutes, though they usually involve a six degrees situation. That, or one internet dater is waiting for another, but a non-internet dater shows up and they turn out to be "the one" which makes me want to ralph.
Here are other meet cutes via Wiki:
- It Happened One Night throws runaway heiress Ellie (Claudette Colbert) and world-weary ex-reporter Peter (Clark Gable) together in a dispute over the last seat on a bus.
- In Bringing Up Baby, nervous paleontologist David (Cary Grant) finds that his golf ball and his car get inadvertently driven by strong-willed heiress Susan (Katharine Hepburn).
- In My Man Godfrey ditzy socialite Irene (Carole Lombard), following her sister to a dump, chooses Godfrey (William Powell) to be her "forgotten man" for a charity scavenger hunt.
- In Singin’ in the Rain, the character played by Gene Kelly is running through the street to try to escape from his fans. He is jumping from the roofs of cars and taxis, and he accidentally lands into a woman’s convertible (Debbie Reynolds). Even though they do not get along at first, a romance ensues.
- In Notting Hill, the character played by Hugh Grant accidentally spills orange juice on the character played by Julia Roberts, which leads them into a conversation.
- In Serendipity, the characters played by John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale coincidentally grab the same pair of gloves at a Bloomingdale’s store.
- In The Wedding Planner, the character played by Matthew McConaughey saves a woman’s life (Jennifer Lopez) when a runaway dumpster is heading towards her.
- In The Holiday, Kate Winslet‘s character and Jack Black‘s character "…meet-cute after she swaps her London home for the Los Angeles digs" of the character played by Cameron Diaz , while Diaz "meets cute" the Jude Law character.
- In Closer Alice (Natalie Portman), an American stripper newly transplanted to London, and Dan (Jude Law), an English obits-writer, make eyes at each other as they pass on the street. Distracted, she is hit by a taxi and he takes her to hospital.
Examples of a "meet-cute" in television are also recognizable in: