One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite films involves explaining the definition of the “meet cute.” The movie is The Holiday and the set up involves an aging film star explaining to Kate Winslet’s character that the “meet cute” is a memorable boy-meets-girl scenario in movies. Ironically, much as I adore that film, among its virtues, there isn’t a memorable meet-cute between either one of its leading romantic couples.
As an avid fan of the romantic-comedy, however, there have been many first meetings that I’ve liked. Some for no other reason than simply being darn cute. Others have a magnetic pull between the characters that makes a viewer sit up and take notice. No matter the reason why you like that first scene between a couple, the best ones are sure to hold on for a while.
Listed below are a few of those “meet cute” scenes that I have found appealing. Keep in mind this is by no means an all-inclusive list, but rather a mere handful of some of the moments I’ve liked. Not all of them are dynamic rather they are plain and simply “cute,” which is part of their charm. The list includes moments from romantic comedies and dramas, fairy tales and Hallmark films.
The Meet Cute: 10 Memorable First Meetings in Film
#1. The Meet Cute – 27 Dresses
THE STORY: A journalist and the unknowing subject of his story, a consummate bridesmaid, fall in love.
THE SCENE: Kevin (James Marsden) observes Jane (Katherine Heigl) playing bridesmaid at two weddings – in the same night!
This meet cute really has “two parts.” Kevin sees Jane before she even realizes who he is. He observes her (while working, covering a wedding for the paper he writes for) dashing to two separate weddings in the same night. Later that night he meets her face-to-face when he rescues her from a stampede of single women trying to catch the bouquet.
#2. The Meet Cute – The Age of Adaline
THE STORY: A woman born in the late 1800’s stops aging following a tragic car accident.
THE SCENE: Ellis and Adaline lock eyes across the room.
There are many beautiful moments in this film, but something about the scene when the two meet stands out. (Not to mention the scene that follows when Ellis dashes after Adaline to her cab.) Their meet cute crackles with emotion, which incites a flurry of feelings for what’s to come. In a film such as this, that to me was a sign good things were coming.
#3. The Meet Cute – Beastly
THE STORY: A contemporary re-telling of Beauty and the Beast set in a upper-class high school.
THE SCENE: Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) finally reveals himself to Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens).
Though Kyle and Lindy have met when Kyle was at his ugliest (on the inside), far as Lindy knows she’s never met the boy who made arrangements with her father to have her live with him. Having kept himself hidden for the early days of her arrival after she confronts him, he finally reveals himself to her. As they stare at one another across the room, he remarks his appearance is pretty gruesome. With an unflinching kindness, she merely replies, “I’ve seen worse.”
#4. The Meet Cute – Cinderella
THE STORY: The classic story of Cinderella re-told as a live-action film.
THE SCENE: Prince Kit (Richard Madden) meets Cinderella (Lily James) in the woods.
Not only did Disney risk the displeasure of Disney cartoon purists when they set about retooling the classic Disney version of Cinderella all while making it a live-action adaptation, they had to make the romance feel more genuine (one magical ballroom dance does not true love make). They succeeded. From the moment Cinderella meets Kit, the chemistry is evident. The scene is magnetic and for me, is exactly the sort of moment the best fairytales are made of.
#5. The Meet Cute – Ever After
THE STORY: Set in the 16th century, this one is a retelling of Cinderella as told to the Grimm brothers as the “real” story.
THE SCENE: Danielle (Drew Barrymore) pummels the prince, Henry (Dougray Scott) with apples, unaware who he is.
This is another one of those two part scenes. It begins when Danielle sees a man stealing her horse, and unaware who he is, she pummels him with apples. She realizes he’s the prince and later while pretending to be a courtier (in order to save one of her father’s loyal servants), she engages in intelligent conversation with him the prince, which immediately causes him to be captivated by this woman he doesn’t know.