Ranking the Most Romantic Movie Couples of the Past 15 Years, From Allie & Noah to Hazel & Gus

We're not exactly in a golden age for romance — probably because we're in the age of Marvel sequels — but that's not to say that the new millennium has been completely devoid of decent romantic comedies and dramas. After all, 2004 brought us The Notebook, a film that made an entire generation desperate for a kiss in the pouring rain. (Preferably with Ryan Gosling, but hey, we're not picky.) And The Notebook's Allie and Noah aren't the only great romance to come out of the 00s. What makes a good romantic couple onscreen? Overcoming conflict, chemistry, and an epic kiss scene, of course — and you'd be surprised to find out how many couples lack in that department. So who comes out on top? Check out this ranking of 17 popular couples from romantic movies of the 00s.

by Kaitlin Reilly

Mike & Abby, 'The Ugly Truth'

Mike (Gerard Butler) thinks Abby (Katherine Heigl) is too uptight and decides to train her on how to please a man, which mainly involves wearing hair extensions and faking orgasms. Somehow they end up making out in a hot air balloon.

Image: Columbia Pictures

Henry & Lucy, '50 First Dates'

Henry (Adam Sandler) desperately wants Lucy (Drew Barrymore) to fall in love with him the way that he has with her. The only problem? Lucy can’t retain any new memories due to a car accident she suffered a year before meeting Henry. Every day, Henry must find a new way to woo Lucy, knowing that, the next day, she’ll see him as a stranger. Romantic or kind of creepy — you can decide.

Image: Columbia Pictures

Chris & Jamie, 'Just Friends'

For this movie, you must suspend all disbelief and imagine a world where Ryan Reynolds was not always ridiculously good looking. Done? Okay. The film stars Reynolds as Chris, a former nerd turned successful music executive who returns to his hometown to woo Jamie (Amy Smart), the girl who “friend zoned” him throughout high school. They eventually fall for one another, but I can’t shake how problematic the idea of a “friend zone” is.

Image: New Line Cinema

Andie & Ben, 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days'

Are Andie (Kate Hudson) and Ben (Matthew McConaughey) perfect together? Of course they are. They both went into their “relationship” with the intention of either driving the other crazy or manipulating the other into falling in love, all to further their own careers. That makes them a great couple… but not exactly great people.

Image: Paramount Pictures

Allison & Ben, 'Knocked Up'

Allison (Heigl) and Ben (Seth Rogen) couldn’t be more different, which is a problem, because they’re about to have a baby together. I like Allison and Ben together because they’re one of the few rom com couples that seem relatively authentic — despite their massive differences and imperfections, they do seem to legitimately care about one another.

Rachel & Dex, 'Something Borrowed'

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Dex (Colin Egglesfield) finally hookup after years of sexual tension — unfortunately, Dex happens to be engaged to Rachel’s best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson). I think the tragic thing about Something Borrowed is that, had they gotten together back in law school — both had secret crushes on the other and never said anything because they’re terrible at reading cues— their relationship would have worked out. I mean, the movie would never have been made, but still — they would never have had to deal with these sort of complications. Unfortunately, their story loses way too many romance points due to the fact that they totally screwed over Rachel’s BFF — even if she was a cheating mess herself.

Image: Warner Bros.

Lindsey & Ben, 'Fever Pitch'

Ben (Jimmy Fallon) and Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) deal with a problem that a ton of couples do, and yet, somehow, theirs warranted a film. Lindsey thinks that Ben might love the Red Sox more than he loves her, and proves the opposite by attempting to sell his season tickets for her. Guys be lovin’ sports, am I right?

Image: 20th Century Fox

Mary & Steve, 'The Wedding Planner'

Another movie where the problem lies not in the actual endgame relationship, but in the romance outside of it. Mary (Jennifer Lopez) and Steve (Matthew McConaughey) have serious chemistry — which is really too bad, because Mary is also Steve’s wedding planner for his upcoming nuptials. Thankfully, the bride-to-be figures out that Steve is wrong for her long before he has to be the bad guy about it.

Jane & Kevin, '27 Dresses'

Kevin (James Marsden) is doing a story on Jane (Heigl), a bridesmaid 27-times over. There is very limited conflict in this movie — Jane is in love with her boss, and Kevin is kind of a jerk about Jane’s love of weddings. They seem kind of obviously perfect together, which is sweet — just, you know, not particularly interesting.

Image: 20th Century Fox

Reuban & Polly, 'Along Came Polly'

Sure, Along Came Polly is a comedy, but it’s also a tale of two very damaged people looking for love. Polly may be a free spirit, but deep down she’s still reeling from the pain caused by her own father’s betrayal. And Reuban… well, Reuban is painfully Type A. It shouldn’t work, but it does… slowly, and with a lot of conflict.

Image: Universal Pictures

Summer & Tom, '500 Days of Summer'

Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are the only romantic couple on this list not to actually live in a love story — a fact that is cleverly announced at the very beginning of the movie. Despite not ending up together, this couple actually does teach the audience about love — what it means, what it’s not, and why we need to let it go.

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Melanie & Jake, 'Sweet Home Alabama'

Yes, Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is engaged, but I don’t even care because OBVIOUSLY her and her legal husband Jake (Josh Lucas) are meant to be. Did you not see the beginning of the movie with the lightening strike? How about the end when they kiss in the rain? Sure, she did dump Patrick Dempsey’s character at the alter, but I’m sure there are a ton of Grey’s Anatomy fans who would have jumped on that train.

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

Nick & Norah, 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist'

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist may be lauded for its soundtrack, but I’m still all about Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) as a couple, mainly because their story is so very high school in the best way. Nick is clearly in love with the wrong girl — his awful, mean girl ex — completely unaware that the lovely Norah is infatuated with him. It’s a classic case of a boy being an idiot and not seeing what’s right in front of him — but when he does, it’s magic. Sweet, musical magic.

Image: Columbia Pictures

Quincy & Monica, 'Love & Basketball'

Love & Basketball’s Quincy (Omar Epps) and Monica (Sanaa Lathan) are in love with both one another and the game. I love this couple because the romance feels genuine — life events and career decisions send them on different paths, but ultimately they realize that they can’t live their lives without the other. I know what you’re thinking: Is there anything cheesier than two basketball players playing for one another’s hearts? The answer: Nope, and I love every second of it.

Image: New Line Cinema

August & Hazel, 'The Fault In Our Stars'

The only thing you may remember from watching The Fault In Our Stars is a very blurry screen from the tears welled up in your eyes, but August (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel (Shailene Woodley) were more than just their tragic ending. The couple was supportive, sweet, and very real. Yes, they were sick, but they were also teenagers in love, and they behaved as such — despite possible death always looming.

Jamie & Landon, 'A Walk To Remember'

I’m really not a big crier, but something about the love story between good girl Jamie (Mandy Moore) and bad boy Landon (Shane West) gets me every time. Sure, the film is manipulative to the extreme — the perfect, sweet, life-loving girl has cancer! — but I can’t knock the love between Jamie and Landon too much. Jamie is a strong woman, unafraid to stand up for herself despite what the crowd thinks, and makes Landon a better person even after she’s gone. Are the tears welling up yet?

Image: Warner Bros.

Allie & Noah, 'The Notebook'

Are you surprised to see Allie and Noah at the top of this list? No. No you’re not. Because their love story is epic and was able to overcome, distance, time, hot wounded soldiers, Alzheimer’s, and, ultimately, death. Allie and Noah forever.

Image: New Line Cinema