10 Rom-Coms Like 'Bridget Jones's Diary' That Are More British Than Tea With The Queen
I love a good ol’ romantic comedy, especially when they are of the British variety. I like to subject myself to the highs and lows of love for no apparent reason, or to deal with heartbreak. Some resort to ice cream, I resort to watching a relationship blossom, fall apart, and hopefully reconcile. As much as I adore revelling in Renée Zellweger’s failings — and eventual successes — at life and love, there are plenty of other British rom-coms like Bridget Jones’s Diary to stream that serve a similar purpose: to make you feel that you’re not the only person that struggles with the trials and tribulations of love and, well, life.
Although, I am confident to say that Bridget Jones’s Diary will always be my first choice in times of emotional despair, for it is where I can swoon over the gorgeous Hugh Grant and his curtain bangs (I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for Grant). The film may fall victim to the common tropes of two people falling in and out of love, another accompanied by a love triangle, but that’s what makes it so bloody good.
Whatever the reason you have for connecting to the stress often entangled within fictional — and real — relationships, these British rom-coms will show you that you can succeed in life, whatever the circumstances. While I might have liked to, I haven’t just listed 11 films with Hugh Grant in, promise. I do have some self-control. Keep reading for the best of the rest.
1. 'Bend It Like Beckham'
If you like your rom-coms with a helping of female empowerment (who doesn't?) then Bend It Like Beckham is the film for you. A combination of witty dialogue, lovable performances, and a woman absolutely killing it in a sport typically associated with men, Bend It Like Beckham knocks the stereotypes of the rom-com genre on its head while dealing with importance of cultural diversity.
2. 'Notting Hill'
There are many people I would rather be sometimes, and one of them is the fictional actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). Why, you ask? Two words: Hugh Grant. But that's beside the point, Notting Hill is refreshing as it's the guy who's unsuccessful in love (recently divorced, in this case), while the gal is one of the most famous women in the world. They meet thanks to happenstance, and it's up to their chemistry and, well, love, to make their differing worlds become one.
3. 'Tamara Drewe'
Adapted from the unlikely source of a newspaper comic strip,Tamara Drewe follows a young journalist (Gemma Arterton) who returns home to the fictitious village of Ewedown, Dorset. She returns to rather a lot of fanfare, as the locals are amazed at her change in appearance after rhinoplasty.
Unsurprisingly, the two men in the village — Ben (Dominic Cooper) and Andy (Luke Evans) — take an interest in Drewe, but it's ultimately down to her as to which man she wants to be in a relationship with, or whether she wants to stay in her childhood village at all.
4. 'Shaun of the Dead'
Shaun of the Dead isn't probably the first film that comes to mind when you think of a romantic comedy. But, it does have all the hallmarks of one thanks to the relationship between Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Liz (Kate Ashfield).
Even though the pair are split up within the opening minutes of the film, the sudden zombie apocalypse that takes over the nation puts their priorities in check and for Shaun, demonstrates his failings as a boyfriend, before the residents of London had a hankering for human flesh.
5. 'Love Actually'
According to a study by Decluttr of Google search data in America, Love Actually is actually the most popular rom-com in the States. Written and directed by Richard Curtis, Love Actually has the mammoth task of showcasing the different dimensions of love through multiple storylines, all of which are connected in one way or another. As those who have no doubt watched it multiple times know, it's easier to follow than it sounds.
A Christmas film that can arguably be viewed at any time of the year (without it feeling weird), the focus surrounding love in Love Actually makes the film universally relatable.
6. 'Love, Rosie'
Ah, yes, the fated love of two childhood best friends. I've been there, and I can assume at least some of you have been there, too.
Starring Lily Collins (Rosie) and Sam Clafin (Alex) as one of the most beautiful couples to ever exist on screen, Love, Rosie is one of those films that you'll end up screaming at every time something gets in the way of their destined love.
Seriously, I've warned you.
7. 'Man Up'
Being a twentysomething might be a bit of a struggle, but God help me when I reach my thirties. If there were ever a film to show me my future, Man Up would be it.
After bumping into another woman's blind-date and being mistaken for her, 34-year-old Nancy (Lake Bell) goes with the flow and finds the man of her dreams in 40-year-old divorcee Jack (Simon Pegg).
I'm not kidding, only I would be able to replicate this situation in real life on account of my awkwardness. But if my future plays out like this and involves a man like Simon Pegg, I say bring it on.
8. 'I Give It A Year'
"Will it last?" and "I give it a year" are often sentences muttered by other parties regarding a relationship between two people that just doesn't seem to fit.
I Give It a Year traverses those conversations in the form of a newly married couple — Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) — who, despite their differences, believe that they are perfect for one another.
Relationship struggles are obviously common, and even more so when you're joined to one another through marriage. This film is proof that your "happy ending" might not always be what you expect, and that's OK.
9. 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'
Another classic in the British romantic-comedy canon, Mike Newell's and Richard Curtis's Four Weddings and a Funeral features the suave Hugh Grant (obviously), and the beautiful Andie MacDowell as they consistently meet at various gatherings — four weddings and a funeral — and obviously become infatuated with one another.
Complications, arguments, and reconciliations ensue in the usual British manner, wrapped up in an addictive wit perfectly delivered by the film's cast.
I distinctly remember one sports day at secondary school, it was raining so we all got crammed into an assembly hall to watch a film. It had to be sport related, of course, so we were shown Wimbledon.
It's safe to say that me being the softie that I am, I got a tad too emotional watching the relationship between Peter (Paul Bettany) and Lizzie (Kirsten Dunst) blossom and fall apart, all to the backdrop of a world famous tennis tournament.
Funnily enough, the majority of these films are linked to Bridget Jones's Diary one way or another, whether that's through narrative, directors, writers, stars, and production companies.
So if you need a Bridget Jones fix, you'll definitely get one with any of these picks.