A Field Guide to Women in Romantic Comedies


Today’s leading rom-com chick is almost always the same three things: neurotic, addicted to her career, and Katherine Heigl. But have you ever noticed that her so-called friends — yes, those girls who exist primarily to remind her how single (sad face!) she is — can be equally reductive and pathetic? After all, if that girl’s got one thing, it’s a gaggle of friends, rivals, and frenemies to guide her by example, pep talks, or the sheer power of bitchiness to her dream man. Check out eight of the most common species of single-function film females after the jump so that you, too, can start putting the women in your life in boxes and forgetting about that darned unique personality business.

The Horny Friend

Because our main gal is usually as bland as a Saltine found under the sofa cushions, romcoms usually call upon a down ‘n’ dirty friend to encourage her to do really crazy things like allow herself to find happiness or date the guy who follows her around like a puppy dog. Christine Taylor in The Wedding Singer is one of the better examples — she plays Drew Barrymore’s sexually active cousin with a heart of gold and the best ’80s hair in movie memory.

See also: Never Been Kissed (Anita), Music and Lyrics (Rhonda)

The Married Sage

Ah, the married friend. The ring on her finger provides this lady with infinite knowledge on the way love works and a model by which everyone should live, to the point where she’s at risk to become a demented love fortune cookie. We didn’t much hate Marie in When Harry Met Sally because it’s hard to hate anything in When Harry Met Sally, especially a person who’s a main contributor to when Harry really meets Sally.

See also: When In Rome (Joan), Life as We Know It (Alison)

The Puppet

Eek, we’re sorry — did you think you served any other purpose than to help your friend realize that she’s in love with the guy she’s obstinately denied being in love with the entire movie? And that said purpose would only be accomplished by her having an epiphany when you admit that you think you want to date him? We love Cher from Clueless, but that’s the only free pass we’ll give out.

See also: The Wedding Planner (Fran), My Best Friend’s Wedding (Kimberly)

The Clueless Sidekick

It’s not her fault she doesn’t know, well, anything! She’s cute, sweet, and, most importantly, would never dream of getting in the way of our leading lady and her man. Miss Congeniality‘s Miss Rhode Island taught Sandra Bullock’s Gracie that nice gals don’t always finish last. Also, that every girl’s perfect date is April 25th.

See also: Confessions of a Shopaholic (Suze)

The Jealous Pal

Every girl who finds love has always got one friend who’s not so happy about it, deep down. And, like all women, she’ll explode at our leading lady at the most inconvenient time to tear her down. Anne Hathaway was all sorts of adorable in The Princess Diaries , but her best friend would not stop brooding and seething about her being a princess and all. Thankfully in the sequel they came up with the perfect solution: shutting her up with a boyfriend of her own.

See also: 13 Going On 30 (Lucy)

The Edgy Friend

Nothing says you’ve got a boring heroine like a best friend who is so much cooler than her! Mean Girls Janis Ian is pretty much the epitome of awesome alternative chick who is so effortless in reminding us just how Lindsay Lohan-y Lindsay Lohan is.

See also: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Caroline)

The Golden Lady

Sometimes, all a girl really needs is a good friend to make her feel completely and utterly inadequate all the time. 27 Dresses went hard with a mousy-haired Katherine Heigl always taking backseat to her bossy, glamorous younger sister who, oops, also stole the love of her life! It’s okay, though, because Heigl’s Jane took her down, and we were happy because she finally stood up for herself. Yup, totally healthy.

See also: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Athena)

The Mega Bitch

Even though the protagonist may be acting a little bit crazy, she’s always got an infinitely bitchier friend who makes her look like an angel. Krysten Ritter in She’s Out Of My League helps remind us that there is only one smart, pretty, and kind girl in the world, and the rest are just constantly PMSing.

See also: Going the Distance (Corrine)