How to End a Rom-Com Right
A Case Study of 6 Romantic Comedies Rom-coms

How to End a Rom-Com Right

A Case Study of 6 Romantic Comedies

A Case Study of 6 Romantic Comedies

Romantic comedies are a staple of Hollywood, and they all end (basically) the same way with the two main characters becoming a permanent item. So, what exactly makes this moment of consummation satisfying to audiences? What makes the finale of a rom-com shine?

The Study

We asked 300+ US teens and adults to watch similar 1-minute sequences from 6 different rom-coms and give us feedback

Here are some of the things we learned...

Private Moments Usually Land Better than Public Ones

When we asked participants to tell us what makes the climactic scene in a romantic comedy work well, just over 50% selected a private moment shared between the two characters, while only 23% said a public moment was appealing to them.

Strong Dialogue Does Wonders

Our two top performing scenes, When Harry Met Sally and Love & Basketball, both showed the importance of strong dialogue. After watching all 6 scenes, viewers voted on the best lines, and all 3 of the top 3 spots went to When Harry Met Sally. (See below for the full ranking).

  1. “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend a day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.” - Harry Burns

  2. “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” - Harry Burns

  3. “That is just like you Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you. And I hate you Harry. I really hate you.” - Sally Albright

And while Love & Basketball showed up lower on our comparative list (participants were limited to selecting 2 favorite lines), our in-the-moment viewing data across all six scenes peaked with Love & Basketball’s swoon-worthy:

The Hooker with a Heart of Gold Still Holds America’s Heart

Lovers of rom-coms love to debate the genre’s best in class. And while this ranking likely will not settle any internet fights (and may even start a few), we asked people to share with us ALL the rom-coms they adore that did not quite find their way into our deep-dive study.

Here’s what they said...

Favorite Quotes
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How much did you like this scene?
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How would you rate the chemistry between these two characters?
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More Case Studies

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