While most of us claim we don’t want to cuddle up on the couch and watch the latest and greatest (and oftentimes cheesy) romantic comedies, we hardly pass up the opportunity to crush on the films’ hottest actresses. Romantic comedies usually feature similar storylines of complex love and heartbreak– but they also feature some of the prettiest actresses around. Whether we’re watching romantic comedies from the ’80s, ’90s or today, there’s no shortage of some serious eye-candy.
When we think about romantic comedies, we can easily think of ten, maybe twenty different actresses we have a crush on– along with every other warm-blooded human on the planet. However, there are some actresses that for whatever reason, get overlooked or don’t get as much attention, even though they’re extremely talented, entertaining, and utterly gorgeous.
So go ahead, indulge and go down memory lane as you recall some of the hottest actresses from romantic comedies that have come out over the last twenty years. You may have kept your crushes a secret for whatever reason, but feel free to shout your unrequited love from the rooftops– or the comfort of your computer. Here are fifteen of some of the most smoking hot rom-com actresses you’ve never talked about–until now.
15. Amy Smart
California native, Amy Smart is one of our favorite underrated rom-com actresses to make this list. Her sweet smile and baby blue eyes seduce us and we can’t help but love her in pretty much everything she stars in. Her most popular rom-com is without a doubt the hilarious comedy, Just Friends starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris. Amy Smart has pretty much mastered the classic girl next door role, helping us to fulfill our awkward teenage dreams of getting with the friendliest, sweetest girl we all had a crush on back in high school. Amy Smart has also appeared in some of our favorite films like Varsity Blues, Road Trip and The Butterfly Effect.
14. Piper Perabo
We first got a glimpse of the sexy Piper Perabo in the hit rom-com, Coyote Ugly back in 2000– and we haven’t forgotten about her since. For whatever reason, Piper Perabo has yet to make it onto the celebrity A-list, but she continues to have a steady career on the small screen in shows like Covert Affairs and Notorious. While it was nearly 20 years ago that we watched Piper dance on top of the New York bar as “Jersey” in Coyote Ugly, we won’t ever be able to forget it. We also love rewatching Piper in the underrated rom-com, Imagine Me & You, where she played a newlywed who falls in love with another woman. While nowadays we see Piper Perabo playing more mature, business-attire wearing characters on TV and on film, we can’t help but long for the days of cowboy boots, short skirts and tight t-shirts.
13. Gabrielle Union
Ah, Gabrielle Union: one of the most underrated, and sexiest actresses of so many rom-coms in the late ’90s and early ’00s. For the last twenty years we’ve watched Gabrielle play everything from a fierce cheerleader to a sexy best friend, and even a smoking hot basketball player. As far as we’re concerned, Gabrielle should be given some kind of award considering the extensive amount of rom-coms she has appeared in over the years. Which ones are we talking about, you ask? Deliver us From Eva, Think Like a Man, Bring it on, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bad Boys II— and the list goes on and on. Gabrielle has managed to hold a commendable, steady acting career to this day as she has appeared in countless TV shows and films. And is it just us, or does Gabrielle never age? She still looks as incredible today as she did over a decade ago. Gabrielle, what’s your secret?
12. Ginnifer Goodwin
38 year-old actress, Ginnifer Goodwin is the perfect romantic comedy actress: adorable, talented, and did we mention adorable? Ginnifer Goodwin has a way of getting audiences on her side and it’s easy to become enchanted with her. One of our favorite Ginnifer Goodwin rom-coms has to be He’s Just Not That Into You, where she played the eager, optimistic GiGi. With her cute bob hair cut, and sweet personality, we couldn’t help but become attracted to her.
While Ginnifer Goodwin is practically made for rom-coms like He’s Just Not That Into You and the lesser known Something Borrowed, she also proved her versatility as an actress in other genres as well. Ginnifer Goodwin also starred in the hit dramas like Big Love and Once Upon a Time and in family films like Zootopia. No matter what she stars in, we can’t help but get a little starry-eyed whenever the cute actress appears on screen.
11. Leslie Mann
Leslie Mann has a way of capturing all of our hearts on screen– even if she’s complaining about being constipated in the film, This Is 40— now that’s saying something! We first noticed the quirky, beautiful Leslie Mann back in 1996 in The Cable Guy and in George of the Jungle in 1997. No matter what character Leslie is playing, we can’t help but be attracted to her sweet smile, adorable voice and seriously hilarious comedic chops. Similar to some of the other actresses on this list, Leslie is somewhat of a serial rom-com actress. Over the years, Leslie has starred in films like Big Daddy, Orange County, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, The Other Woman, How to Be Single– we could go on but it wouldn’t be fair to the other actresses on this list. One of the things we love most about Leslie Mann, is her effortless ability to talk about personal, embarrassing things that aren’t usually brought up on screen. Sure, Leslie is absolutely gorgeous, but it’s her bluntness and honesty that make her so sexy.
10. Renee Zellweger
Today, Renee Zellweger is an A-list actress that can be seen walking the red carpet at big movie premiers and glamorous award shows. One of Renee’s first rom-com appearances was in the cult-classic Empire Records, where she played the pill-popping promiscuous teen, Gina. Since then, Renee went on to star in rom-coms like Jerry McGuire with Tom Cruise, Me, Myself and Irene with Jim Carrey and in Nurse Betty. However, Renee really established herself as the rom-com queen when she played the hilarious self-conscious, man-crazy journalist in Bridget Jones’s Diary back in 2001. Even though Renee notoriously “frumped down” for the role of Bridget Jones, we couldn’t help but be charmed by her wit, wild imagination and dare we say, grandma panties.
9. Zooey Deschanel
If you’re more of an alternative, indy movie lover, quirky rom-coms featuring the beautiful actress, Zooey Deschanel are probably more your speed. While her character in hit rom-com, 500 Days of Summer may not have been the nicest in the world, we didn’t care– we were too captivated with her baby blue eyes and general sexiness. Over the years, Zooey has shown her pretty face in a handful of comedic films like Elf with Will Ferrell, Almost Famous and Our Idiot Brother. Her most recent claim to fame is her role as Jess on the hit sitcom, New Girl where she charms all of us with her silly, significantly awkward kookiness. Perhaps one of the sexiest things about Zooey Deschanel is the fact that she is successful in pretty much everything she does, even if it has nothing to do with acting. Her hit indie band She and Him, has a huge following and she even founded the popular website HelloGiggles, a site aimed at young women.
8. Isla Fisher
It’s safe to say if a film features the lovely Isla Fischer, it’s going to be an awesome movie. We first noticed Isla Fisher in the hilarious comedy, Wedding Crashers starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams. While her character in the film is well– completely insane– we found ourselves smitten with her long red hair and her intense smile. Isla continued to prove she is a rom-com princess in films like Definitely, Maybe, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bachelorette. Today, Isla Fisher is happily married to fellow comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen and they have three adorable children together. The fact that Isla balances family life with a successful acting career is probably her most attractive quality.
7. Julia Stiles
There’s no doubt that the nineties were the best time for rom-coms. Julia Stiles forever won our hearts in what is perhaps one of our favorite comedies, 10 Things I Hate About You, back in 1999. The late Heath Ledger starred alongside Stiles in the film, and the two actually dated for a short time after the movie wrapped (which we were totally jealous of by the way). Julia and Heath’s characters shared a passionate first kiss in the film– and it was actress Julia’s first on-screen kiss as well. As if we didn’t have a big enough crush on the actress, we fell even deeper for her after watching her dance her heart out in the hit rom-com, Save The Last Dance with Sean Patrick Thomas. Stiles has since proven her acting chops in hit films like the Jason Bourne franchise and The Omen. Even nearly twenty years after her first rom-com, we are still totally in love with Julia Stiles.
6. Rashida Jones
Nothing is sexier than a woman who can make you laugh– and that’s why we have a monster crush on actress, Rashida Jones. The Los Angeles born actress was destined for greatness, being that her dad is the one and only Quincy Jones. While Rashida Jones is well-known these days for her roles on extremely popular TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation; she’s really made an impression on the silver screen in some of our favorite romantic comedies like Our Idiot Brother. But we could never forget her adorably hilarious character on the hit comedy, I Love You Man, opposite Paul Rudd. Rashida has also shown us her incredible writing chops over the years in films, including the upcoming Toy Story 4. One of the sexiest things about Rashida Jones is the fact that she graduated from high school with honors and even made it to Harvard. Can’t say we aren’t impressed.
5. Alison Brie
It’s hard to tear yourself away from the TV when the timeless beauty, Alison Brie is on screen. Most of us first learned about Alison Brie when she appeared on hit drama, Mad Men back in 2007. However, over the years we’ve been pleasantly surprised to see her gorgeous face in some seriously great romantic comedies over the past few years. Her most notable role was in Sleeping with Other People, a film she starred in alongside Jason Sudeikis. The film follows Alison’s character as she falls for her old boyfriend and tries to figure out why she is somewhat of a serial-cheater. We saw Alison more recently in the cute rom-com, How To Be Single where she plays a somewhat desperate young woman who hangs out in a bar all the time dreaming about love. We hope to see a lot more of Alison Brie, especially since we’re still having major Mad Men withdrawals.
4. Elizabeth Banks
When it comes to hilarious actresses with just the right amount of sass, we can’t help but fantasize about the gorgeous Elizabeth Banks. Elizabeth Banks first caught our attention in the incredibly hilarious 40 Year Old Virgin, alongside Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd. In the film, Elizabeth plays a sexually charged bookstore employee who reveals her extreme wild- and somewhat freaky side. Elizabeth Banks also starred in the popular comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno back in 2008— and we’d be lying if we said she wasn’t adorably sexy trying to learn how to make a p*rno. Most recently, Elizabeth Banks has appeared in hit rom-com Pitch Perfect and in the Hunger Games franchise as the ridiculous Effie Trinket, proving herself sexy enough to pull off blue lipstick and seriously crazy fashion.
3. Kate Winslet
While Kate Winslet may be the queen of the red carpet, she’s proven time and time again that she may also be the queen of romantic comedies. Our favorite Kate Winslet rom-com has to be the critically acclaimed, The Holiday where she was in good company alongside Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law. Kate has the incredible ability to make us laugh while staying poised and effortlessly elegant no matter what role she’s playing. While it may not be in the rom-com category, Kate Winslet has starred in what very well may be the most cheesy romantic drama of all time, Titanic. We all fell madly in love with Kate from the moment her character Rose, stepped foot on the historically ill-fated ship. Kate Winslet is so beautiful, there’s no doubt in our minds that we’d sit in freezing water for her any day.
2. Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner has one of those smiles that is hard to forget about once you see it. Her sweet face and charming demeanor make for an ideal rom-com actress. Garner first made a splash in Hollywood when she won the leading role in the hit drama, Alias— and we definitely noticed. While Garner has appeared in a handful of enjoyable rom-coms, her best work can be seen in the fun 13 Going on 30. In the film we watch Garner as she plays a thirteen year old stuck in a thirty year old’s body, but she still managed to win our hearts and make us laugh. Jennifer also appeared in the extremely successful rom-com, Juno. Over the years, we’ve watched Jennifer Garner build her kids and her personal life, and focus on more family-friendly shows and films. Seeing that Jennifer is a great actress and an involved, loving mom makes us love her even more.
1. Natasha Lyonne
Unlike some of the sweeter roles many of the actresses in this list have played, Natasha Lyonne always brings a bit of edge to everything she does, and we love her for it. It’s no surprise that Natasha is a New York Native, as she always has somewhat of a bite to her characters and that’s what makes her so unique. We first noticed Natasha Lyonne in the epic teen comedy, American Pie as the well-informed friend, Jessica. We watched Natasha blossom as an actress in the satyrical rom-com But I’m A Cheerleader where she plays a young woman who comes to terms with her sexuality. Natasha’s quick wit and acting chops make her extremely sexy and always leave us wanting more. Luckily we get to see her in the hit Netflix show, Orange is the New Black as a mischievous inmate with a sensitive heart. Hopefully we’ll see her a lot in the highly anticipated upcoming season.