Many Hollywood A-listers started their careers in romantic movies:
1. Zooey Deschanel in 'Yes Man'
Zooey Deschanel seemed poised to become a star in her own right in the early 2000s, thanks to supporting parts in films like Almost Famous and Elf. In 2008, she co-starred in the rom-com Yes Man with Jim Carrey, playing the eccentric love interest of Jim's too-optimistic character.
She went on to star in the highly acclaimed TV series New Girl and the smash independent film 500 Days of Summer.
2. Matthew McConaughey in 'The Wedding Planner'
Dazed and Confused, a 1993 film in which Matthew McConaughey played a nasty stoner who preys on high school ladies, was the first picture that really placed him on the map. But it wasn't until 2001, when he was cast as Steve Edison in The Wedding Planner, that his star power became apparent.
The film follows Jennifer Lopez, who plays a wedding planner who falls in love with the groom-to-be (played by Matthew) of a couple whose wedding she is assisting in planning. Matthew went on to star in a couple more rom-coms before making the transition to dramatic films like The Lincoln Lawyer and Interstellar and gaining Hollywood royalty status in 2015 with an Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club.
3. Alicia Silverstone in 'Clueless'
Alicia Silverstone had a few minor acting gigs in the early 1990s before capturing director Amy Heckerling's eye in the music video for Aerosmith's "Cryin'."
Clueless, a narrative about an affluent Beverly Hills high schooler who helps make over the new girl in school, plays matchmaker to a grumpy and ugly pair of instructors, and finds love — and herself — along the way, Alicia stepped into the legendary role of ditzy but charming Cher Horowitz in 1995.
She went on to star in a number of critically acclaimed films, including Beauty Shop, before landing a role in Netflix's The Babysitter's Club.
4. Julia Stiles in '10 Things I Hate About You'
Julia Stiles made her big-screen debut in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You, starring Heath Ledger and Gabrielle Union, who were both young and promising at the time. Julia played Kat, a tough yet likable character in this classic bet-trope film that sealed her reputation as a promising young actor.
She landed big roles in films like Save the Last Dance and the Bourne series as a result of her success (alongside A-lister Matt Damon).
5. Meg Ryan in 'When Harry Met Sally'
Meg Ryan began her acting career in soap operas before landing a small part in Top Gun, a major Hollywood film. Then, in 1989, she starred with veteran comedian Billy Crystal in the legendary and insanely quotable film When Harry Met Sally.
Meg's career was launched by this Rob Reiner-directed romantic comedy about two friends who become lovers, which opened the path for her to become one of the best romantic comedy leading women of all time. In the films Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail, she teamed up with fellow rom-com icon Tom Hanks three times.
6. Tom Hanks in 'Splash!'
Tom Hanks, who is famed for his dramatic and humorous acting abilities, was a relatively unknown actor when he first began out in the 1980s, appearing in a variety of modest films and television episodes. He didn't catch the notice of famed filmmaker Ron Howard until he played a guest part on the TV sitcom Happy Days.
Splash!, featuring Tom and another relatively unknown actress at the time, Daryl Hannah, was released in 1984 and became an unexpected hit. The story revolved around a mermaid who escapes the sea (and grows legs), falls in love with Tom's character, and is pursued by scientists who want to use her for study.
This cemented Tom's reputation as a romantic and charming leading man, and he went on to feature in a string of hit films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump, and Captain Philips.
7. Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman'
Julia Roberts began her career as a supporting actress in films such as Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias in the late 1980s, before becoming known as America's sweetheart.
When her role as a charismatic sex worker falls in love with a wealthy businessman played by Richard Gere in the 1990 film Pretty Woman, she became an overnight star.
With appearances in important films including The Pelican Brief, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Notting Hill, Julia became one of the most popular and highest-paid actresses of the 1990s and 2000s, and she even won an Academy Award for Erin Brockovich in 2001.
8. Channing Tatum in 'She's the Man'
Channing Tatum was a dancer in Miami who worked odd jobs before becoming a well-known actor.
He was cast in Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" music video in 2000, and he went on to have steady modelling and acting work in advertisements after that.
He co-starred in She's the Man with Amanda Bynes, a romantic comedy about a high school girl who is cut from her soccer squad and chooses to pretend to be her brother at his high school and try out for their team.
Along the way, she develops feelings for Tatum's character, who plays her brother's roommate.
Tatum's acting and physical abilities were demonstrated, and he went on to star in a number of serious and romantic films, including Dear John, White House Down, and the movie Magic Mike
9. Josh Duhamel in 'Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!'
Josh Duhamel eventually received his big break after starring with Kate Bosworth and Topher Grace in the 2004 film Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!, which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. The plot revolved around a fake well-known actor whose publicist runs a nationwide contest to win a date with him in order to improve his playboy image.
He meets and falls in love with the small-town contest winner (Kate), and madness ensues. Josh's most well-known performances since then have been in the hugely popular Transformers films.
10. Anne Hathaway in 'The Princess Diaries'
Anne Hathaway was only 18 years old when she was cast as Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries, a film about a teenage girl who discovers she is the heir to the throne of the mythical kingdom of Genovia.
The video, which brilliantly captured Anne's cheerful attitude, was a huge hit with both kids and adults, propelling Anne to even greater popularity.
11. Sandra Bullock in 'While You Were Sleeping'
Sandra Bullock has always exuded charisma and likeability on screen. Her first major film role was in the 1994 film Speed, in which she co-starred with Keanu Reeves as a bus driver.
Her performance in the 1996 picture While You Were Sleeping, however, cemented her status as a megastar. She played a Chicago Transit Authority token collector who saves a stranger's life, but his family mistook her for his fiancée after he went into a coma.
The role cemented her place in Hollywood, and she went on to star in films like Practical Magic and Miss Congeniality, as well as winning an Oscar for The Blind Side in 2009.
12. Cameron Diaz in 'The Mask'
Cameron Diaz was barely 21 years old when she landed the leading lady role in Jim Carrey's 1994 film The Mask. She played his love interest, and after the film's release, she received regular roles in films such as There's Something About Mary, Charlie's Angels, The Holiday, and Shrek.
She declared her retirement from acting in 2014, and she has since led a quiet life with her husband, Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, and their daughter — but she is still a well-known and well-loved celebrity.
13. Kate Bosworth in 'Blue Crush'
Kate Bosworth relocated to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time after a brief role in the 2000 film Remember the Titans. In the 2002 film Blue Crush, she starred as a great surfer living in Hawaii who dreams to win a major surfing competition in order to fund a better life for herself.
Throughout the 2000s, this beauty became a household celebrity, starring in films such as Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! and Superman Returns. She's continued to act since then, but she's also been the face of a number of businesses, like Calvin Klein and Topshop, proving that she can be a successful actress as well as a fashion icon.
14. Jennifer Garner in '13 Going on 30'
Jennifer Garner had modest roles in films including Dude, Where's My Car? and Pearl Harbor in the late 1990s. She was then cast as the lead in J.J. Abrams' spy series Alias, following a guest role in the J.J. Abrams-produced TV drama Felicity.
She didn't become one of America's favorite actors until 2004, when she acted in the critically praised picture 13 Going on 30. Jennifer went on to star in a number of blockbuster films after the film's success, including Juno, Valentine's Day, and Dallas Buyers Club.
15. Hugh Grant in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'
While on the verge of abandoning acting, everyone's favorite charming and sardonic Englishman got his start in Hollywood at the age of 32, when he was handed the script for Four Weddings and a Funeral. In this picture about squandered opportunities and lousy love timing, he costarred alongside Southern darling Andie MacDowell, and it was a great success.
Hugh went on to perform in films including Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, About a Boy, and Love Actually, solidifying his reputation as one of the UK's most popular and gifted actors.
Romantic films have captured the hearts of moviegoers throughout history. Some are traditional love stories with sweeping plots, while others have a more contemporary feel; there is a rom-com for everyone.
Similarly, there are movie performers who cater to a wide range of preferences. We love the genre for its variety, and we want more. Enough with all those superhero movies – give us rom-coms.