A Brief History of Romantic Comedies

Christopher Orr shares scenes from The Philadelphia Story, Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally, and other classics.

In the March issue of The Atlantic, Christopher Orr explains why the golden age of boy-meets-girl comedy is over: "Among the most fundamental obligations of romantic comedy is that there must be an obstacle to nuptial bliss for the budding couple to overcome. And, put simply, such obstacles are getting harder and harder to come by."

In this video, Orr looks back at some of the most memorable scenes from classics like The Philadelphia Story and Annie Hall — reminders of a time before Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, when romantic comedies were driven by real tensions and real rewards.


Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is The Atlantic's digital features editor. More

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the staff full time in January 2006. Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor at Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel.

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