Whether you love or hate them, romance movies are some of the most popular of all time. Whether they’re classically British, with Hugh Grant stumbling over some flirtatious remarks, or more modern, they have a lot of appeal. Everyone knows the major stars of the genre, but fewer people know about the directors that bring these movies to life. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of the best romance movie directors of all time.
7 Sharon Maguire
The director behind Bridget Jones’ Diary, Sharon Maguire is an icon of the romance genre. She went on to direct the follow-up, Bridget Jones’ Babyand is currently directing the film adaptation of longbourna retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Maguire was said to be the inspiration behind one of the Bridget Jones franchise’s charactersr, Shazzer.
6 Marc Lawrence
Best known for his collaborations with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock, Marc Lawrence has directed many romantic favorites. from Two Weeks’ Notice to The Rewrite, Lawrence has a knack for directing films with love at the core. Most recently, he wrote and directed holiday rom-com Noelle for Disney+ in 2019.
5 Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis is perhaps better known for his writing credits — these include beloved films like Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’ Diary. However, his directing also shines. He is the director behind bizarre sci-fi infused romance About Time, a certified tearjerker that explores what love actually means. Curtis is a master of romance with a distinctively British lens attached and has had a huge hand in creating some of the most loved stories that have ever been brought to the silver screen.
4 Nancy Meyers
Nancy Meyers has directed multiple genre-defining films over her career, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that she made the list. From heartfelt holiday rom-com The Holiday to light-hearted family flicks such as The Parent Trap, Meyers has found her niche and stuck to it well. She redirects the male gaze to instead place focus on the middle-aged women that are usually at the heart of the films she directs, which is something not often seen in the romance genre. Her most recent credit is a short follow-up to the original two Father of the Bride movies.
3 Howard Deutch
Howard Deutch is an illustrious director. He’s done a bit of everything, from episodes of Young Sheldon to a Billy Idol music video in the 80s, but it’s his romance movies that shine clear from the rest. He’s the director behind 1986 teen rom-com Pretty in Pinkand he followed that up with Some Kind of Wonderful. More recently, he directed My Best Friend’s Girland outside the romance genre, he’s going to be directing The Miller Boys, a drama about a group of friends. Deutch has directed some of the most iconic romance movies of all time, and is a credit to the genre.
2 Jon M. Chu
Jon M. Chu has directed a wide range of films, with some of his earliest professional credits being for documentaries and TV shows. More recently though, Chu has become a giant of the romance genre, with his most popular film to date being the stunning 2018 rom-com Crazy Rich Asians. His knack for getting to the heart of a story makes his films a real joy to watch, especially in this genre, which is really all about the heart. In the next few years, he’s slated to be a very busy man, being attached to the adaptation of hit Broadway musical Wickedwhich will be split into two parts, and two more installations of the Crazy Rich Asians story.
1 Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron was one of the most acclaimed women directors in the history of the industry when she was alive, and for good reason. Her best movies include Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mailand Julie and Julia. These romance films are ones that shaped the genre and put women at the forefront when they would have previously been sidelined. Alongside her directing, she also wrote some incredibly famous romance movies, including When Harry Met Sally. If anyone understood the key to the romance genre, it was Ephron.