10 Things I Hate About You
In this 1999 teen rom-com inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Columbia College alumna Julia Stiles ’05CC plays Katarina “Kat” Stratford, a high-school outcast who falls for a dreamy bad boy played by Heath Ledger. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who went on to attend Columbia at the same time as Stiles but didn’t graduate, stars as Cameron James, a shy transfer student trying to woo Kat’s younger sister.
A Touch of Class
This 1973 British comedy, about an American married man and an English divorcée who meet in a taxi and embark on a casual fling — only to fall madly in love — stars George Segal ’55CC and Glenda Jackson. Segal, who was awarded a Golden Globe for his performance, later found success in television series like Just Shoot Me! and The Goldbergs.
The soundtrack of Mike Nichols’ iconic 1967 dramady, about a recent college graduate who begins an affair with a seductive older woman, features five songs by folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, including the mega-hits “Mrs. Robinson” and “The Sound of Silence.” Singer Art Garfunkel ’65CC, who earned a bachelor’s degree in art history at Columbia two years before The Graduate’s release, later appeared as an actor in Nichols’ 1971 romantic drama Carnal Knowledge.
This 2005 rom-com stars Will Smith as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a professional dating coach who struggles with his own romantic life. A flashback scene of Hitch’s college years takes place outside Low Library and features Columbia Law School alumna Robinne Lee ’00LAW as a former love interest.
Sidney Buchman 1923CC cowrote the screenplay for Holiday, a 1938 screwball comedy about a man who meets the wealthy family of his fiancé — and ends up falling for her sister. Buchman, who worked on dozens of Hollywood scripts throughout his decades-long career and once served as president of the Screen Writers Guild of America, later won a 1942 Oscar for cowriting the rom-com Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
Kate & Leopold
In this romantic fantasy film cowritten and directed by James Mangold ’99SOA, Hugh Jackman plays Leopold, a fallen aristocrat from nineteenth-century England. After accidentally time-traveling to the year 2001, he begins an unlikely romance with his neighbor, an advertising professional played by Meg Ryan. Kate & Leopold marked the first and last frothy rom-com by Mangold, who went on to focus on weightier fare like Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and Ford v Ferrari.
Meet the Parents
Prolific character actor James Rebhorn ’72SOA costarred in Meet the Parents, a 2000 comedy about a nurse who gets caught up in a marathon of humiliating events while visiting his girlfriend’s family. Rebhorn, who received his acting training at Columbia, plays Larry Banks, a family friend and plastic surgeon.
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Barbra Streisand directed, produced, and starred in The Mirror Has Two Faces, a 1996 romantic dramady about two middle-aged Columbia professors who meet via a personals ad. The movie, which was filmed on campus, features a supporting performance from George Segal ’55CC, who had previously starred opposite Streisand in the 1970 rom-com The Owl and the Pussycat.
Oklahoma!, the first musical from composer-songwriter duo Richard Rodgers ’54HON and Oscar Hammerstein 1916CC, ’54HON, was adapted into a 1955 film with a screenplay cowritten by William Ludwig ’32CC, ’34LAW. The film, set in pre-statehood Oklahoma, stars Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones as a cowboy and country girl who find love among prairies and cornfields.
The Philadelphia Story
Before turning to directing, Joseph Mankiewicz ’28CC produced a number of Hollywood films including The Philadelphia Story, the classic 1940 rom-com about a socialite who finds herself in an awkward love triangle with her ex-husband and a tabloid reporter.
The Princess Bride
Best known for his Oscar-winning screenplays for All the President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, William Goldman ’56GSAS also wrote the 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride. The romantic fantasy comedy, adapted from Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name, follows the adventures of a swashbuckling hero as he rescues and reunites with a doomed princess.
Some Like It Hot
Screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond ’41CC collaborated with filmmaker Billy Wilder on a string of classic comedies, including The Apartment and Love in the Afternoon. Their 1959 rom-com Some Like It Hot, set during Prohibition, stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as jazz musicians who disguise themselves as women to hide from the mob. Marilyn Monroe plays a sultry singer and ukulele player who captures the attention of both men.
Something’s Gotta Give
In this 2003 rom-com about the struggles of romantic age gaps, former Columbia College history major Amanda Peet ’94CC costars as Marin Klein, an art auctioneer dating a much older man. (Spoiler: they don’t end up together.)
There’s Something About Mary
One of the most popular comedies of the 1990s, There’s Something About Mary follows a love triangle between a magazine writer, his former high-school crush, and the private investigator he hires to find her. Peter Farrelly ’86SOA cowrote and codirected the film with his brother, Bobby Farrelly, four years after the duo released their breakthrough 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber.