Author Guest Posts, Pop Culture Recaps

10 Memorable Movie Meetings Meet-cute? Meet-ugly? Destined by fate? Romance writer Alyssa J. Montgomery tells us ten of her all-time favourite movie first-meetings.


10 Memorable Movie Meetings Meet-cute? Meet-ugly? Destined by fate? Romance writer Alyssa J. Montgomery tells us ten of her all-time favourite movie first-meetings.

Alyssa J. Montgomery celebrates the release of her latest book Desiring Her Desert Prince by reminiscing about her favorite rom-com meet-cutes.

I’d guess that most often in real life, people meet their partners through mutual friends or family members, at work or through a sport or hobby.

In my upcoming book, Desiring Her Desert Prince, Lauren is fleeing from an extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation, but ultimately it’s an equally threatening force of nature that causes her to meet Sharif. Without nature’s intervention, their paths might never have crossed.

Dante’s Peak is one movie where a force of nature brings the hero and heroine together and results in their discovery that they’re soul mates. I can’t think of ten other movies where a force of nature has caused the characters to veer off their path. Instead, here is my list of ten movies where I’ve really enjoyed the first meeting of the between the main characters:

The Wedding Planner (directed by Adam Shankman, 2001)

One of the most dramatic meetings of all time must surely be when Steve (Matthew McConaughey) heroically rescues Mary (Jennifer Lopez). With the heel of her designer shoe stuck in the manhole in the street , Mary’s situation goes from bad to worse as a taxi collides with a dumpster and sends it speeding towards her.  Steve sums up the situation quickly and launches himself at Mary, saving her without a second to spare.  She has a little difficulty breathing with Steve lying on top of her after the rescue. (Who wouldn’t be after being bowled over by Matthew McConaughey?)

What a way to meet!

Romancing the Stone (directed by Robert Zemeckis, 1984)

As a romance author, I can’t go past this movie classic. Successful romance author Joan (Kathleen Turner) meets Jack T Colton (Michael Douglas). Talk about an amazing turn of events that leads to this meeting … the receipt of a letter and map from her recently murdered brother-in-law; a shocking phone call from her terrified sister who has been kidnapped and instructions to head to Colombia to exchange the map for her sister’s life. As if that wasn’t enough, we then see Joan tricked into boarding the wrong bus, and said bus crashing into Jack’s Land Rover.  Initial antagonism turns to passion in a fabulous dance scene, but the plot turns and twists still make the viewer wonder whether they’ll reach their HEA.

Ever After (directed by Andy Tennant, 1998)

A medieval fairytale retold with a modern twist. Deciding to resist his father’s betrothal decree, Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) runs away. With the Royal Guards in pursuit, Henry’s horse slips a shoe so, Henry steals a horse from Danielle (Drew Barrymore).

Danielle sees Henry stealing the horse and throws apples at him, causing him to topple off the horse. She continues to pelt him with apples and abuse him until he throws back his hooded cloak and she realises she’s assaulted the prince! 

Well, of course, Henry is unused to such treatment and more than a bit flummoxed by the spirited Danielle. Although Danielle cringes when she realises he’s no common thief, she certainly captured his attention.  

This is my favourite Cinderella movie and I love the awkward hilarity of their first meeting.

Pretty Woman (directed by Garry Marshall, 1990)

Businessman Edward (Richard Gere) leaves a party and unintentionally finds himself in a red-light district on Hollywood Boulevarde. Edward asks working girl, Vivian (Julia Roberts), for directions and ends up paying her to drive him back to his hotel because he’s struggling to operate the gears of the manual Lotus Esprit sports car he ‘borrowed’ from his lawyer.  

This chance meeting leads to one of the most watched and loved romances, one which catapulted Julia Roberts to superstardom. It’s bound to remain a classic.

Out of Sight (directed by Steven Soderbergh, 1998)

Surely this movie must take the award for one of the least clichéd first meetings?

Who would dream up the scenario where bank Robber Jack (George Clooney) and U.S. Marshal Karen (Jennifer Lopez) meet in a car boot as they are both being whisked away from prison? (On second thoughts, perhaps a lot of women dream of being locked up in such close confines with George Clooney!)

 An unlikely scenario? I’d say so—particularly considering the lean likelihood of a bank robber being as debonair as George Clooney.

An original scenario? Totally!

Notting Hill (directed by Roger Michell, 1999)

A famous actress, Anna (Julia Roberts) meets Will (Hugh Grant) at his bookshop. As charming a chance encounter as it is, fate has to lend this couple a hand and make them bump into each other again – this time quite literally. Will walks around the corner and spills orange juice all over Anna. In the bumbling manner that has been perfected by Hugh Grant, he very chivalrously invites Anna to change at his place … I’d be surprised if you don’t know the rest.

Maid in Manhattan (directed by Wayne Wang, 2002)

Marisa (Jennifer Lopez) is a hotel maid and mother of a ten-year-old boy, Ty, who befriends a senatorial candidate, Christopher (Ralph Fiennes) who is a guest at the hotel. Marisa is trying on a hotel guest’s discarded designer clothes when her son brings Christopher (Ralph Fiennes) to introduce her to him. Christopher assumes Marisa is the lady who is booked into that room and the deception snowballs.

Serendipity (directed by Peter Chelsom, 2001)

Shopping at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) both reach for the same pair of gloves. Rather than exchanging heated words, they end up going out and eating icecream together. Both of them are involved with someone else when this chance meeting takes place, but, it was meant to be…

Before Sunrise (directed by Richard Linklater, 1995)

Had it not been for a couple arguing incessantly, Celine (Julie Delpy) would never have changed seats on the Eurail train. She would never have met Jesse (Ethan Hawke) who had experienced his own set of unforeseen circumstances leading up to him boarding the train in the first place.

Escaping one heated argument, Celine’s chance meeting with Jesse ends up producing heat of an entirely different kind.

The Notebook (directed by Nick Cassavetes, 2004)

Noah (Ryan Gosling) took one look at Allie (Rachel McAdams) as she was riding the dodgem cars at the local fair, and he fell head over heels for her. 

Nothing unusual about a love-at-first-sight meeting, right?

He asked her for a date but she declined. Did this deter him? Absolutely not. He was so smitten, he jumped onto a moving Ferris wheel and hung from the struts until she agreed she’d go out with him!

This is one of Nicholas Sparks’s typically tear-jerking movies, but in this case it features the Ferris wheel scene before we go on the emotional roller coaster.

Which movies—that involve a chance meeting—are your favourite?

Do any of the ones I’ve mentioned make your list?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alyssa J. Montgomery

USA Today bestselling author Alyssa J. Montgomery lives with her husband and three children on a five-acre property nestled into a mountain range south of Sydney, Australia, and enjoys having the space for gardens, a dog, horses, goats and chickens. Visits from the native wildlife (echidnas, wallabies and a variety of native birds) are particularly welcome … although visits from native wildlife with scales and fangs aren’t met with quite as much enthusiasm!

She continues to work in her private practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Previously she’s done a stint with Qantas Airways as an international flight attendant, completed her Master of Science degree, and has also been a professional pianist.

Don’t miss Alyssa’s latest book Desiring Her Desert Prince

Dr Lauren Stephens is volunteering in Karesh when she uncovers a crime and is forced to flee for her life. When a huge sandstorm leaves her stranded in the middle of the desert, a handsome stranger comes to her rescue, taking her to his luxurious camp. As they shelter there, the attraction between career-focused Lauren and the man she assumes is a simple Bedouin herder becomes undeniable.

Crown Prince Sharif has come to this remote camp to escape from the pressure to find a suitable wife before his 30th birthday – a prerequisite for inheriting the throne. He rescues Lauren out of traditional Kareshian hospitality, but is soon captivated by her beauty and intelligence – and the fact that she is falling for him rather than his title.

As they give in to their passion, they know that their affair will be brief. But when a threat against his father’s rule reunites them, will they find a way to make a future together?

Get the book here

Add it to your Goodreads

Must reads