Boy Meets Girl:The Meet-Cute

I learned a certain unforgettable phrase from the romantic comedyThe Holiday. (Okay, before anyone jumps in and protests about some of the content of that movie … I agree. Some of the content: Highly objectionable. Moving on.)

Where was I? Oh, yes … the phrase. Arthur, played by Eli Wallach, is a renown scriptwriter from the Golden Age of Hollywood. He explains the idea of a “meet-cute” to Iris, Kate Winslet’s character — a broken-hearted magazine writer.

What is a meet-cute? It’s the whole boy-meets-girl (or girl-meets-boy) scenario. And in a meet-cute, the crazier, funnier, more unlikely the situation it is — and all the while you know this guy and gal are destined to fall in love — the better.

I’ve already thought of how my hero and heroine are going to meet in my next novel — and, yes, I think it’s a bit zany. Outside the box. They’re certainly not shaking hands and saying, “Hi my name is (fill in the blank). It’s so nice to meet you.”

Think about some of your favorite romance novels or movies. How did the characters meet? In While You Were Sleeping, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) meets Jack (Bill Pullman) at his parents’ house–but she’s supposedly engaged to his brother!

In Sabrina, Linus (Harrison Ford) meets Sabrina (Julia Ormond), the chauffer’s daughter, who is all grown up and quite beautiful–so much so that he doesn’t recognize her. But she recognizes him and enjoys baiting him about who she is and where she lives.

In Your Words: Do you have a favorite meet-cute from a movie or a novel? Why do you like it so much? Writing friends, do you have fun crafting the meet-cute in your novels?

Photo by John Skiba Photography
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17 Comments

  1. Jeanne
    October 6, 2011, 7:17 am   /  Reply

    Love today’s pic, Beth. 🙂 I haven’t thought a lot about how people have met in books/movies. Funny, eh? Now that I’m thinking. though, it seems like lots of meet-cute’s are set up so boy and girl are opposed to each other, at first. I like Pride and Prejudice’s meet-cute happens between Elizabeth and Darcy, and also the meet-cute in Letters to Juliet when Sophie meets her guy (can’t remember his name at the moment). He’s upset wtih her for writing a letter to his grandmother…..conflict abounds in their meeting.

    You’ve got me thinking on my next story and how girl will meet boy. Thanks!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 7:29 am   /  Reply

      Opposition–or conflict of some sort–does some to be a part of the meet-cute in a lot of romance novels and movies, Jeanne. It’ll be fun to hear what you decide for your next book! 😉

      • December 16, 2011, 3:27 am   /  Reply

        You have more uesful info than the British had colonies pre-WWII.

  2. October 6, 2011, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    I remember the scene in that movie where “meet-cute” is described. The romance writer in me hung on every word. =)

    I like cute meets, but I also like poignant ones. The scene in Love Comes Softly where humble, gentle Clark Davis meets grieving Marty over her husband’s grave in the pouring rain is one of my favorites. So touching. Another is the scene in The Magic of Ordinary Days where Ray meets his bride of convenience, Livvy. I could feel the awkwardness, the shyness, the fears and doubts and was drawn into the story immediately.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      OH, Keli, you just described two of my favorite romantic meetings. Clark rescues Livvy–so touching. And The Magic of Ordinary Days–one of my all-time favorite movies. I even manage to mention it in my debut novel! 🙂 The interaction between the hero and heroine is stellar and their meeting is, as you say, poignant.

  3. October 6, 2011, 9:19 am   /  Reply

    Hmm, how about my own “meet-cute”? It’s probably the weirdest I’ve ever heard. My hubby and I met for the first time while learning to butcher chickens. At least something romantic came out of that! 🙂 For us, that is, not the chickens.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 9:33 am   /  Reply

      You’re right, Sheri! That’s gonna’ be a hard “meet-cute” … um, “meet-weird?” … it’s gonna be a hard one to top!
      🙂

  4. October 6, 2011, 9:35 am   /  Reply

    Haven’t seen that movie but recognize your models–great photography!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 9:40 am   /  Reply

      I bet you do, Dee! Talking romance when my daughter just got married makes it easy to find photos for my blogs.
      ;o)

  5. October 6, 2011, 10:59 am   /  Reply

    Love the photo of Nate and KB. Precious.

    As soon as I read your title in my inbox, I thought of The Holiday, which I loved, despite the objectionable content.

    Another favorite meet-cute is in the movie, The Back Up Plan, when Zoe meets Stan–the man of her dreams–in a taxi on the same day she took her future into her own hands since she was tired of waiting for Mr. Right to show up.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 2:02 pm   /  Reply

      I haven’t seen The Back Up Plan yet, Lisa. I need to put that in my To Be Watched pile!

  6. October 6, 2011, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, love this. And one of my very favorites…when Maria meets Captain Von Trapp in Sound of Music. Pretty much everything about their first meeting is awkward and stilted…he finds her twirling in the grand hall, she calls him out on whistling for his kids, he asks, “Were you this much trouble at the abbey?” She answers, “Oh, much more, sir.”
    Oh, and he totally disses her dress. Love it…There’s nothing crazy and exciting about it, it’s just delightfully awful. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 2:03 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, Melissa! Such a fun example of a could-it-get-any-worse meet-cute!
      🙂

  7. October 6, 2011, 3:13 pm   /  Reply

    I like my own persona meet-cute. Hubby was the delivery guy. I was the receptionist. And our first real conversation was when we were riding alone in the elevator together. That’s when he asked me out. 🙂

    BTW – I LOVE the look of your blog!!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 6, 2011, 3:26 pm   /  Reply

      Katie, I like that meet-cute too! I may have to use that one day … in a book, I mean! ;o) I assume there were a lot of meaningful glances exchanged before the conversation in the elevator.
      Thanks … I like my new website and blog too. My web guru, Stacy, is brilliant!

  8. Romance and Reality: Deconstructing Happily Ever After, by Beth K. Vogt | Karen S. Elliott's Blog
    February 19, 2012, 4:47 am   /  Reply

    […] – This conjunction joins the sentence with every prior scene in the book. The meet-cute. Obstacles. Falling in love. We’re past all the fun and games and focusing on the […]

  9. June 7, 2012, 12:02 am   /  Reply

    […] blogged about the term  “Meet-Cute” back in October 2011. “Meet-cute” is a phrase from the romantic comedy “The […]

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