Top Ten Ways to Spot a Rom-Com Hero


I’ve been watching many a rom-com this holiday season in preparation for a post with Jen Heart on the best holiday romances currently on Netflix Instant. In all this viewing I’ve been carefully honing my ability to spot the heroes of these films–you know, The One versus The Others. Because there are definitely other potential love interests in many of these movies: current boyfriends, hot bosses, old crushes, cute neighborhood waiters. But I’ve gotten my ability to spot The One down to a love science. How do I tell? Here are ten clues to spot a rom-com hero:

1.) He fights with heroine, especially upon first (re)meeting. He calls her on her bullshit. He’s honest–annoyingly so sometimes. This makes a romance sizzle with sexual tension, and we all know that’s the fuel that makes romances run.

2.) He is somewhat unkept or casual. He’s got his shirt untucked, or the top buttons of his shirt undone. His hair’s a little messy. This all means that he’s casual and natural and not vain, or maybe just that he doesn’t own a comb.

3.) His attraction to the heroine is obvious. He loses the power of speech when he sees her. He looks longingly after her. He can’t stop fighting with her.

4.) He makes the heroine laugh. He can be goofy. He starts food fights. He drags her onto a carousel and then kisses her. He’s genuine fun–something the heroine’s often been missing in her life.

5.) He’s built–yet somehow we don’t usually see him working out?

6.) He’s manly (see unearned muscles, above) but also sensitive. He shows that he cares for his relatives and/or community. He pulls his weight at the family pizzeria.

7.) He’s often also a bit vulnerable, getting over a heartbreak or death of a spouse or the realization that he’s the “get-back guy” to make his ex-girlfriend’s other lovers jealous.

8.) He values people over profits. He’s not on his phone all the time. (Wait, is that realistic?)

9.) The heroine can tell him the truth–even when it’s embarrassing or ugly, even when she’s held him hostage over the holidays.

10.) He recognizes and expresses the heroine’s unique talents and gifts. And if that’s not the best, most romantic holiday present, I don’t know what is.


Romantic film icon created from Nuvola icons from Wikimedia Commons.



  1. Fun post!! Why is he always the one who has lost his comb??

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