In years past, the biggest stars in Hollywood were romantic comedy stars: Katharine Hepburn. Cary Grant. Audrey Hepburn. Barbra Streisand. Tom Hanks. Meryl Streep. Julia Roberts—the list goes on. Yet somewhere along the way, we stopped respecting the rom-com, so movie stars stopped showing up for them. A generation of talented young actors has passed over the genre entirely, skipping straight to serious dramas, superhero fare, or even the industry’s old scapegoat, television.
Now it feels like the romantic comedy is finally enjoying a renaissance, with many of the old players (like Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, and Sandra Bullock) joining the resurgence. The titles of Next King and Queen of the Rom-Com are wide open, however, and The A.V. Club has some ideas about who should step up and take the crown. Click through to see our nominees for the next big rom-com stars.