6 Things You’ll Find In Every Rom-Com Apartment

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Kath Nash)

There’s no denying it. We all watch romantic comedies for one reason and one reason alone—escapism. Sure, maybe you and your S.O. actually did have a meet-cute, or perhaps you really do have a best friend whose only purpose in life seems to be helping you find yourself. We’d even believe you once had the sudden realization that your glasses were the only thing holding you back from being the hottest babe in town, BUT if you said you were living alone in an exorbitantly priced big city loft on a modest salary… well then, you’d just be a liar. Rom-coms are notorious for their ambiguously creative protagonists with unattainable dream apartments—that we can’t help but picture ourselves in. Come along with us as we escape our cramped quarters and daydream about our favorite lofty rom-com apartment tropes.

1. Big houses/apartments for single people with vague jobs

This is the foundation on which most rom-com living situations are based. Clever writers graciously take into consideration the intelligence of the viewer by taking a job that is likely to have a modest salary and making it very vague. This way, we are more easily able to suspend our disbelief (the ultimate goal). For instance, Kate Winslet’s character in “The Holiday” is a wedding column writer for U.K.’s The Daily Telegraph. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t pay enough to afford an amazing two-story cottage and one’s own office. Disbelief successfully suspended.

2. Huge closets

I can’t help but think the massive rom-com closet came about mostly due to filming logistics. Any romantic story worth telling obviously involves a makeover, or a date night wardrobe sequence at best. But most of us can barely fit an arm in our closets, let alone an entire film crew, thus the master bedroom-sized rom-com closet was born. As a young person seeing Jennifer Garner’s closet in “13 Going on 30” for the first time, I thought humongous closets were the norm for adults over the age of 30, and lying to our youth (and escapism, and suspension of disbelief) is what rom-coms are all about.

3. Giant bathrooms

Are you noticing a trend here? A girl needs space to live that rom-com life and her bathroom is no exception. It doesn’t even have to be her own bathroom, so long as she can have a proper soak à la Vivian Ward in “Pretty Woman,” she can take on the world (okay, this one is kind of true IRL).

4. Multiple (good, clean) pillows owned by single straight men

We get it. The point of a rom-com is to provide a fictional place for your alternate self to exist freely without real-life stuff getting in the way. Sometimes that real-life stuff is as simple and petty as your BF not having a good pillow for you to sleep on. Let’s be honest, he probably doesn’t have a good pillow for himself to sleep on (where are all these real-life single dudes finding these flat, hard, pillow-shaped objects to stuff in their pillowcases?). Ryan Gosling’s character in “Crazy, Stupid Love” has a bounty of big, ample, firm-yet-supple throw pillows on his plush living room sofa and everyone knows what they say about a man’s throw pillows…

5. Friendly meddling neighbors

In so many rom-coms, the person next door is the perfect neighbor: one-dimensional, good-intentioned, and cares so much about you that they can’t help but meddle from time to time. My personal favorite is Kate’s neighbor in “12 Dates of Christmas.” On the surface, she’s just a kind, older woman who is always there to bake you a delicious cherry chip loaf when you’re having a bad day, but underneath she is just a kind, older woman who is always there to bake you a delicious cherry chip loaf when you’re having a bad day.

6. Great windows

Whether you’re climbing out to play “Moon River” on your guitar (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), or using the sun’s golden rays to get dressed by pigeons (“Enchanted”), large windows are a must. These are usually found in rom-coms that take place in a big city (usually NYC), where sweeping skylines and morning-after sunshine are a rite of passage. Often times, these expansive views are from upper floors (but not too high, as to allow for late night taps from a rock below, or a boombox-blasting Peter Gabriel).

We’ll stop here, but we know there are dozens more rom-com apartment tropes just waiting to fuel our escapist fantasies. What are your favorite unrealistic rom-com apartment features?