Romantic films exist to move us with their compelling narrative. While they all strive to make us smile, others go a step farther and include subtle references in plain sight. And, despite the fact that these subtleties are usually minor, many individuals overlook them.
We put together this collection of romance films with some subtle on-screen references that we missed the first time we saw them.
1. Cake toppers in The Wedding Singer
The bridal doll on Robbie and Linda’s wedding cake happens to be an allusion to Julia, because they have a striking likeness and she is the woman Robbie chooses to marry at the end of the movie. As a result, it functions as a kind of foreshadowing of what would happen later in the film. Of course, you’d have no idea the first time you saw it!
2. An interesting cameo appearance in Titanic
Source: © Titanic / Paramount
We observe a man walking on the deck with his wife in one of Titanic’s scenes. Edward Kamuda, a historian who has devoted most of his life to conserving the historical values of the Titanic, is the guy in question. When James Cameron started working on the movie, Kamuda aided him as a historical consultant.
3. Costumes are adapted to the development of the characters in 13 Going on 30
The protagonist is in her room at the start of the movie. She’s showing her mother a magazine of stuff that 30-year-old women own, and we can see a photo of a large walk-in closet in one of the shots, which is also illustrating a fashion feature in the magazine. When the heroine reaches the age of 30, we notice the identical closet in her apartment, leading us to believe that the protagonist has been following her dreams since she was a youth.
4. The cake at the end of the film refers to a painting by Chagall that the main characters like in Notting Hill.
If you haven’t seen Notting Hill, you should probably stop reading now. If you’ve watched it, however, you’ll recall that at the end of the film, during the wedding, we see a goat with a violin on the cake. The Bride, a picture by Marc Chagall, inspired this somewhat unusual design. “Happiness isn’t happiness without a violin-playing goat,” the actress says, and we can see that they decided to have a cake with the goat as a homage to that sentence at the end of the movie.
5. The film that refers to the plot in Love Actually
In one scene, Mark is shown with a DVD of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic thriller Rear Window. While he’s searching for something, it’s right there on the shelf. The film by Alfred Hitchcock is about a man who lives his life through the lens of his camera. Because a character in Love Actually did the same thing, this type of mentioning was deployed.
6. A reference to another film by the same director in Friends with Benefits
Mila Kunis is seen carrying a sign at the airport in the film Friends with Benefits. She’s holding it up to welcome Justin Timberlake, and we can clearly see the name “O. Penderghast” printed on the sign in the still. While the name may appear weird, it is based on Olive Penderghast, a character portrayed by Emma Stone in the film Easy A. This allusion was originally included because both films were directed by Will Gluck.
7. The name of the hospital in 50 First Dates is a reference to another movie.
The psychiatric hospital Lucy visits as she tries to figure out what occurred to her shares the same name as Chris Farley’s character in Tommy Boy, Tommy Boy Callahan. Peter Segal, who directed both films, most likely chose to make a reference to the 1995 feature.
8. The use of blue in (500) Days of Summer was inspired by Zooey Deschanel’s eyes.
Several moments in (500) Days of Summer show the titular character wearing blue dresses, shirts, and skirts. You can also notice that the color blue appears frequently throughout the film as a type of secret code. This is far from a coincidental occurrence, because the director and producers discovered that highlighting actress Zooey Deschanel’s blue eyes was the most successful strategy.
9. Nigel entering Bogey’s house in 10 Things I Hate About You
When Bogey is hosting a dull meeting at his house and hears a knock on the door, he says to himself, “That must be Nigel with the brie,” and when he answers the door, a large group of young men enters, but sure enough, Nigel with a plate of brie cheese is the first one to enter.
10. The T-shirt with Paul Rudd’s face in 40 Year Old Virgin
Cal (Seth Rogen) and David (Paul Rudd) are shown playing computer games at Paul Rudd’s house in this great comedic film. There is, however, a delightful element that few people have noticed. Paul Rudd is wearing a T-shirt with an image of his face on it, with the only difference being that the actor has a beard in the picture. It’s unclear who or what inspired this idea, but it’s surely amusing.
11. The reference to Saturday Night Live in the movie, Hitch
When Hitch arrives to meet Albert and opens his file, you can read that one of his favorite books is I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, written by Stuart Smalley, who is a character created by a comedian from the famous show Saturday Night Live. The book actually went on sale and the main theme is self-help in personal relationships, friendships, etc., which could definitely come in handy for the characters in the movie.
12. The server from Pretty Woman also appears in The Princess Diaries 2.
In the film Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts (Vivian) and Richard Gere have an iconic scene where they go to lunch at a very posh restaurant (Edward). As you may recall, Vivian is fed snails, a delicacy she has never encountered before. The snail shoots through the air as she tries to grab one of them, and a server catches it. To lessen the embarrassment of the mistake, he says, “It happens all the time.”
When Mia is receiving guests in The Princess Diaries 2, a bracelet flies off her wrist, and the person who catches it is the same actor who portrayed the server in Pretty Woman. He is, however, a royal server this time. What remained constant was his phrase, which was, “It occurs all the time.” Because Garry Marshall directed both films, this great Easter egg was incorporated.
What Hollywood films do you know that are related to each other?