26 Romcoms That Need Novelizations

Annika Barranti Klein

Staff Writer

Annika Barranti Klein likes books, obviously.   Twitter: @noirbettie

Hi. I am obsessed with the trailer for Destination Wedding. It combines all of my favorite things: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and grumpy people falling in love despite themselves. Also wine.

Destination Wedding is not based on a book, which got me thinking about novelizations. Sci-fi movies get them all the time—Alan Dean Foster built his career largely by writing them—so why don’t romcoms? Romance is the single largest genre in the book world. We demand romance novelizations of our favorite romcoms! 

Please note: mainstream American romcoms are super white, super straight, and super middle class. (Also note that several of the very best classic romcoms, including It Happened One Night and Bringing Up Baby, are already based on fiction, and so are not included. I have, however, included movies based on plays.)

The Philadelphia Story (based on a play)

Yes, this would make a great novel, and yes, I would read it, but what I really want is a sidequel about Mike and Elizabeth (neither of whom need stay white for the books).

The Shop Around the Corner/You’ve Got Mail (based on a play)

I mean, the movies are already about books, so this is just a natural fit.

How To Marry A Millionaire (based on two plays)

Female friendship is central to this movie, and I hope the novelization focuses on that rather than ignoring it for the romantic plots. Call it chick lit if you insist.

Roman Holiday

Oh no, we’ll have to change the ending for a HEA. Darn, darn, darn.


You think fucking fish people is new?


I hope the novelization is dual perspective so we can read the mannequin’s thoughts.


I was genuinely surprised to discover that Moonstruck was not based on a book! Gimme a New York Italian family drama with a love story and gimme it now.

Earth Girls Are Easy

I am not sure how Julie Brown’s character will translate to the page, but I am dying to find out.

When Harry Met Sally

This is my favorite romcom, but I would only want a novelization if we could go back in time to when Nora Ephron was alive and have her write it.

Pretty Woman

The novel needs to focus a lot more on class than the movie did, and for fuck’s sake make it less white, please.

The Cutting Edge


Strictly Ballroom

This could be such a great book, if written by someone who can convincingly write about dance and the cultural differences in the story.

Sleepless in Seattle

See above, re: Nora Ephron.

French Kiss

Please to make this a romantic thriller.

While You Were Sleeping

This movie is set in Chicago and has no people of color in it, so I fully expect the book to be all people of color.

One Fine Day

Single parent romcoms should be more of a thing, and so should romance novels about single parents.

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Listen, I really hope the book does what the movie was too chicken to do and makes this a romance between the two female leads.

As Good As It Gets

A man with OCD, a gay man, and a woman with a disabled child? Sign me up. (Maybe make it a thruple? I have not seen this movie but that seems good based on the plot description online.)

My Best Friend’s Wedding

First of all, please make their “if not married by” age OLDER THAN 28 WHAT THE HECK.

Keeping the Faith


The Brothers

This movie (another one I haven’t seen) is categorized as a romcom but sounds like it is really about the friendship between four black men. I can’t think of a better premise for a book.

The Wedding Planner

Do I like this movie? No. Do I think it would make an excellent novel? Very extremely yes.

Brown Sugar

This movie is a complex story about childhood friends who are both married to other people, and if you ask me a novel would give them much more room to explore their feelings than a 100-minute movie.

Sweet Home Alabama

Another movie I don’t care for that I think would make a great book.

13 Going on 30

Time travel! Romance! Dramatic suspense!


Disney would never allow it, but OH EM GEE would this be a delightful book.