Despite its concrete façade, New York City can be quite a romantic place. It’s no wonder that so many romcoms and love stories are set in the Big Apple. Thanks to dozens of New York-based movies, we can experience one of the world’s most idyllic cities from our living rooms. Here, some of the most famous scenes from romantic movies set in NYC.
When Harry Met Sally
Okay, so the most famous scene from When Harry Met Sally isn’t exactly “romantic.” But it put Katz’s Deli on the tourist map, and Meg Ryan’s big O impression gave rise to the saying, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Maybe I’ve become too jaded regarding romance, but I also think a huge pastrami sandwich from Katz’s is pretty damn sexy.
Sleepless in Seattle
Meg Ryan seems to be the poster child for NYC romcoms. Although this flick with Tom Hanks focuses on rainy Seattle, let’s not forget where the two actually meet in person – atop the Empire State Building.
Sex and the City
Carrie and Mr. Big’s fancy wedding may have failed, but – as we all predicted – they eventually end up together (again). For NYC fashionistas, I can’t think of anything more romantic than being proposed to inside an enormous walk-in closet with a pair of Manolos.
Even though Woody Allen and Diane Keaton’s characters don’t stay together, there’s something charming about their courtship – specifically, the scene on the bench when they’re getting to know each other. The subtitles are hilarious, and beyond relatable for anyone who has dated in the city.
The Way We Were
Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford’s final scene outside the Plaza Hotel is so iconic, even Carrie Bradshaw had to recreate it. “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell.”
West Side Story
I like to think of this classic musical as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. The dance numbers, the music, and the Upper West Side setting are elements any New York City fan can appreciate. And the scene when Tony and Maria sing “Somewhere” is perfection.
An Affair to Remember
This old school film, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, is one that may require a box of tissues while watching. A chance meeting aboard a ship heading to New York and an accident by the Empire State Building leads to a climactic and romance-filled final scene.
This is for you superhero junkies. While Spiderman is usually preoccupied with saving New York City from mutant-looking bad guys, this 2002 movie actually features a pretty iconic scene between Spiderman and Mary Jane – that upside-down kiss in the rain.
You’ve Got Mail
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks return for another one of their fabulous romantic comedies set in NYC. It’s hard not to love that final, sentimental scene at the 91st Street Garden in Riverside Park, complete with Brinkley the Golden Retriever.
Do you have a favorite romantic New York movie scene? Please share in the comments.
And a great documentary about the quintessential New York writer: Nora Ephron.