What (some) Thriller Writers Consider Romantic Comedies

by | Sep 19, 2018 | On writing | 10 comments

By Jamie Freveletti

The Ripped Bodice bookstore recently asked people to list their top five romantic comedies. Now, I LOVE romantic comedies. I find them to be the best way to spend a Friday night. I put on some sweats and settle in for a happy night watching two people banter, argue and, of course, fall in love. As I was creating my list, I realized that some of the stories I wanted to list included two people solving a problem, puzzle, or crime. So, I decided to create a list of these. I’ll try to to reveal any spoilers as I write this, but this may happen inadvertently, so be warned.

The first is shown above. What a classic crime caper. Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole team up to steal a famous piece of sculpture from a museum. She needs a thief to do the job, and he seems to fit the role perfectly. The banter is excellent, and the setting beyond elegant. Even down to the stunning Jaguar E-Type convertible that O’Toole drives. There doesn’t seem to be a more gorgeous couple in the world of film.


Well, until this couple: This scene is from Charade. Another one of my all time favorite movies. Charade manages to blend mystery, thriller, comedy and romance into one. And the dialogue is excellent. (In this scene Hepburn asks, “How do you shave in there?)” Great line. And the mystery is engrossing and the final reveal outstanding. If you haven’t seen this movie you should. Wonderful.

To Catch A Thief

And no list would be complete without this final movie. Again, one of the most handsome men of his time with an equally stunning woman.

To Catch A Thief is far from a comedy, but it does have some priceless moments. That actress next to Grace Kelly is Jessie Royce Landis. Born in Chicago, this role as Grace Kelly’s mom boosted her career, and she would go on to play Cary Grant’s mother in North By Northwest (despite being only a few years older than him). I love her acting, and she elevates every scene she’s in while remaining believable. Once again the setting in this movie is elegant and every gown is more stunning than the last. Perhaps a good caper movie with romantic elements requires an elegant setting so that we can be transported to a different place.

Kind of interesting that the movies I cite are all classics. But I can’t recall a more current movie that includes lighter romantic moments coupled with crime solving. If you have some suggestions, please leave a comment below. And may your Friday movie nights be happy!

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Robin Burcell

    I adore rom-coms, and of course, mystery rom-coms. The classics are classics for a reason. (Cary Grant! swoon!) I think Alfred Hitchcock was a master, intwining romance and suspense. I'm sure I'll think of something modern–tomorrow. But I do know that the best current-day movies do just that, blend in romance with the suspense. Those movies with a love interest always do a bit better than straight up mystery or action/adventure. What's the point if the world is about to end if the guy doesn't get the girl — or the girl the guy? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  2. Jamie Freveletti

    Yes, I agree that those that blend a love interest with the thriller aspect do well. I'm thinking of The Bourne Identity here. And yes, you're right, why save the world if there will be no love in it? Hitchcock always understood that, didn't he?

  3. Karna Bodman

    I'm definitely in the "love rom-com-movie" crowd! In addition to your favorites, Jamie, how about adding the Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz film, "Knight and Day." Also, think back to all of the great James Bond thriller — with James fighting against the forces of Dr. No – he always has a lovely "accomplice" joining the fray and then we see them ending up in a boat, on an island, or in another romantic spot to revel on their accomplishments (among other things). Great post, Jamie – now I'd like to see what other film are suggested.

  4. Lisa Black

    I don’t usually watch any movie that doesn’t have a murder in it, but I make exceptions for rom coms if they’re particularly funny or otherwise interesting—Legally Blonde, 27 Dresses. My favorite all time is a good example of a romantic thriller—The Mummy with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser.

  5. Unknown

    Does The Thomas Crowne Affair count (both versions)?

  6. Jamie Freveletti

    YES! I just saw the version with Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo on cable. Love it and that reveal at the end is also outstanding.

  7. Jamie Freveletti

    I own that DVD and love it as well!

  8. Chris Goff

    KNIGHT AND DAY came to mind for me, also. And all of the Indiana Jones movies sort of fall into this Rom Com/Thriller category. And what about SAHARA with Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz? I know Cussler didn't care for the movie, but I loved it! FOOLS GOLD with McConaughey and Kate Hudson, BIRD ON A WIRE with Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn…

  9. August S.C.T.

    I'm verrry late to the game (I'm finally getting to catch up on fabulous RWW blog posts after a month of minimal internet access) but wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post, Jamie! How to Steal a Million is one of my all-time favorites. It's not a caper, but another Audrey-Hepburn-in-Paris romantic comedy that I suspect Rogues and Rogue readers might especially enjoy is Paris When It Sizzles. It's a real writer's movie — about a screenwriter (William Holden) desperately trying to come up with a plot for his long-procrastinated screenplay "The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower"…48 hours before the deadline, with Audrey Hepburn as his typist/partner in crime. Loving the suggestions in the comments, too! Good for the cold weather coming up… 🙂

  10. Jamie Freveletti

    Just saw this (I'm catching up too). Loved Paris When It Sizzles. Had no idea about the backstory. Love that. Thanks!