Although the name “Meet-cute” isn’t necessarily associated with the month of March, it is however a dub for a particular way a couple can meet. And of course what season speaks of love and the beginning of new things more than spring? A “Meet-cute” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “A scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better).”
Meet-cute is believed to have been first coined in the golden age of Hollywood as a reference to films in which encounters between the main characters occur in cute and funny circumstances, which makes “Meet-cute” a sort of predecessor to the modern age romantic comedy, or rom-com. Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1948) is a classic example of a screw-ball type of “Meet cute”, where a man and a woman walk into a store searching for pajamas, but while he needs just the bottoms, she’s solely looking for the top. This is an adorable example of the meet-cute trope.
The British Film Institute (BFI) and The Guardian listed their favourite “Meet cute moments” on film, that go from a wide array of classics to contemporary like Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, The Lady Eve with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, and the more quirky Annie Hall with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.
Both outlets stretch out the more traditional and sweet spectrum of the meet-cute a bit by including films like Tootsie, Muriel’s Wedding, and When Harry Met Sally where the encounters occur in not-so-cutesy circumstances. But “Meet-cute” is not solely limited to the world of cinema. In literature, many characters find their soul mates in diverse “Meet-cute” circumstances. For example Jane Austen’s novels such as Pride and Prejudice have a well-known and since then much replicated “Meet-cute”, in which the main characters first hate one another, but then end up falling madly in love. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is also a “Meet cute” of sorts if one remembers the scene when Jane assists Mr. Rochester, who unbeknownst to her he is her new employer, after he’s fallen off his horse.
Young Adult books are also abundant with “Meet-cute” type scenarios such as in Jennifer E. Smith’s The Geography of You and Me, where her main characters Lucy and Owen meet in the elevator of her Manhattan apartment building during a blackout.
Online sites like Buzzfeed have also jumped on the “Meet-cute” bandwagon. In a January post titled, “13 Meet-Cute Stories That Actually Happened in Real Life.” Buzzfeed takes the trope from film and literature to actual couples, who as it turns out met in a variety of “Meet-cute” ways, from a non-pet friendly hotel to a hockey match gone wrong.
SusanLucas.typepad, an online book review website, describes best-selling author Jane Green’s latest book, Falling as “Green’s real life “Meet-cute” with her husband.” Goodreads, the largest site for book recommendations and readers, has shelf solely devoted to “popular “Meet-cute” books,” while websites that provide aspiring authors with tips and how-to-publish info, have a special section on how to write a “Meet-cute”.
Taking a cue from Buzzfeed and transferring the cinematic and literary aspect of the “Meet-cute” to real life, sites such as meetcuteevents.com provide singles with romantic ideas for either an unforgettable date-night at a restaurant, café or park or for special events where people can meet to plan their own “Meet-cute” that go from a “Starfleet Academy Experience” for Star Trek fans to a distillery “Tour and Mixer” for the “classy spirits” enthusiast.
For the more introvert love seeker, books might be more appealing than real-life “Meet-cute” attempts in an outdoor mini-golf date. Here’s a list of new March fiction, “Meet-cute” style:
The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. Pub date: March 21. Lucy and Owen’s marriage is in a rut. At the suggestion of a friend, they decide to liven up their stale relationship by engaging in an open relationship, in which the only forbidden thing is to fall in love with someone else. Lucy and Owen will soon discover that this may prove much more difficult than they thought.
Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley: Jubilee Jenkins has a rare and isolating condition: she’s allergic to other humans. One touch from anybody can be fatal, so Jubilee is forced to become a recluse. But then she meets single dad Eric, who is carrying his own demons, and she feels compelled to defy the condition that has limited her for so long.
The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell: Abi’s boyfriend Joseph has unceremoniously dumped her for being, well, too boring. When Joseph bails, he leaves behind a box of ten things he always wanted to do that Abi had no idea about. An idea starts to form in Abi’s mind: what if she can win Joseph back by completing his list and proving to him she can be the adventure type too?
Next Year, For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson: What happens when two people who have the “perfect relationship” decide to test their boundaries? Kathryn and Chris decide to test the waters when after a confession from Chris, they decide to engage in polyamory.
A Gown of Thorns by Natalie Meg Evans. Pub date, March 30 Shauna Vincent arrives in a little French village after accepting an offer to be an au pair to the grandchildren of an old family friend. Exploring her new home, she discovers a locked tower room where she unearths a treasure trove of exquisite vintage dresses. The dress is just the beginning of a series of mysteries, including meeting Laurent a local landowner who she feels very curious about.
Author’s note: A shorter version of this article was initially published in The Palm Beach Post on March 28, 2017.