She is not what people describe as a classic beauty. She has neither the bone structure of Michelle Pfeiffer, nor the soft grace of Charlize Theron. In fact, she is almost lanky, has a toothy smile and everyday brown eyes. Yet there is something undeniably appealing about this woman for she has charmed her way into our hearts time and again. Maybe it’s this imperfect beauty that makes her so relatable and lovable. She has had a string of superhit films and her performances have always been appreciated by critics and audiences. It helps that she always play characters who are flawed themselves, not just oppressed by circumstances, so she is not dependent on the script being great and has room to exploit her considerable acting talent. Whether it is the loud, uncouth single mom in Erin Brockovich, or the ambitious, unapologetic other woman in Stepmom, she has brought charm to all her roles. 

On this happy occasion though, we take a look at the romantic comedies she has done. Meg Ryan may have When Harry Met Sally, Reese Witherspoon may be Legally Blonde, but there is only one Rom-Com Queen. The sparkly-eyed woman who keeps hope and faith alive- Julia Roberts.

1. The Original Pretty Woman

When you spend two hours, every time a film is on television, rooting for a hooker to get the millionaire, you know it’s the real thing. This film set the bar so high for rom-coms to come. Sure, Richard Gere was extremely doable as the millionaire but Julia held her own as the pure-hearted woman who’d just made bad choices (who hasn’t?).

2. Do come for My Best Friend’s Wedding

She’s smart, she’s successful and she’s living the dream (of being in love with your best friend who is, of course, incredibly gorgeous). There’s only one hitch- he is getting married to someone else. But she won’t take this sitting down. Even while sabotaging a wedding, she’s adorable!

3. And Then Came Notting Hill

The only film that became as iconic as Pretty Woman. Owing in no small part to Hugh Grant’s deliciousness, brilliant writing and Julia Roberts’ line: “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Swoon!

4. Our Favorite Runaway Bride

Released just after Notting Hill, this film has her playing a commitment-phobic, small-town girl, notorious for leaving men at the altar. That is till a smooth-talking reporter (Richard Gere) comes to town and forces her to confront her issues. This film also featured one of the most adorable proposal scenes EVER!

5. The Queen of America’s Sweethearts

In typically narcissistic style, Hollywood loves making films about Hollywood. Julia Roberts does NOT play America’s Sweetheart (as she was called by now). She plays the Sweetheart’s overweight sister. While John Cusack deserves most of the credit for making this film hilarious, but Julia was also endearing as the exploited, unattractive sister to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

I am sure if you’re a rom-com fan, you’ve already watched all of these films. Many, many times. But you know what they say, fiftieth time is a charm! Go call a girl friend, bring out the popcorn and celebrate Julia’s birthday. 

Long live the Rom-Com Queen!