It’s hard for actors to take supporting roles in romantic comedies. The limited screen time means they need to make a drastic impression on the audience as soon as the camera is pointed at them.
And while most have failed to reach their full potential as supporting characters, there have been several actors who have succeeded.
For us, success means bringing a unique sense of comedy and wit to a film that would’ve been lacking without their presence. It means supporting the main characters while carving out for themselves a performance that goes beyond the two principal rom-com lovers.
Here are our picks for the best supporting characters in romantic comedy movies who successfully brought a lot to their respective films, making them brighter, funnier, and all the more memorable.
8. Fat Amy (Pitch Perfect)
In being completely herself and giving herself a nickname that makes her immune to being fat-shamed, Fat Amy proves that she’s the life of the Barden Bellas’ sense of fun, always willing to get involved in difficult situations, and never backing down from fights.
Rebel Wilson shines in every scene as Amy—whose real name is Fat Patricia—and steals the screen whenever she’s on it.
Amy is a vital part of the dynamic shared within her group and she’s more than just comic relief, often showing that she has a softer side that she hides beneath layers of sharp wit.
7. Roy (Palm Springs)
Palm Springs upended the time loop concept that was legendarily defined by Groundhog Day and gave it a new lick of paint—along with an angry psychopath named Roy.
Due to Nyles causing Roy to get stuck in the same time loop that he already had been trapped in, Roy spends his time intermittently hunting Nyles on certain days, all while knowing that the day will reset.
J.K. Simmons’ role provides some real fun to the film, giving it an edge that makes the plot bolder and more dramatic while also delivering some of the movie’s best lines and moments.
6. Goh Peik Lin (Crazy Rich Asians)
Goh Peik Lin is the friend everybody wants to have. She’s funny, electric, and will always be there for you when you need her, complete with her unique brand of Awkwafina-esque advice.
Her bombastic style and the dynamic she shares with her family make Lin a character whom we want to keep seeing throughout the film, even though the principal love interest is compelling, too.
Lin is Awkwafina in her most unrestrained performance, yet one that shows she has a good eye for dramatic moments. Furthermore, her razor-sharp wit continues to cut through the film’s prim aesthetic.
5. Semmi (Coming to America)
The best friend of Prince Akeem, Semmi travels with Akeem to America in search of the sense of reality that his Prince seeks—finding it in a dingy apartment in Queens, much to Semmi’s chagrin.
Semmi’s pining for the extraordinary comforts of home makes him one of the film’s funniest characters, as Semmi does anything that Akeem asks of him, though always with some amount of trepidation.
Arsenio Hall’s performance as Semmi has become one of the best-loved parts of the original movie, and much of the comedy flows through him and his unique perspective as Akeem’s loyal companion.
4. Keanu Reeves (Always Be My Maybe)
It might be a role that lasts for only a few minutes on screen, but Keanu Reeves’ cameo in Always Be My Maybe is iconic. He begins to date celebrity chef Sasha Tran right as her best friend Marcus is about to tell her how he feels about her, which complicates the situation.
Reeves initially portrays the type of person we believe him to be in real life—namely, chivalrous and kind—but eventually his inner dominating side comes out and he chokes Marcus when things get heated.
Seeing Keanu Reeves playing a character that’s using his own known kindness, only for it to have become warped by the fame and wealth he has, is one of the funniest parts of the film.
3. Megan (Bridesmaids)
It’s rare for a romantic comedy role to garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but Melissa McCarthy’s Megan from the film Bridesmaids is unlike other rom-com characters.
Megan is a warrior who has no boundaries. She often takes command of a situation and exudes supreme confidence in herself that nobody else can match. She’s the funniest part of a brilliant movie, which tells the audience a lot about how great McCarthy is in her role.
The scene where Megan suffers from food poisoning with the rest of the group and sits over a bathroom sink while screaming “Look away!” is one of the best rom-com sequences of the 21st century.
2. Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)
Inigo Montoya isn’t just one of the best supporting characters in a romantic comedy. He’s one of the best movie characters, period. Aside from his iconic catchphrase, he’s a man of principles and morals who’s cursed with a heart that lusts for revenge.
The slapstick hilarity of The Princess Bride is best represented by Inigo as he searches for the man who killed his beloved father.
Mandy Patinkin’s performance in the role has aged perfectly, too, with Inigo still drawing laughter from audiences over 25 years later. Indeed, people from all walks of life still quote him: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
1. Sandy Lyle (Along Came Polly)
Without Philip Seymour-Hoffman in Along Came Polly, the film would have been written off as a most meager romantic comedy. However, because of his inimitable presence in the film, he lifts the entire picture and makes Sandy Lyle the best character.
Sandy is an actor who once had a brief amount of fame when he was younger—for starring in a comedy—but he’s since been struggling in the acting scene while unable to admit it. He’s also the best man to Ben Stiller’s Ruben Feffer and he’s the bombastic heart of the film.
Hoffman was one of the greatest actors of his generation, gifted with versitility that few can claim. In Along Came Polly, he proved that his skills in comedy were as brilliant as they were in serious drama. “Raindance!”