One can only fit so many romantic-comedy scenes in a 38-minute episode of television. As such, some of the best are tossed in with a simple quote or mention.
The 3 Kates
The team listing their favorite rom-com stars is, as a whole, wonderful, but it’s Jaime Tartt’s reference to the Three Kates—Beckinsale, Hudson and Winslet—as a power trio of romantic-comedy prowess that really takes the cake. And as Nate shyly adds from the side, Cate Blanchett should likely be included as a fourth superstar.
You’ve Got Mail
Rebecca goes by Bossgirl while her anonymous love interest uses the username LDN152 on the show’s dating app Bantr. Tom Hanks’s Joe Fox uses the name NY152 to chat anonymously with Meg Ryan’s Shopgirl in this beloved ‘90s hit.
First he tried When Harry Met Sally, then Jerry Maguire and lastly Ted caps his plea to have Roy Kent join the Richmond coaching team with the delightful, “I’m also just a coach, standing in front of a boy, asking him...” Although he never gets to finish the line as Roy cuts him off with a predictable expletive-laden rejection.
The Princess Bride
After firmly shutting Ted down, Roy walks away from the coaching offer, but not fast enough to avoid one last “as you wish” thrown out in true Westley fashion.
Keeley and Rebecca help Nate to gain more confidence in a scene reminiscent of pretty much any makeover sequence from any rom-com. It’s a staple of the genre, and it’s only fitting to have at least one character follow this arc.
The Higgins’ love story
The through line of this episode is the love between Leslie and his wife. And while it appears to be an original story, not taking reference from any of the big-name romantic hits, it’s definitely worth calling out in a discussion of the most lovely parts of this episode. Most notably the couple’s reunion on their way to the match where actors Jeremy Swift and Mary Roscoe look so genuinely in love (even after 29 years of marriage and five sons), while their song, ‘She’s a Rainbow’ by The Rolling Stones, plays over the scene. It feels a bit like the end of Love Actually with all the loved ones reconnecting at Heathrow airport, but is made doubly sweet by focusing on just the one pair.