In the 2006 film The Holiday (I don't recommend the entire movie, but if you want to see an edited, 30 minute version sometime, let me know), Eli Wallach's character Arthur Abbott (a retired Hollywood screenwriter) describes a meet-cute as:

"Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men's pajama department. The man says to the salesman, I just need bottoms, and the woman says, I just need a top. They look at each other and that's the meet-cute."

Here are a couple of my favorite meet-cutes:

It Happened One Night throws runaway heiress Ellie (Claudette Colbert) and world-weary ex-reporter Peter (Clark Gable) together in a dispute over the last seat on a bus.

In The Boatniks, Ensign Tom Garland (Robert Morse), a polite but remarkably clumsy fellow is transferred to a southern California marina area. His first encounter with Kate Fairchild (Stefanie Powers), who runs a local boat rental and sailing school, involves dumping an entire can of yellow paint all over her.

Jennifer Nelson (Doris Day) thinks Bruce Templeton (Rod Taylor) is a weirdo following her around - until she realizes that he is really her boss, in The Glass Bottom Boat.

And possibly my all-time favorite is from Return to Me. Bob Reuland finds an excuse to return to a restaurant in hopes of seeing the waitress he met during a discussion about "an imported Swiss water". When they finally (offically) meet, she's in her bathrobe and shower cap and he's been rooked into quite a game of poker.

What are some of your favorite meet-cutes?


bporter said...

I think I'm confused by the concept of "meet-cute". At first I thought it refered to half clothed people, but then you describe scenes with fully clothed individuals. So, I'm guessing it's when two people meet under semi embarassing circumstances for at least one of the individuals?

Millie Motts said...

From Wikipedia: A meet-cute is a convention of screwball comedies and their heirs, the romantic comedies, the contrived encounter of two potential romantic partners in unusual or comic circumstances, a comic situation contrived by the filmmakers entirely in order to bring them together. During a "meet-cute", scriptwriters often create a humorous sense of awkwardness between the two potential partners by depicting an initial clash of personalities or beliefs, an embarrassing situation, or by introducing a comical misunderstanding or mistaken identity situation. Sometimes the term is used without a hyphen (a "meet cute"), or as a verb, as in "to meet-cute."

Erika said...

Some favorite meet-cutes: in the garage in IQ, over the buffet table in Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day...

Lori said...

Seeing Mr. Darcy and imagining his 'miserable half of Darbyshire'... and the socially 'polite' reverse 'scorning' of each other. Never could figure out what they were saying with 'meet-cute' so thanks for the spelling!

Another favorite Meet-cute is Trudy in the tree with wet hair when first 'meeting' the sherriff in "Support your Local Sherriff" or the mud fight with the actual first encounter.