What is a meet cute, you ask?
If you've ever watched a rom-com, you already know, even though you may not be aware of it.
A meet cute is that moment when two characters (who will form that lovely romantic connection in the story) meet for the first time. Usually, they meet in a humorous or "cute" sort of way, though more dramatic ways are fine too (think, P&P or Jane Eyre).
What a meet cute provides is a sudden spark, a "teaser" of more to come, a little look at how these two are going to interact together.
It can reveal an immediate attraction or repulsion, but, of course (in our HEAs), the repulsion turns to attraction through the course of the story.
Think of some of your favorite movies for examples.
Here are a few "classic" examples:
Maria and Captain Von Trapp on The Sound of Music
- Why is it "cute"? She's dancing in the empty ballroom and he bursts into the room in all of his serious "state" :)
Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon from Singing in the Rain
-Why is it cute? As Don Lockwood (a famous silent film star) is trying to escape some rather energetic adoring fans, he jumps into Kathy Seldon's car. Kathy, at first, is terrified of the "stranger" jumping into her car until she recognizes him, but pretends not too and then feeds Don a little humble pie :)
Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly from You've Got Mail
-Why is it cute? Well, it's all the MORE cute because we (as viewers) know that Kathleen and Joe are already in an online relationship, yet the characters have never met in person (and don't even know each others' names). So when they meet for the first time in Kathleen's shop (and we know Joe is trying to take over little bookshops), we're already rooting for them. Hint: F.O.X.
Iris meeting Miles in The Holiday (which actually uses the term "meet cute" in it, but I also think when Iris meets Arthur Abbot, though it's not a romantic meet-up, just really sweet).
There are tons of great meet cutes, both in historical and contemporary romances. The live-action Cinderella, Notting Hill, Return to Me, Kate and Leopold,...the list goes on!
But meet cutes happen in books too! I ADORE writing meet cutes!!
This is the couples' first meeting and, as a writer, it's a great opportunity to make the moment memorable and set up the "tension" well before we ever get to the life-long romance or HEA :)
It's that first glimpse we, as readers, get of the dynamics of the hero and heroine! Usually, we have a little background on one or both characters so the the meet cute has a deeper meaning too.
Here are a few bookish ones that I love:
Amelia and Emerson's first meeting in the Amelia Peabody series
Sophie & Clay in Petticoat Ranch (Mary Conneally has some hilarious meet cutes).
Hattie and Miller in Jenny B Jones's Sweet Right Here
Grace and Noah in Melanie Jacobsen's Kiss the Girl
and...of course, the list goes on.
What a meet cute does is build expectation. It gives a little hint into how these two are going to be the romantic leads of the story. Fun, right?
So let's hear it from you guys!
What books have you read that have some of your favorite meet cutes?
(all photos are property of the author or taken from Pixabay.com)
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the wife of a fantastic pastor, mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her nineteenth novel, Authentically Izzy, debuts in November with Thomas Nelson. She loves connecting with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook & Instagram. You can learn more about Pepper and her books on her website at www.pepperdbasham.com