Addicted to Love (1997)
Guilty of… Stalking, spying, attempted murder, breaking and, ahem, entering.
This movie set the gold standard for cinematic harassment. Maggie (Meg Ryan) refused to get over her chef ex Anton (Tchéky Karyo), even though he had long since moved on. So she camped out in an apartment across the street with ineffectual astronomer Sam (Matthew Broderick) and began systematically destroying Anton’s life. There was the video camera on his apartment, there were the hidden mics she placed throughout when images alone weren’t enough to satisfy her obsession… and then there were the occasions on which she unleashed rats in his restaurant, snuck into his apartment to stick strawberries under his pillow (he was deathly allergic), and had sex with Sam in Anton’s apartment during the strawberry-planting covert op. Who needs enemies when you have former lovers like Maggie? —Lanford Beard
The Sweetest Thing (2002)
Guilty of… Stalking, reckless driving, public indecency, disturbing the peace.
Hell-bent on proving ”Girls can be gross, too!” this 2002 comedy had its trio of leading ladies (Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair, Christina Applegate) endure glory holes, maggots, and stained dresses, among other humiliations, including spontaneously singing a song about the male anatomy. Still, nothing felt ickier than watching Diaz’s character relentlessly track down a guy she just met (Thomas Jane) on his wedding day, a tactic which eventually gets him to propose to her. Sure. —Aly Semigran
The Switch (2010)
Guilty of… Sperm swapping.
If tampering with someone’s mail is a federal offense, we suspect switching out their insemination fluid can’t be legal. Neurotic nebbish Wally (Jason Bateman) had a hard time adjusting to his best friend Kassie’s (Jennifer Aniston) decision to have a child through artificial insemination — especially after he met the handsome sperm donor Roland (Patrick Wilson). So he got bombed and spilled her seed, literally. Backed into a corner, Wally secretly filled up Kassie’s cup with his own sperm and waited, oh, eight years or so before breaking the news to her at her engagement party. —Lanford Beard
You've Got Mail (1998)
Guilty of… False identity, Internet deception, impersonation.
Don’t let this sweet-on-the-surface 90s dot-com rom-com fool you: It’s actually a Dateline episode. After Joe F-O-X (Tom Hanks) discovers his AOL chat room buddy is his foe (Meg Ryan), a woman whose business he just ran into the ground, he continues to pursue her in real life without revealing his online identity to her. You’ve got manipulation! —Aly Semigran
The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996)
Guilty of… Impersonation.
Gorgeous model Noelle (Uma Thurman) wanted photographer Brian (Ben Chaplin) to love her for her mind, not her body. So she enlisted the body of Abby (Janeane Garofalo) as a stand-in? While Brian was none the wiser, the ladies switch-hit relationship with him willy-nilly — including a frankly uncomfortable phone-sex session. Of course Abby fell in love with Brian, and Brian fell in love with Noelle, and the world was upside down… that is, until a very large dog and well-deployed pair of Rollerblades saved the day. It was the early ’90s! —Lanford Beard
The Ugly Truth (2009)
Guilty of… Misogyny, sexism, general awfulness.
A boorish TV personality (Gerard Butler) convinces his co-worker (Katherine Heigl) that to win over her new beau she should laugh at his jokes, wear a push-up bra, have long hair, and try on vibrating underwear (which just so happen to start working during a dinner). Not only does she oblige, but falls for him instead. In other words, you’ll probably never watch this in your Women’s Lib class. —Aly Semigran
Mr. Wrong (1996)
Guilty of… Abduction, forced drug use, shoplifting, stalking.
Poor Ellen DeGeneres. Unless you count Coneheads (I do not), this was her big-screen debut. DeGeneres played loser-in-love Martha Alston, who thought she had finally met the man of her dreams one lonely Valentine’s Day. Flash forward a few weeks, when Whitman Crawford (Bill Pullman) had tricked her into stealing beer from a convenience store, dosed her with LSD, sicced a private investigator on her out of jealousy, and whisked her away to Mexico for a quickie — and not at all consensual — marriage. Martha didn’t find it amusing and, given, the film’s whopping 4 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, neither did anyone else. —Lanford Beard
Love Actually (2003)
Guilty of… Stalking, infidelity.
Mark (Andrew Lincoln) offered to play videographer for his friends’ wedding then basically dropped off the grid. New bride Juliet (Keira Knightley) stopped by Mark’s studio to see some footage. Every shot featured Juliet. It soon became clear that Mark wanted more than to take pictures. As Christmas drew near, Mark wanted to accomplish one thing. He knocked on his mate’s door and made a cute presentation about his knowing he’d been defeated, but he would always have the idea of her. She runs after and kisses him. After that, he declares ”Enough.” We agree. —Lanford Beard
Because I Said So (2007)
Guilty of… False online identity, terrible parenting.
Faced with the prospect of having a twentysomething daughter (Mandy Moore) who is — oh, the horror! — single, an overbearing mother named Daphne (an overbearing Diane Keaton) secretly places a personal ad for her husbandless offspring and schemes to set her up with a man of her choosing. Parents just don’t understand (this is sheer insanity.) —Aly Semigran
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Guilty of… Breaking and entering, deception, scheming, grand theft auto, smoking in a nonsmoking hotel hallway.
When her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) announces he’s marrying chirpy blond Kim (Cameron Diaz), Jules (Julia Roberts) decides she now wants to marry him. Rather than actually tell him this, their maid of honor attempts to sabotage the impending nuptials by jeopardizing his career and kissing him on his wedding day. However, in a rare rom com twist, he actually doesn’t fall for these ”charms.” —Aly Semigran
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Guilty of… Impersonation.
Lucy (Sandra Bullock), started out on the right side of the law. She saved the life of Peter (Peter Gallagher), the man of her dreams, when he fell onto the train tracks. That’s when things got hairy. Lucy innocently let her crush’s family think she was his fiancée, at first playing along with their misapprehension, then flat-out lying to the family who welcomed her with open arms. All this was while she began to fall in love with Peter’s brother Jack (Bill Pullman). Even after Peter woke up, struck by amnesia, Lucy let the ruse get all the way to the hospital wedding chapel before confessing the truth. —Lanford Beard
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Guilty of… Stalking, child endangerment, infidelity.
When a Baltimore woman (Meg Ryan) becomes infatuated with a Seattle widower (Tom Hanks) after hearing him on a call-in radio show, she not only deceives her unreasonably nice fiancé (Bill Pullman), but flies across the country to find him and then later asks to meet on top of the Empire State Building, with his impressionable son. (Not, surprisingly enough, to push them off it.) There’s a reason why this was able to be so flawlessly edited into a horror movie trailer. —Aly Semigran
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Guilty of… Self-embarrassment, animal cruelty, musical torture.
Nothing Andie (Kate Hudson) and Ben (Matthew McConaughey) did was technically illegal, yes, but it was unquestionably morally wrong. They both set up 10-day bets (Andie that she could get Ben to dump her, Ben that he could make Andie fall in love with him) that led to emotionally manipulate a virtual stranger — and that’s without mentioning the horrors inflicted upon their relationship-dependent acquisitions, the Chinese crested dog Krull and their ”love fern,” and the fact that Andie duped Ben into attending a Celine Dion concert with her during a make-or-break Knicks game — in the same building. So close, yet so cruel! —Lanford Beard
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Guilty of… Illegal drug use, prostitution, public fighting, romantic entanglements with a co-worker.
Who needs a happy ending for Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) when you can instead turn her from kooky and relatable to unrecognizably awful?! After driving away her near-perfect boyfriend (Colin Firth) with accusations of cheating and lack of commitment, she temporarily winds up back in the arms of her known-philanderer ex (Hugh Grant) during a business trip to Thailand. —Aly Semigran
All About Steve (2009)
Guilty of… Stalking, public indecency.
Crossword puzzle creator Mary (Sandra Bullock) hasn’t exactly batted .1000 in the romance department. Then she met Steve (Bradley Cooper). Convinced Steve was ”the one,” Mary exposed her soul in Steve-themed crosswords, then followed Steve across the country to convince him they belonged together. By movie’s end, Mary even admits, ”If you love someone, set him free; if you have to stalk him, he probably wasn’t yours in the first place.” —Lanford Beard
Bride Wars (2009)
Guilty of… Where to begin?
When lifelong best friends (Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson) discover their dream weddings collide on the same day, the two embark on a series of ruthless pranks and stunts in an attempt to ruin the others nuptials. All of which culminates with the former BFFs wrestling each other to the ground on their special day. —Aly Semigran
She's All That (1999)
Guilty of… Coldhearted conformity.
Like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, the actions of Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Dean Sampson (Paul Walker). Maybe even a little worse because there’s no escaping the person who broke you heart when you’re still in high school. BMOC Dean bet Zack he couldn’t transform artsy outcast Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook) into prom-queen material in six weeks. He could, and he could also make her think they were falling in love and that she was valued in life, particularly when Dean decided to snatch up newly ”beautiful” Laney for himself. The ugly duckling turned swan may have gotten gorgeous red dress out of the deal, but it was hardly a fair trade for dealing with these two self-righteous jerks. —Lanford Beard
Failure to Launch (2006)
Guilty of… Fraud, emotional manipulation, animal cruelty, intelligence cruelty.
In his review of this slapstick 2006 rom com, Roger Ebert put it best: The work of Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), a ”specialist” who manipulates grown men (here, Matthew McConaughey) into moving out of their parents’ homes by making them fall in love with her and then dumping them when the job is done is ”a cross between pathological cruelty and actionable fraud.” —Aly Semigran
Runaway Bride (1999)
Guilty of… Grand theft auto/horse.
Perpetual fiancée Maggie (Julia Roberts) stomped on no less than four men’s hearts on the side of the road as she high-tailed it out of town mid-wedding ceremony. One of these men, columnist Ike Graham (Richard Gere), ended up being the man she finally settled down with, even though she also left him standing at the altar. Ike’s behavior (insinuating himself in Maggie’s life, kissing her at her rehearsal dinner) was certainly without moral justification, but it was more nebulously ”bad.” On the other hand, Maggie inarguably broke the law when she hijacked cars and horses to escape her vows. —Lanford Beard
License to Wed (2007)
Guilty of… Wiretapping, bugging, stalking, manipulation, religious gray areas.
Robin Williams plays a minister who puts a soon-to-be-married couple (Mandy Moore, John Krasinski) through a series of challenges to put their love to the test. Among his ”methods” are manipulating the couple into fighting, enforcing no premarital sex, and making them take care of creepy robot babies. Oh, and he bugs their home to make sure they’re abiding by his rules. Did we mention he’s a minister? —Aly Semigran