By Seija Rankin
February 08, 2019 at 01:00 PM EST

When Entertainment Weekly decided to pay homage to romantic comedies (perhaps our favorite genre ever) in a special themed issue of Hollywood’s Greatest Untold Stories, that was the easy part. To put pen to paper in honor of all of the leading ladies, the meet-cutes, and the quirky best friends who have filled our lives with joy for the past three decades is a no-brainer. The hard part was narrowing down the films to include in the package and, perhaps most importantly, which casts we were simply dying to get back together.

But all that being said, the process of making the issue was as easy as getting your shoe caught in a grate and being rescued by a handsome stranger at the last second (in rom-com terms, that means very easy). The casts we chose to honor in photo-and-video form were all so passionate about their films that it never felt like work (okay, maybe it did a little).

To start, our cover crew — consisting of My Best Friend’s Wedding stars Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Dermot Mulroney, and Rupert Everett — were bursting at the seams with excitement when they arrived on the Los Angeles set last month. Roberts immediately grabbed Mulroney and dragged him off to “go see Cameron!” (It was, as we’re sure you’re well aware, Diaz’s first magazine shoot in several years.)

Ruven Afanador for EW

The shoot, led by photographer Ruven Afanador, evoked the old-money glamour of Michael and Jules’ epic Chicago nuptials. Stylist Hayley Atkin put the actors in suitably over-the-top duds and Roberts’ longtime collaborator Serge Normant was on hand to create her signature curly blowout (where would we be today without Julia Roberts’ tresses?).

For EW’s very colorful 27 Dresses reunion, we took to the beach…kind of. The shoot went down at a gorgeous estate in Malibu. Though the 2008 film was set in New York City, we think we can all agree that the Big Apple’s winter climate doesn’t exactly qualify as the best backdrop for these kinds of things.

Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, and Edward Burns gathered to toast to their film (which they shot over 11 years ago) among many, many bridesmaids gowns. The day marked an extra special occasion for another reason: Burns (who played George, boss of Heigl’s Jane and romantic interest of Akerman’s Tess) was celebrating his 51st birthday. There was cake, of course, as well as tequila — both of which made it into his portion of the photo shoot.

The group, who were outfitted in wedding-appropriate evening wear, spent the day reminiscing about their time together and made sure to exchange numbers before the day was up. And yes, there’s going to be a group text.

(500) Days of Summer was a story of boy meets girl, and our special EW Viewing Party was a story of boy meets girl again to re-watch the movie they made a decade ago. The romantic comedy debuted at Sundance in 2009 so it made perfect sense to break down its most iconic scenes with the two stars.

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt convened at a set in a rented home in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles — with popcorn in tow. (Although technically, EW brought the popcorn). They poked through old records — a nod to both the film’s soundtrack and Summer and Tom’s shared affinity for indie rock — and took a walk down memory lane. Regina Spektor’s “Us” was playing as the actors arrived, and Deschanel made sure to point out her vivid memories of jamming to Marvin Gaye on the set of 500 Days.

For more Untold Stories from My Best Friend’s Wedding and your other favorite rom-coms, pick up the new double issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now, or buy it here. Don’t forget to subscribe to EW for more exclusive interviews and photos — and follow #LoveEWstyle on Twitter and Instagram

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