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Actor Julia Roberts has starred in a variety of romance films over the years. Some of her most popular features were a part of the genre. But eventually, Roberts reached a certain age where she felt romance couldn’t be a thing for her.

Julia Roberts felt she aged out of romcom movies

Julia Roberts posing at the premiere of the movie 'Mother's Day'.
Julia Roberts | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

It’s hard not to think about romantic comedies when Roberts comes to mind. Movies like Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride had been Roberts’ bread and butter for years. But as she’d gotten older, Roberts felt that her time doing romcoms was ending. As she entered her 40s, she didn’t think the scenarios often presented in romcom movies would be believable for someone her age.

“I think I’m too old for those silly situations of unrequited love,” she once said according to Irish Examiner. “It becomes less plausible when you’re in the 40s to be walking down in the hallways because a boy walks by! I’ve read a couple lately that are more original and more mature, but they just didn’t seem to fit for me.”

Why Julia Roberts hasn’t starred in romcoms lately 

Nowadays, romcoms have become much rarer than they were back in the day. In the 90s, when Roberts’ career was entering its peak, romcoms seemed to be all over cinema. In hindsight, Roberts wondered if audiences gave that romcom era of filmmaking the respect that it deserved.

“I think we didn’t appreciate the bumper crop of romantic comedies that we had then,” Roberts told The New York Times. “You don’t see all the effort and puppet strings because it’s fun and sweet and people are laughing and kissing and being mischievous. Also, I think it’s different to be reading those scripts at 54 years old.”

To Roberts, romcoms might be the hardest genre to pull off in cinema.

“This is a genre that I love to participate in and watch, and I think they are hard to get right,” she said. “There is a really simple math to it, but how do you make it special? How do you keep people interested when you can kind of predict what is coming?”

Roberts’ newfound duties as a mother was another reason audiences hadn’t seen her in too many romcoms. She enjoyed spending time with her family, and had to be extra selective when choosing projects that would take her away from them.

 “It’s also the math equation of my husband’s work schedule and the kids’ school schedule and summer vacation. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I think I want to do this.’ I have a sense of great pride in being home with my family and considering myself a homemaker,” she once told The Hollywood Reporter.

Julia Roberts recently returned to romcoms with ‘Ticket to Paradise’


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Roberts made a comeback to romcom with the 2022 feature Ticket to Paradise. The movie saw Roberts teaming up with her familiar co-star George Clooney. In the project, Clooney and Roberts play a divorced couple who find themselves reflecting on their relationship due to a series of events. For Roberts, Ticket to Paradise was everything she’d been looking for in an age-appropriate romcom.

“People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one,” Roberts said. “If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it. They didn’t exist until this movie that I just did that Ol Parker wrote and directed.”

Roberts also asserted she had as good of a time filming Ticket to Paradise as she did with any other past romcom.

“I love to laugh and be funny. You get into that mode of those endorphins going off when you’re clever and people going, ‘Oh!’ Then that becomes this automatic thing where you’re always thinking in terms of creating fun,” she said.