Is Nate from The Devil Wears Prada the worst Rom-Com boyfriend of all time?

We investigate.
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Sure, every perfect male lead in your favourite romantic comedies may have a few red flags that we choose to ignore. 

Whether it’s because of their inability to recognise their leading lady behind a flimsy mask, or their holier-than-thou arrogance, odds are, most fans will obliviously look past the little quirks and fall head over heels in love with these fictional characters. 

Yet there is one leading man that we can’t excuse anymore, and that is Nate from The Devil Wears Prada. 

Sure, it’s not an entirely new hatred – fans have called out his toxic behaviour for years since the film’s 2006 release, yet rumours about a new sequel have left us just itching to remind people why Nate is not that great. Plus we look back at some other questionable fictional romance leads…

The Devil Wears Prada
#wehatenate (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Nate, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Nate – the one onscreen boyfriend most people can agree is a piece of s**t. Except it seems, leading lady Anne Hathway doesn’t quite agree. 

During an episode of Watch What Happens Live in 2022, Anne gave her own opinion on the popular fan theory that Nate is the real villain of the film. 

“No, I’m sorry I don’t,” she replied. “I think they were both very young and figuring things out.”

“He did behave like a brat, but I also behaved like a brat in my 20s, and I hopefully grew out of it. I think that’s what we all do.”

But it seems like the actress is not finding many fans who agree with her take. As one Twitter user aptly put it, “Miranda Priestly was NOT the villain in The Devil Wears Prada. Nate Cooper was. Miranda was a strong, demanding executive. Nate was a whiny guy who didn’t like how much time his girlfriend spent at a job she loved and guilted her into quitting. He was the villain.” 

Watch The Devil Wears Prada now on Disney+.

500 Days of Summer
We all know a Nate. (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Tom, 500 Days of Summer (2009)

Summer told Tom right from the beginning what she was looking for – yet he still got upset when he couldn’t change her mind. Tom is the true poster child of falling in love with the *idea* of someone, instead of actually falling *in* love with someone. 

Watch 500 Days of Summer now on Disney+.

Never Been Kissed
Creepy. (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Sam, Never Been Kissed (1999)

Don’t even think we need to explain this one. Sam, a teacher falls in love with a student. Yes, the student ends up actually being close in age to him – but he didn’t originally know that!

Watch Never Been Kissed now on Disney+.

Love Actually
Not romantic at all! (Credit: Universal Studios)

Mark, Love Actually (2003)

Most romantic leads in this movie need some serious help – but Mark especially is a walking red flag. He’s a horrible best friend overall and super creepy towards Juliet, enough said.

Watch Love Actually now on BINGE.

A Cinderella Story
You really couldn’t recognise her? (Credit: Warner Brothers)

Austin, A Cinderella Story (2004)

This bad rom-com boyfriend is hard to spot, especially thanks to Chad Michael Murray’s distractable good looks. But, are we really going to believe he didn’t recognise Sam at the masked ball? He also emotionally cheated on Shelby by messaging Sam and then didn’t stand up for her at the pep rally! Rude.

Watch A Cinderella Story now on BINGE.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Sing to me Paolo. (Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Paolo, The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)

Look, we too would probably make all the same mistakes Lizzy did when in Rome with a famous Italian singer. But, his autotune speaks for itself, not only is he a horrible singer, but he’s a conniving, two-faced gross man. At least we were blessed with What Dreams Are Made Of.

Watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie now on Disney+.

While You Were Sleeping
Despite it’s questionable premise, it’s still romantic… (Credit: Walt Disney Pictures) (Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Lucy, While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Lucky last on our list actually goes to a leading female protagonist of the dearly loved rom-com, While You Were Sleeping. We’re the first to admit to re-watching this movie time and time again for the amazing chemistry between Lucy and Jack as well as the peak 90’s fashion Sandra Bullock delivers. But, let’s not overlook the fact that she lied about being engaged to the hot guy in the coma! And then fell in love with his brother!

Watch While You Were Sleeping now on Disney+.

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