Hugh Grant-style workplace romances with happy endings, from the Obamas to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Mixing business with pleasure really can work.
A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 41% of employees have dated a colleague, and almost 1 in 3 of those cubicle couplings has led to a trip down the aisle.
So no wonder this trend has been a regular heart-pumping plot device on film and TV — like in the “Love Actually” mini sequel due out March 24. The follow-up to the iconic rom-com reveals that David, Hugh Grant’s British prime minister character, is now married to cheeky staffer Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), whom he hooked up with in the original movie.
So in honor of these coworkers with chemistry, here’s some workplace romances with the happiest endings, both on and off the screen.
- Jim and Pam, “The Office”
These paper company drones set the gold standard for love on the job. The friendship that flourished between salesman Jim (John Krasinsky) and receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer) over years of pranking their coworkers laid the foundation for true romance. By the series’ end, they were married with two kids – and still laughing together. And the entire Dunder Mifflin office came to the Niagara Falls nups, of course.
- Barack and Michelle Obama
The former First Couple first met while working at a Chicago law firm in 1989, when the then-Michelle Robinson mentored the future President. By the time they moved to the White House 20 years later with daughters Malia and Sasha, the Obamas made the Free World believe in love again with their date nights, sweet Tweets and public displays of fistbumping.
- Leslie and Ben, “Parks & Recreation”
Speaking of political partnerships, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) get our vote. When Ben first arrived as a state auditor, he turned Councilwoman Leslie off with his budget cuts and callous attitude about firing staffers. But bonding over beer, waffles and adorkable handshakes led the two nerds to break through the red tape, and eventually tie the knot in a City Hall ceremony. The fictional Parks Department was ripe for romance; Aubrey Plaza’s April and Chris Pratt’s Andy also got hitched on the show.
- Jay-Z and Beyonce
The famously private couple is vague about the first time they locked eyes — sometime between 1997 and 2000, depending on which one you ask — but they were just starting to date when they appeared on Vanity Fair’s 2001 music issue cover. And every time Mr. and Mrs. Carter are rocked with rumors that their relationship is in trouble, the entertainment king and queen manage to make “Lemonade.” Their combined worth is estimated at $875 million. They set an Instagram record last month when revealing “Flawless” pix of Queen Bey pregnant with twins. And now they’re rumored to be eyeing the $85 million Spelling mansion in L.A. Can they live, or what?
- Derek and Meredith, “Grey’s Anatomy”
What started as a tequila-fueled one-night stand ended up being the heartbeat of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sure, brain surgeon Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and surgical intern Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) had their ups and downs (estranged wives, bomb scares, plane crashes and working through a long-distance relationship), but lovesick doctors were meant for each other, even though Derek was tragically killed off. Of course, these surgeons’ schedules are so crazy that it’s impossible to date outside the hospital.
- Bill and Melinda Gates
The Microsoft CEO met employee Melinda French, a product manager, in 1987. The colleagues on different rungs of the corporate ladder took things slow, and weren’t engaged for another six years. And the power couple is still going strong. They also head the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charity in the world, which has given away nearly $40 billion and counting since it launched in 2000.
- “Jerry Maguire”
This couple had us at “hello.” Renee Zellweger’s single mom character, Dorothy, believed in Tom Cruise’s self-titled sports agent enough to leave her steady job and help him start a new agency. They married. They separated – but it wasn’t game over. Jerry came back to her with one of the greatest apologies in rom-com history.
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