The new non-fiction book From Hollywood with Love chronicles the “Golden Age” of rom-coms, those films that capture the imaginations and hearts of people the world over. The much-maligned genre has staying power, and the reason is simple. A great romantic comedy is fun, optimistic, sexy and transporting. What could be better for a Valentine’s Day weekend? If you’re up for it, we’ve curated a list of 10 of the best romantic comedies (aka, rom com movies) to watch or stream right now, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
what are the best rom coms to watch for valentine’s day this year?
Valentine’s Day is almost here, and we know what you’re looking for – well, besides love, of course. A great romantic comedy We love dramatic films, but this is the week to curl up on the couch with something funny and sweet – and with a happy ending guaranteed.
If you’re looking for a recommendation of what to watch, here is a list of our all-time favorites. You’ll laugh, you’ll say aww, and maybe you’ll even find some inspiration for your own life. (And if you find yourself wanting more, have no fear – Bridgerton, our favorite rom-com series, returns to Netflix at the end of May). Listed in order of release.
10 rom com movies (romantic comedies) best for valentine’s day viewing
1. Bringing Up Baby/What’s Up Doc
We’re starting with two movies for the price of one. And that’s because What’s Up Doc is a remake of Bringing Up Baby, and this is one of those rare occasions where the two movies are equally worth your time. They are both screwball comedies about mistaken identity (in one case, a leopard, and in the other, a suitcase) and spirited, chaos-driven women who fall for – and chase after – two very straightlaced men. Bringing Up Baby stars Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and What’s Up Doc stars Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. And both will make you laugh out loud this Valentine’s Day.
2. A New Leaf
Not many romantic comedies begin with the man planning to murder the woman, but A New Leaf is just that special. Directed and written by Elaine May, and starring May and Walter Matthau, A New Leaf is about a man who discovers he has spent his inheritance, and latches onto a wealthy – and absent-minded – woman so that he can steal her fortune. The odds may seem stacked against them, but it only makes the resolution that much more fun.
3. Defending Your Life
Cher asks if we believe in life after love, but what about… love after life? In this movie, when Daniel Miller dies in a tragic accident, he discovers that the afterlife is nothing like he expected. He’s going to have to publicly defend his life if he hopes to move forward – and his chances look grim. But then he meets a wonderful woman (Meryl Streep) who just might change everything for him. Albert Brooks writes, directs, and stars.
4. Sleepless in Seattle
Probably the Valentine’s Day movie, as it’s the movie from Nora Ephron (the rom-com queen) that’s set on the holiday. Chances are you already know the story, but just in case: after losing his wife, a man in Seattle (Tom Hanks) calls into a radio program to talk about her – and a woman in New York (Meg Ryan) hears him. She is trapped in an unhappy engagement, and hearing this man talk stirs something in her. She writes to him: will he meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day? And the rest is history.
5. How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Another classic, because Valentine’s Day feels like the right time for old favorites. In the movie from Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Angela Bassett plays Stella, a woman who has it all– well, almost. Though she has excelled in her career and as a mother, there is one thing Stella’s missing: love. When her best friend convinces her to take a much-needed vacation, she heads to Jamaica – and it just so happens that an encounter with a much younger man (Taye Diggs) might help her to reconsider a few things.
6. Bride & Prejudice
We love every movie that Gurinder Chadha has ever made, and the delightful Bride and Prejudice – yes, a modern update on the Austen novel – is no exception. Mrs. Bakshi is searching for husbands for her four unmarried daughters, and so she invites some eligible bachelors over to meet them. But as you may expect, things do not go as planned. The film stars Aishwarya Rai Banchan, and it is fun, lively, and easy to adore from start to finish.
7. Just Wright
In this movie, Queen Latifah plays Leslie Wright, physical therapist and basketball fan. When her friend Morgan (Paula Patton) starts dating basketball champion Scott McKnight (Common), Leslie is roped into helping him recover from an injury. But what will happen to her job – and her friendship – if she accidentally develops feelings for this sports star? Directed by Sanaa Hamri.
8. The Big Sick
It’s impossible not to love every movie that stars Kumail Nanjiani. And we love this one even more because it is warm, sweet, and based on a true story. Nanjiani plays a fictional version of himself, in the early days of his relationship with now-wife Emily V. Gordon (here played by Zoe Kazan, and called Emily Gardner). The two faced friction early in their relationship and stopped seeing each other, but when Emily was hospitalized with a mysterious illness, Nanjiani was pulled back to her side. As she lay in a coma, he was forced to confront her family, as well as his own feelings about their relationship. Written by Nanjiani and Gordon, and directed by Michael Showalter.
9. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Think about the most personal, embarrassing thing you’ve ever written about another person… and then think about how you would feel if that person somehow received a copy of it in the mail. Well, that’s what happens to Lara Jean (Lana Condor) at the beginning of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: every love letter she’s ever written somehow finds its way to its recipient – which is not what she intended. Especially because one of the letters was written about her sister’s ex-boyfriend. There’s a good chance you’ve already seen this Netflix original gem, but if not, now’s your chance. Otherwise, make sure to check out the two sequels, and the equally fabulous novels by Jenny Han.
10. Always Be My Maybe
If you’re a fan of the friends-to-lovers narrative, then this romcom by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco is the one for you. Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Park) are childhood friends, absolutely inseparable until a falling out leads them to not speak for fifteen years. When a chance encounter brings them back together, will they be able to finally be honest about the way they feel? Watch to find out, and for the delightful appearance by Keanu Reeves.
the best rom com movies for valentine’s day this year
That’s our list of 10 of the best romantic comedies (aka, rom com movies) to watch or stream right now, just in time for Valentine’s Day this year. What do you think, dear reader? What would you add to this list? Whatever your plans this year, we’re wishing you day of love and affection. And some really good popcorn.