Want to watch a romantic comedy this Valentine's Day but you're too overwhelmed with the sheer number of options? The Moviegoer's got you covered - here are our favorites!
27 Dresses - Tamar
Until very recently, I didn’t know that the screenwriter of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was the same as the one who wrote 27 Dresses. But it’s no surprise, since Aline Brosh McKenna is the queen of quirky-but-fierce female protagonists. In 27 Dresses, Jane (Katherine Heigl), a working woman with the curse of being a perennial bridesmaid, falls in love with a wedding column journalist (James Marsden) who she first thought was extremely annoying. Jane is a character that is supportive of her friends while also not being afraid to say what’s on her mind (well, except to her boss, whom she initially loves, but I digress…). Kevin, the newspaper columnist, is played by the ever-charming James Marsden, whose films I will always watch without batting an eye. Seriously. Who doesn’t love a James Marsden movie?
While 27 Dresses certainly adheres to some rom-com stereotypes, it’s ultimately creative, funny, and ends on a heartwarming note.
About Time - Hayley
There’s nothing sweeter than a Richard Curtis rom-com (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, you get the point), and About Time is no exception. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), an awkward but endearing young man, lives with his loving, quirky family in a picturesque house by the sea — his soft-spoken father, candid mother, and eccentric sister. On his 21st birthday, his father pulls him aside to pass on a peculiar family secret: every man in their family tree has the ability to time travel to any moment in his own life. Tim sets out to find love using his new powers, but he quickly realizes that no amount of time can make someone fall in love with him (a lesson learned in my other favorite rom-com, Groundhog Day). Aside from a slip-up where Tim accidentally reverses the birth of his own daughter, fortunately the movie largely ignores the clunky logistics and philosophical concerns of its sci-fi premise. Tim is able to use his abilities for grand gestures — selecting the right best-man for his wedding day toast, helping a forgetful actor remember his lines at his landlord’s play’s opening night — but the movie’s most touching scenes come when Tim travels back in time to relive the little moments, like a childhood seaside walk with his father or first night with love interest Mary (Rachel McAdams). About Time is a simple and charming story of a man with the means to craft his perfect life, but whose deepest relationships and greatest triumphs are those left up to chance. With a perfect mix of humor, romance, and familial ties, it’s a Valentine’s Day watch so delightful you’ll want to travel back in time to watch it again.
Happy Death Day - Shana
Happy Death Day stars Jessica Rothe as Tree, a woman who finds herself in a time loop where she is murdered by someone in a baby mask on her birthday, and must solve her own murder before she dies for good. This movie is a fun ride as Tree relives the same day over and over while trying to unmask her killer, but also deals with the pain of losing her mother and reexamines the way she treats others. She also falls in love with a pretty decent guy in the process.
Sabrina (1954) - Emma
If you’re looking for a more classic Hollywood romance flick, you ought to give Sabrina a chance. Led by cinema icons Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, Sabrina is a classy vintage rom-com that epitomizes the dramatic flair of old romance stories. Audrey is the queen of romance; we all know Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday, but you may not have seen this one. Loosely a Cinderella story, the film focuses on the two sons of the wealthy Larrabee family, Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and David (William Holden), and their chauffeur’s daughter Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), who just returned from Paris as a charming and sophisticated young woman. Both men have their eyes on her, and it’s up to her to choose — will she pick David, the carefree playboy she’s been in love with for years, or the serious businessman Linus, who may be the better match for her? This is a guaranteed feel-good flick, with beautiful visuals and an elegant soundtrack, and is easily one of my favorites. Don’t miss out on Hepburn at her best this Valentine’s Day!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Charlie
For everyone who feels like a romantic underdog, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a must-watch. While most Rom-Coms portray life through rose-tinted lenses, Forgetting Sarah Marshall keeps it honest and tells life how it is. It’s as much about relationships as it is about fully-realizing our individual motivations and talents.
Jason Segel stars as Peter, a lovable loser that you just can’t help but root for. After being dumped by his way-out-of-his-league girlfriend (Kristen Bell), the movie follows Peter trying to move on from his heartbreak, eventually leading him to a Hawaiian resort where most of the movie takes place. Forgetting Sarah Marshall stands out by giving attention to every facet of the breakup process--the good, the bad, and the awkward.
The comedy in the movie is a well-executed blend of dry humor and zaniness that always keeps you wondering what’s next. These are aided by a strong supporting cast, most notably Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, that blend well into any scene. Plus, there’s a Dracula Puppet Rock Opera! What more could you want?
10 Things I Hate About You - Harsha
10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is your average fun, hilarious, classic romcom. Despite its cheesy plot filled with conspiring siblings and enemies to lovers tropes, it's all-star cast comprising of early 2000's Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Larisa Oleynik infuses this age-old plot with charm, wit and fun - making it a must-watch for all fans of the 2000's rom com genre.
Loosely based on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew'', the movie follows Cameron, played by a young Joseph Gordan-Levitt, as he attempts to woo his crush Bianca by helping her find her older sister, the "shrew-like" Kat a boyfriend, after their father rules that Bianca can only have a boyfriend once her sister starts seeing someone. Drama ensues when Cameron tricks his rival for Bianca’s affections, the school douche, into paying the resident loner, Patrick (played by a surprisingly charming Heath Ledger) into taking Kat out thus beginning a battle of wits between the equally matched Patrick and Kat as they navigate their growing feelings for one another.
If you’re a fan of witty banter and adorable moments between friends, family and new romances, then don’t forget to add 10 Things I Hate About You to your Valentine’s Day movie list.
High Fidelity (2000) - Matt
2000’s High Fidelity isn’t just a boy-meets-girl romantic comedy. It’s a love affair between boy and other boys, boy and his past, and most passionately, between boy and his record collection. And while John Cusack’s protagonist Rob, ends up realizing it’s not what you like, but what you are like that matters, his journey of enlightenment showers us in nostalgia punctuated heavily by some fantastic musical choices.
The best scenes are set inside Championship Vinyl, owner Rob’s personal mecca for music snobs in downtown Chicago, where the socially outcast staff (grotesquely played by a young Jack Black, and tenderly played by Todd Lousio) steer their customers towards their own very specific sense of what constitutes musical taste, with hysterical results. The dynamic between the three of them is wonderful, and all too familiar to those of us who enjoy building our own collections.
Ultimately it’s a story about the important moments in life, and how the distraction of things too often gets in the way. But the romance of having an opinion on the best things in life never goes out of style.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) - Karan
With a stellar ensemble cast comprising Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore and Kevin Bacon, this movie talks about the beauty of falling in love again. Steve Carell, suffering from a high-school romance gone stale, tries to spice up his love life by going clubbing. It is here he meets philanderer Ryan Gosling, who pledges to help him achieve this goal. This is alternated with a budding romance between Gosling and Emma Stone, who turns out to be Carell’s daughter. This comedy of errors sticks its landing, and leaves us with a warm, fuzzy feeling in our hearts. With a lot of heart and well-timed humor, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a true rom com classic.
Love, Rosie -- Rebecca
This 2014 film explores the trials and tribulations of two best friends. Set over a 10(ish) year period, Rosie and Alex — played by Lily Collins and Sam Claflin respectively — are faced with navigating the ups and downs of their young adult lives. Despite going their separate ways after graduating high school, the two friends always seem to find a way back to each other regardless of the many miles between them.
Love, Rosie embraces the epitome of the best-friends-to-lovers trope with the classic “will they, won’t they?” underlying question. Riddled with miscommunication and misunderstanding, this film requires the utmost patience. But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. And I promise, with these lovable protagonists and the backdrop of both exciting London and an idyllic English countryside, you will not be disappointed. This feel-good romantic comedy never fails to capture my heart.
Just Go With It - Sam
This movie came out almost exactly 10 years ago today (Feb 11th, 2011) but it still (somewhat) holds up. Yes, the premise is wacky and insane. Yes, having the film take place in Hawaii was likely an excuse for Sandler and co to take a mini-paid vacation. Yes, pretending to be divorced to get women to then only get a fake family to travel to Hawaii to further perpetuate the lie probably wouldn't fly in today's culture, but Aniston and Sandler are cute together.
Their chemistry is the primary force in making this movie enjoyable. While Sandler/Berrymore might be more of an iconic duo (Wedding Singer, Blended, 50 First Dates), Sandler has entertaining banter with Anniston (they later teamed up for the Netflix Original "Murder Mystery" in 2019).
Nicole Kidman is in the movie for some reason, but she provides a certain zany presence that heightens the comical tension and leads to another fake family. Nick Swardson as Eddie has some hilarious moments - being a "Sheep Doctor" comes to mind first, in addition to the antics that occur when he sleeps in the bathtub.
Overall, there are some solid one-liners, some fun moments, and some emotional bonds towards the end (even though you can CLEARLY see that Sandler's and Decker's characters have little to nothing in common throughout the film).
It's slightly predictable but it's a fun adventure to burn two hours on, so just go with it!
59% Rotten Tomatoes. Available on Peacock.