10 Best Rom Coms to Make Your Partner Watch With You
Modern day fairy tales (laced in the funny) and popcorn selling kisses — more like 10 romantic comedies your partner should be excited to enjoy with you. While folks criticize this genre for being “unrealistic” — rom coms are not made to accurately reflect the state of love and relationships, but rather, they provide us a sense of idealism — showing us the way love and relationships could be. They navigate the emotional complexities of specific types of people and their connections. They also provide us with the insights of how things could be received in relationships — encouraging us to critically think and approach modern romance in more effective (and sometimes hilarious) ways. Of course, rom coms tend to perpetuate harmful heteronormative notions — but queer and people of colour representation is getting better in this genre, so there’s that.
So, let’s talk about the 10 best rom coms to make your partner watch with you — or rom coms not to miss even if they pass out during the opening credits.
You’ve Got Mail, 1998Before people started sliding into DMs on social media, they sent wildly romantic letters in the form of electronic mail — at least, that’s what happens in You’ve Got Mail. Rom com queen Meg Ryan is adorable as the owner of Shop Around the Corner — and for the third time, is paired with rom com king Tom Hanks. Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) and Joe Fox (Hanks) are at war with their businesses during the day — but off the clock, they’re addicted to each other’s words and minds.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after You’ve Got Mail:Addicted to Love, Big, Sleepless in Seattle, Joe vs The Volcano
Someone Like You, 2001Have you heard of the new cow theory? Someone Like You leans right into pop-psych when Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) gets dumped — she heals through research, piecing together science reports and ultimately draws the conclusion that men are bulls, women are cows — and relationships are ultimately doomed because bulls aren’t into cows they’ve already mated with. Of course, it’s a rom com and the film follows two co-workers that start off annoyed with the other — only to move in together and discover feelings. A complicated love triangle also makes its way into the movie. It’s cute and optimistic for folks still a bit wounded from a rejection.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Someone Like You:Kate and Leopold, Where the Heart Is, You’ve Got Mail
SEE ALSO: 10 signs your breakup might be your fault.
Saving Face, 2004Before The Half of It, Alice Wu brought us the perfect Gaysian rom com. This adorable sapphic love story often falls in the cracks of pop culture history — the story of a ballet dancer (Lynn Chen) and closeted surgeon (Michelle Krusiec), the doctor’s widowed mom’s mysterious pregnancy and their Chinese community in New York’s Flushing — is underrated. This film has a stronger storyline than Crazy Rich Asians and more chemistry than Always Be My Maybe — and arguably provides the most relatable Asian representation in any rom com ever.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Saving Face:The Half of It, Imagine Me and You, The Joy Luck Club
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When Harry Met Sally, 1989“Men and women can’t be friends” is a theory stated and proven in this classic rom com. Brilliantly written by Nora Ephron, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally is filled with quality dialogue, character development and an ideal friends-to-lovers slow-burn romance. Ryan, on the brink of her prolific rom com career, is the ultimate leading neurotic, clever lead and Crystal is her humorous, oddly-charming match. Heteronormativity at its finest.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after When Harry Met Sally:Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, You’ve Got Mail
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I Can’t Think Straight, 2008As her traditional Arabic wedding approaches, charismatic Tala (Lisa Ray) meets and accidentally falls in love with an introverted Muslim woman (Sheetal Sheth). Both try to avoid the gay as they continue to try and contiue their hetero relationships with their dudes — but the heart wants what the heart wants. Shamim Sarif brings to life a wildly romantic story between two women and their two cultures in I Can’t Think Straight — and offers audiences a glimpse of how family and other loved ones from different backgrounds may respond to different notions of happily ever after.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after I Can’t Think Straight:The World Unseen, Crazy Rich Asians, Better Than Chocolate
Think Like a Man, 2012Based on Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man is a rom com that is all about what happens when a group of (very attractive) women decide to follow Harvey’s advice — and the funny is brought to life as audiences watch how all their partners respond to it. Like with any storyline that explores what happens when you try to turn love and relationships into a science, the hilarity is all in the experiments and reactions.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Think Like a Man:About Last Night, What Men What
Pretty Woman, 1990Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, this iconic rom com has remained the top grossing romantic comedy ever. Sex worker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) and wealthy business man Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) accidentally find love on Hollywood Boulevard. Of course, it takes a complicated business transaction to help them figure it out.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Pretty Woman:When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill, Runaway Bride
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The Proposal, 2009Every shipping fandom has created an alt-universe version of The Proposal. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds team up for hilarity and surprisingly good chemistry in this classic rom com that plays up the fake relationship trope. Of course, while playing pretend, real life feelings almost always develop — especially when audiences are watching.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after The Proposal:Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice
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Pillow Talk, 1959Never forget that this Rock Hudson and Doris Day rom com won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. That’s right, folks — there was a time in pop culture history where rom coms were acclaimed and Pillow Talk was all the rage — giving Hudson a comeback role and earning Day a best actress in a leading role Oscar nomination. Time-travel back to a time of party lines, no texting and smoking inside with this adorable feature film.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Pillow Talk:Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers, Paris When It Sizzles, Funny Face, Roman Holiday
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Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2008A truly inspiring rom com for anyone fresh out of a break up. Forgetting Sarah Marshall starts with Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) getting dumped by Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) and follows him on his healing journey while on vacation in Hawaii. It speaks to how we can idealize connections that might not actually be serving us — and provides hope that the actual right person could be just a heartbreak away.
Other movies you’ll want to watch after Forgetting Sarah Marshall:Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, The Muppets Movie, Friends With Benefits
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