Not sure about you, but my current mood at basically all times has been “AHHHHHHHHHH.” I thought being stuck at home would be fun, but I’m just finding myself scrolling 140 different streaming services and 1.4 million tv shows and movies just trying to find one easy thing to watch. Sound familiar? I’m here to help us both. With all that content and everything suddenly so dark and moody and dramatic, the humble little rom-com (romantic comedy for the uninitiated) is the most perfect escape we can ask for. Cry, laugh, and remember the good times with these fantastic romcoms on Amazon right now.
These are the favorites of what I’ve seen but I know everyone who has ever seen Chasing Amy, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Moonstruck is going to yell at me for leaving them out. I hear you. I’m on it. But in the meantime, I arranged my picks from #35 all the way down to the crowning champ at #1. I highly recommend you watch every single movie below all in a row, nonstop binge-style. You’ll feel 1000% better.
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Start Off By Escaping To Hawaii
Remember Adam Sandler again…and again…and again in 50 First Dates. After falling in love with a woman who has amnesia, Henry does his best to win her over, again and again, each and every day. Drew Barrymore and Sandler have an easy chemistry (after 1998’s excellent The Wedding Singer) that allows this movie to transport you to Hawaii AND the early 2000s, which makes it the perfect use of your time stuck inside.
Then Watch This and Try to NOT See Chandler From Friends
Bringing peak Friends energy to a different story, Matthew Perry stars as an architect from NYC (classic movie job) who has a one-night stand with a free-spirited photographer (Selma Hayek) in Fools Rush In. Things take a hilarious turn, as they always do, but this cross country romcom is light fare, sure to lift your mood.
Bury Yourself in Nostalgia With This 90s Ode to Email
Anything with Tom Hanks in it is will automatically make you feel great. That’s science. Pair him up with Meg Ryan, throw in the advent of email, and you’ve got like 90% of the 90s in one movie. That’s exactly what You’ve Got Mail – written and directed by the forever queen of romcoms, Nora Ephron – does in the best way possible. Plus, if hearing AOL’s mail chime takes you right back to your happy place, then we all win.
Fun fact: you could never tell, but this movie is based on a 1937 Hungarian play! That’s staying power for ya.
Don’t Resist The Urge to Get Up and Dance to This ABBA Tribute
If you need an IMMEDIATE mood lifter, there’s nothing on this list more potent than the singing, dancing, loving, laughing crew of Mamma Mia! Delightfully campy at times, but packed with love, this movie is based on a musical which is based on the songs of ABBA. Talk about inspiration.
My partner won’t stop telling me I’m wrong, but the best part of this movie is that it sets you up for the truly fantastic Mamma Mia 2, which cuts the camp and adds style for days. Block off a couple of hours…you’re gonna wanna watch both in a row.
Have What She’s Having in This 80s Treasure
Another Nora Ephron masterpiece (told you she’s the queen), When Harry Met Sally… was nominated for FIVE Golden Globes and an Oscar for Best Screenplay to boot! Introducing more things into pop culture than I can count, this 1989 story brings back Meg Ryan and pulls in Billy Crystal (hey there Mike Wazowsk from Monsters, Inc.) to argue whether men and women can ever really be friends.
And after you watch, don’t forget to remind your family and friends that you’ll stop saying “I’ll have what she’s having” at some point and they just have to deal with it for now.
Get Lost in This Pride and Prejudice Retelling
Want to get cultured with an official “”British Cultural Icon”” right now? Watch Bridget Jones’s Diary, based on a novel, based on a column in a British newspaper from the 90s! A reinterpretation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this delightful movie starring Renée Zellweger (who just won the Golden Globe, BAFTA AND Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Judy), Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant will charm you right into walking around, speaking with a British accent to everyone you know.
Make sure you follow it up with Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby for the full effect!
Lose Yourself in Hugh Jackman’s Charm
Need a little time travel with your romcoms? I never knew I wanted it but Kate And Leopold delivered it. A duke (Hugh Jackman, NOT Hugh Grant) from 1876 travels to modern-day NYC. Or, at least, 2000 New York! He pairs up with Meg Ryan (yep, same one, yet again, you’re going to get familiar with these people) and they develop feelings as they explore the city together.
It’s weird and off-beat in the best of ways and is a welcome break to a category that sees a little too much of the same story getting told over and over again!
Fight the Urge to Smirk Alongside Hugh Grant
Add some rhythm to your blues with Music and Lyrics. AGAIN with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore (are they icons or what?!) taking the lead, this 2007 romcom pairs an aspiring writer with a has-been musician to a basic charm explosion. Professional collaboration leads to romantic interest leads to you loving this movie and telling everyone about it.
Laugh Yourself to Tears Watching This Hugely Improvised Knockout
Ready to laugh so hard your neighbors file a noise complaint? Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes packed with an amazing dream team of comedy including Jason Segel (who wrote it!), Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand. Segel plays a man desperate to forget a bad breakup by flying to Hawaii and loafing around a resort. Too bad her ex and her new BF are there too. Whoops.
Fun tie-in: the constantly hilarious Get Him To The Greek is a spiritual sequel to this movie, and brings Russel Brand’s character back as the focus. You have got to watch them both ASAP.
Renew Your Belief in Love With This Smart Standard
Okay, no Hugh Grant in this and I will stop talking about him starting now. Instead, I get to tell you about this incredibly sweet love tale starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton (who won a Golden Globe for the role!) called Something’s Gotta Give. They play completely opposite characters who try to find love later in life after dedicating themselves to their careers.
It’s touching, it’s funny, and it’ll probably make you call your parents.
Dissolve Into Mush with This Witty Wonder
I promise I don’t have an obsession with Hugh Grant. I repeated that to myself in the mirror too, to make sure. I don’t think he’s the literal embodiment of 90s British charm. I don’t think about changing my foster cat’s name to John Mungo (his two middle names.) I promise.
But still, have you SEEN About a Boy? He plays this cynical rich man who tries to pick up single moms. Sleazy, I get it, but listen, this movie has got so much heart, and he eventually learns how to grow up from a 12-year old son of one of the single moms. Don’t blame me if you end up writing Hugh Grant fan mail after this. I warned you.
Cringe to Steve Carell’s Raunchy Starring Role
Maybe make sure there are no kids around when you watch this one. Steve Carell co-wrote this huge blockbuster with the star-making Judd Apatow. In his first-ever starring role, Carell plays the titular 40-Year-Old Virgin whose friends (including the ever-lovable Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Romany Malco) try to help him lose his virginity. A controversial, raunchy, riot of a movie with a true emotional core, you’ll come out with tears of joy and tears of emotion and you won’t be able to tell which is which.
Fun fact: the movie is based on an improv sketch that Carell performed!
Take a Nostalgia Trip With This Award Winning Pick
More Jack Nicholson? Sure, I’ve got that. What should be a sad drama becomes a rom-com worth cheering up over, due to deft directing and sharp writing in As Good As It Gets. Nicholson’s Melvin struggles with OCD and meets Helen Hunt’s Carol, a single mom with a chronically ill son. I know, sounds like a drag. Trust me, you’ll feel all of the feels by the end.
Plus, Nicholson and Hunt won the Oscar for Best Actor and Best Actress for their roles, which you know means you’re in for something…as good as it gets.
Feel Instantly Cooler After Watching This Novel Adaptation
Awesome name, awesome movie. Based on a novel, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is the literal embodiment of hipster coolness. It stars Michael Cera (Arrested Development’s George Michael) and Kat Dennings (of 2 Broke Girls fame) as teenagers bonding over their favorite band and wandering around an NYC night.
Bonus: Try to catch Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, the authors of the novel, who have cameos as a couple sitting in a diner behind the two leads.
Get Sporty With This British Soccer Riot
A sports movie about so many real topics (race! age! cultures! gender!) is hard to make funny, lovable, family-friendly, and charming, but that’s exactly what Bend It Like Beckham does. Starring a fantastic Parminder Nagra and a teenage Keira Knightley, this soccer (they call it football, but you can convert it in your head, I promise) flick tells the tale of a young woman aspiring to sports stardom but gets blocked my her traditional parents who don’t believe girls should play.
Light-hearted but substantial, this movie can really do no wrong.
Score With This 2000s Slamdunk
Ready for another sporting movie already? This one is an instant classic, I’m telling you. Omar Epps (Dr, Foreman from House!) and Sanaa Lathan (Donna from The Cleavland Show) star as next-door neighbors focused on their basketball careers in Love and Basketball. The movie tracks these two through their lives and their friendships and romance is a lovely tale that you can’t miss.
Roger Ebert said it best: “I prefer its emotional perception to the pumped-up sports clichés I was sort of expecting. It’s about the pressures of being a star athlete; the whole life, not the game highlights.”
Swoon to Tom Hanks
I repeat: anything with Tom Hanks will make you feel great. This time: Sleepless in Seattle.
Plus, as you might have guessed by this point in the list, the late great Nora Ephron is at the helm yet again! A really cute tale about a dad who has lost his wife and his son who calls into a radio show to get him to talk about it. A listener (who else but Meg Ryan) hears the broadcast and the tale of love develops from there. A simple, sweet, and easy tale that I guarantee will bring you happiness!
Get Shakespearean With This Modern Twist on One of the Original Rom-Coms
Alright, this is as under-the-radar as it really gets, but it’s one of my favorites. Joss Whedon, who you might know as the talented writer/director of the Avenger’s movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or as a co-writer of TOY STORY, adapts the brilliant Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing into modern times. The dialog is pure olden-times but the setting and cast do an excellent job bringing it into our world.
Bonus: If you know some of his earlier work on TV, you’ll see tons of returning actors!
Wiig Out To A Romance Within a Hilarious Comedy
The rom takes a backseat to the com in the hilarious Bridesmaids. Starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig, the story follows her character being asked to serve as maid-of-honor at her friend’s (the inimitable Maya Rudolph) wedding. Hilarity ensues and that’s the focus of the tale, but we’re also in it for a really sweet secondary romantic storyline featuring Chris O’Dowd as a friendly State Patrol officer.
Come for the laughs, stay for the love.
Watch Will Smith Act a Fool
Ready for terrible style but an amazing movie? 2005’s Hitch is here for that. Starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes and Kevin James, Hitch surprisingly veers more in the romance direction than full-on comedy. Will Smith stars as a dating consultant to Kevin James’ nerdy investment broker. It’s a fun take on love and all the leads are super charming, which brings the movie to a higher level.
Fun fact: this movie inspired a 2007 Hindi movie called Partner!
Wish You Were Greek With This Indie Hit
“What do you mean he don’t eat no meat?
Check Out This Intertangled Web of Love With An All-Star Cast
Steve Carell is back, but this time he’s with Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Honestly, if you’re not sold by that cast already, I’m shocked. This funny, sweet movie remains inventive and ties all these characters together in a wonderful way. Smarts and romance meet in the best of movies.
Laugh Nonstop With This 90’s Classic
Easily one of the most timeless movies out there, There’s Something About Mary is hilarious from start to finish, even if some of its humor is a bit more slapstick than sophisticated. It stars Cameron Diaz as Mary and a great cast (including Ben Stiller!) of actors as men who are trying to win her affections.
Roger Ebert loved it, saying: “What a blessed relief is laughter. It flies in the face of manners, values, political correctness and decorum. It exposes us for what we are, the only animal with a sense of humor.”
Poetic, Roger, poetic.
Go For A Run With Julia Roberts
I’ve mentioned a lot of huge talents in the rom-com world, but none are as potent as THE Julia Roberts. Just like Tom Hanks, she has an innate ability to make you smile whenever you see her. Runaway Bride pairs her with Richard Gere and what could have been a boring rom-com romp gets elevated because of both actors’ immense talent.
Prepare to Recommend This Overlooked Treasure to Everyone You Know
I remember watching this movie in 2001 and instantly falling in love.
Serendipity is dripping with a fun sentimentality that really lets you go along for the ride more than you think is possible. Starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, the story follows the two as they go from chance encounter to chance encounter, reaffirming the old narrative that “fate finds a way.” You’re going to cry, I’m telling you.
Go Back to High School With Emma Stone’s Breakthrough
Emma Stone makes the list again! Easy A is a coming-of-age movie that remains as fresh now as it did in 2010. Which doesn’t sound that long ago but boy has the world changed…
Easy A draws its inspiration from The Scarlet Letter but moves the story into a high school (which we all know is worse than the 1850s crowd of the original novel.) Been watching You starring Penn Badgely? He plays opposite Emma Stone in this, and he’s a mascot to boot. It’s fun, happy and feisty, as all the best movies are!
Marvel at This Real-Life Storyof Love
One of the newest movies on this list, 2017’s The Big Sick is based on the true story of writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon. Also starring Nanjiani, the movie shows their relationship and its intercultural difference as Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) gets sick.
It’s incredibly heart-warming and touching, plus the real-life element brings an authenticity that makes you feel for the characters in a deeper way!
Shout/Laugh/Cry at This 2007 Comedy/Drama/Romance
Juno hit the world like a storm when it first arrived. This awesome comedy-drama-coming-of-age-romance movie stars Ellen Page as a teenager who becomes pregnant and has to deal with the stressors of adult life. It’s funny in that magical way only stressful situations can bring out. It has an incredible cast including Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney and J. K. Simmons to flesh out the story.
Fun fact: Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay, partly based on her life, over seven weeks in the Starbucks section of a Target store in Minnesota!
Feel the 90s NYC Energy in This Classic
If you haven’t seen Coming to America, I’m honestly jealous of you because you get to watch it for the first time and that is such an incredible experience. Eddie Murphy stars as a prince of a (fictional) African country who comes to America to search for his wife. Where does a future king go to find a partner? Queens, of course! Co-starring Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones (Mufasa! Darth Vader!), this movie is a comedy classic with romance at its core.
Now is the time to watch it too! After 32 years, the sequel, Coming 2 America, is hitting theaters this December!
Snap Every Jewelry Box in Your House Shut After (Re) Watching This One
The champ Julia Roberts at it again. This time on the list for a movie that you’ve probably already watched but NEED to rewatch: Pretty Woman. Again with Richard Gere, this unconventional movie stars Roberts as a sex worker hired by Gere’s wealthy businessman to be his date to different social events. Roberts won a Golden Globe and garnered an Oscar nom for her great performance.
Fun fact: The film saw the highest number of ticket sales in the US ever for a romantic comedy!
Add This An Under-The-Radar Knee-Slapper To Your Top Five List
Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson are truly perfect together in Top Five. Written, directed, and starring Rock, this movie mirrors his own life by telling the comeback of a has-been actor who is forced to confront his past when being interviewed by Dawson’s character. The movie has some incredible cameos from people like Adam Sandler, Tracy Morgan, DMX, Whoppi Goldberg and Jerry Seinfeld.
I can see the future: you’re going to recommend this one to all your friends ASAP.
Bawl Over This Tender Tear-Jerker
The newest movie on this list, and in the top 10 for a reason, Love, Simon is a modern story that is so lovely and fun to watch that you’ll be ready for the rewatch as soon as you’re done. It stars Nick Robinson as Simon, a closeted gay high school boy who is being blackmailed and trying to figure out the identity of his secret online lover.
Super heart-warming and an instant favorite, this romcom defines what the genre can really be: uplifting, touching, funny and moving.
Sing Along to a Gem That’ll Keep You Dancing for Days
I’m sorry to do this to you, but you need to watch or rewatch La La Land right now. There’s no excuse. If you loved it, it’s as good as you remember the first time. If you didn’t like it, it is MUCH better than you think. La La Land came with so much drama that it got lost in it! I’m not wading into all that, but if you want to sing and dance around and feel better about pretty much everything, put on this movie right now.
If you haven’t seen it, it stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a jazz pianist and aspiring actress, respectively. Their love story is delightful and fun and the directing and music are just as wonderful.
Warm That Heart Up with a Stylistic Masterpiece
A rom-com featuring kids is rarely done right. But Moonrise Kingdom manages to bring maturity and incredible style to this tale of love. Directed and co-written by a master of cinema Wes Anderson, this movie is the tale of a boy scout who abandons the camp to reunite with a girl who lives across the island.
Endlessly charming and smart, Moonrise will have you beaming from cheek-to-cheek long after the credits roll. To define this movie as any single genre does it a disservice, it’s a true work of art that’ll last the ages.
And Finish With the Truest Definition of a Classic Around
And finally, number one on my list for so many reasons, 10 Things I Hate About You is the finest example of a classic you can get in the romcom world. Starring Julia Stiles, the incredible Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this movie is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, set in a 90s American high school. The movie brought all of these incredible actors to the spotlight and is the perfect example of everything a romcom should be.