This Valentine’s, stream these top rom-coms
Snuggle up on the couch with one of the best-rated romantic comedies of the past decade.
Critics and awards bodies agree: these five films are some of the best romantic comedy films to come out of the 2010s.
Pakistan-born comedian Kumail (Emmy nominee Kumail Nanjiani from The Twilight Zone and Silicon Valley) and grad student Emily (Emmy nominee Zoe Kazan) fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.
Kumail wrote this classic with his real-life wife Emily V Gordon, based on their own love story. “A classic boy-meets-girl, girl-falls-into-coma, boy-and-girl-write-Oscar-nominated-movie-about-it rom-com, in other words,” according to Rolling Stone, who included this “true tale of true love” in their roundup of the 50 best romantic comedies of all time.
Oscar winner Holly Hunter and triple Emmy winner Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) co-star as Emily’s parents.
As Mike McGranaghan wrote in Indiewire’s critics’ survey of the Best Romantic Comedies of the Last 10 Years, where The Big Sick came up repeatedly, “it’s both romantic and funny… What really elevates it, though, is that it rings true… There are no false moments. Consequently, the romance plays with sincerity and the laughs hit harder.”
Similarly, in naming The Big Sick the best romantic comedy of the 2010s, Decider praised it as “relentlessly warm and funny (has anyone ever done a better 9/11 joke?) and romantic… Damn near impossible not to fall in love with. Easily one of the best rom-coms – and just plain comedies – of the last 10 years, if not the last 20.”
Native New Yorker Rachel Chu, an economics professor, travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend Nick’s family, but soon discovers they’re preposterously wealthy, with strong opinions about the ’class’ of person they’d like to see Nick dating.
Based on the bestselling 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, this fairy tale romcom stars Constance Wu (Hustlers) in a Golden Globe-nominated role alongside Henry Golding (A Simple Favour) and Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), who were both nominated for Teen Choice Awards for this film. BAFTA nominee Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Jemma Chan (Captain Marvel) co-star.
It was the highest-grossing rom-com of the decade, with Rolling Stone including Crazy Rich Asians in their roundup of the 50 best romantic comedies of all time, hailing it as “a funny, fluffy fantasy filled with palpable chemistry… a potent reminder of just how powerful the rom-com can be.”
Or as Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus put it, “With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic – and still effective – rom-com formula.”
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe as Tiffany, Bradley Cooper was nominated for Best Actor at both as Pat, and Robert de Niro and Jacki Weaver were up for Best Supporting Actor and Actress Oscars respectively as Pat’s parents – making it “one of only a handful of flicks to ever receive Oscar nominations in every acting category,” according to Decider. Julia Stiles (Save the Last Dance) and Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) co-star.
Silver Linings Playbook is written and directed by five-time Oscar nominee David O Russell (The Fighter), based on Matthew Quick’s bestselling novel.
Cinemablend placed it second on their list of 10 Best Romantic Comedies of The Decade, behind only The Big Sick, saying, “It’ll make you laugh, maybe cry a little, but mostly leave you feeling exuberant.” Decider placed it third, calling it “a little miracle of a movie… totally mesmerizing… a stunning medley of heart and humor.”
Annie is an out-of-work pastry chef who agrees to be the maid of honour for her lifetime best friend, Lillian. Though lovelorn and broke, she bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals, determined to show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you’ll go for someone you love.
As Annie, Kristen Wiig was nominated for a Golden Globe, while Melissa McCarthy earned her first Oscar nomination as Megan, another bridesmaid. Three-time Emmy nominee Maya Rudolph plays Lillian, while Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne, Emmy nominee Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Critics Choice nominee Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) co-star as the other bridesmaids. Look out for Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm and Emmy winner Chris O’Dowd as Annie’s love interests.
Vogue included Bridesmaids in their roundup of the best romantic comedies of all time, saying, “This is about the love between friends, yes, and the agony that comes with maturing at different paces, but what ultimately drives the film is the desire of Annie (Kristen Wiig, who also wrote the script with Annie Mumolo) to catch up. This movie isn’t as much about what we have as about what we’re missing, and how a wedding can bring that to the fore. Along with nonstop laughs, we get a powerhouse performance from Wiig—even as Melissa McCarthy steals the show.”
Rotten Tomatoes‘ critics’ consensus says, “A marriage of genuine characters, gross-out gags, and pathos, Bridesmaids is a female-driven comedy that refuses to be boxed in as Kristen Wiig emerges as a real star.”
Having thought that monogamy was unrealistic, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.
In the lead role of Amy, Amy Schumer was nominated for a Golden Globe and four MTV Movie Awards, and won a Critics Choice Award. The all-star cast includes three-time Emmy winner Bill Hader (Barry) and John Cena (Bumblebee) as very different love interests; Oscar winners Brie Larson , Tilda Swinton and Marisa Tomei; basketball legend LeBron James in a hilarious cameo as himself; and even Daniel Radcliffe as a dog walker.
Trainwreck is directed by Judd Apatow, who also produced Bridesmaids. As Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus says, “Trainwreck drags commitment out of all but the most rom-com-phobic filmgoers with sharp humour, relatable characters, and hilarious work from Amy Schumer.”
Cinemablend put it at #5 on their list of the 10 best romcoms of the decade, praising it as “a staple of the 2010s, the movie that kicked off Amy Schumer’s and really John Cena’s movie careers and launched a thousand conversations about not doing the bring the check motion while also saying ‘check, please.’”