Just when you thought the romantic comedy was dead, 2018 came roaring in with an abundance of rom-coms to make our dreams come true and our hearts soar all over again. Not only were these films seen on the big screen, but Netflix also made a big statement in the genre by delivering some notable movies this year.
What makes this list even more special is how inclusive it is. The days of only featuring the blond girl next door as our heroine is over. This year’s crop of rom-coms showcases a more diverse group of talent leading the way. Don’t get us wrong. Hollywood still has a way to go, but this is a great start when it comes to bringing the genre back with all different types of leads.
Here are some of our favorite romantic comedies from 2018 — the perfect year for sweet, funny films to make a return.
Crazy Rich Asians
We squeal with delight every time we watch a scene from Crazy Rich Asians. This movie was the perfect book-to-film adaptation that brought audiences to the theaters in droves.
Constance Wu and Henry Golding helmed a cast of Asian and Asian-American actors in a film with a simple premise — a career woman from New York City meets her wealthy boyfriend’s family for the first time in Singapore. Of course, the story becomes anything but simple. Don’t miss this movie for the first or second time.
Set It Up
One of the big reasons Netflix gained such ground with rom-coms is because of Set It Up.
Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell made the perfect zany team as two executive assistants trying to hook up their difficult bosses, played by Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs. You know what happens next… love finds itself in the most unusual places with the most unexpected people.
Since we’ve seen The Wedding Planner over and over again on cable TV during rainy afternoons, it’s only fitting that Jennifer Lopez graces us with another rom-com favorite 17 years later this Dec. 21.
Instead of Matthew McConaughey, Milo Ventimiglia steps into the leading man role as her knight in shining armor who stays at home while this Cinderella story revolves around her booming — yet complicated — work life. Her character goes from a big-box store employee to corporate executive who shares her street smarts along the way.
Tyler Perry gives Tiffany Haddish and Tika Sumpter the rom-com treatment in Nobody’s Fool. The movie is about a paroled woman who helps her sister find out if she’s being catfished by a man she’s been involved with online for over a year.
Of course, there is more than one man in love with the sister, so the rom-com hijinks begin. Who will our heroine wind up with? It’s always the last person you expected to fall in love with.
Take the 1987 movie with Goldie Hawn and flip the story around. Anna Faris is the working-class single mom and Eugenio Derbez is the wealthy amnesiac playboy who Faris convinces she’s his wife.
The story is absurd, but Faris is so lovable and hilarious, it’s worth watching if you missed it in theaters.
Not only do women over 60 have a romantic life, but they also have a major place in Hollywood. Sexy and sassy actors Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen proved the old Hollywood adage that older women don’t sell movie tickets wrong.
The hilarious storyline about women who are turned on by reading Fifty Shades of Grey in their book club was a winner. Who doesn’t want to use a Christian Grey sex tip or two and try it out in their real life? These ladies were up for anything.
This storyline was long overdue, but this sweet love story about a closeted gay high school student received high praise. Love, Simon features a mysterious love interest who posts an online confession that he is a closeted gay teen. Similarly closeted teen Simon sees this and connects online with him. As they grow closer, their communications are stolen by a blackmailer threatening to out Simon, sending Simon’s life into a tailspin and showing the travails of teenage life.
It’s about time Hollywood starts featuring mainstream films with LGBTQ love stories, because eventually, audiences will start seeing it as just a love story — not a gay love story.
Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again
Not only do you get a romantic comedy out of Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, you also get a musical featuring the songs of ABBA. There’s a lot of romance going on in a series of ’70s flashbacks as a Lily James portrays young Donna (Meryl Streep) and a present-day pregnant Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds out more about her late mother and her three romances on the Greek island of Kalokairi.
The cast will have you singing, dancing and wishing you were romancing on the beaches of Greece. It’s also a reminder of the great love between a mother and a daughter.
The Princess Switch
The Princess Switch has every element of a perfect romantic comedy — a duchess, a baker, an upcoming royal wedding, a baking competition and two handsome beaus who are looking for romance. Vanessa Hudgens steals the show in the dual roles of the charming baker and privileged duchess.
The women trade places, and you know what happens next — a dash of Christmas magic and an exotic location add to the romance. The Princess Switch is a perfect rom-com for the holidays, even if it sticks to a predictable format.