If you’re searching for your next must-watch romcom to fill up your weekends or spice up your sleepover, we’ve got you covered! With an extensive list, you are sure to find something that will sway your heart and make you swoon.
Since there are thousands of romcoms out there, we’ve decided to narrow it down to those released within the 21st century. Even so, the list is a never-ending one, as you’ll soon discover.
1. LOVE ACTUALLY
Watching Love Actually is like taking a dip into the lives of eight different people and how they navigate love during the holidays. The movie itself is a title we’ve all seen a million times as it gets overplayed during the holiday season. Its cast consists of popular A-list celebrities at the time, namely Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and more.
In Love Actually, we get to watch a sliver of each character’s life as Christmas comes around. Each couple faces their own challenges in love and brings forward the idea that love is not as easy as we think. Additionally, as this is a rom-com, we do get some moments of hilarity, like Hugh Grant dancing around his office, an iconic scene that will live on forever.
Love Actually is a great comfort movie to substitute your typical Christmas movies when the holiday season comes around.
2. 500 DAYS OF SUMMER
Movie critics and enthusiasts online are constantly debating on who is in the right and who is in the wrong in 500 Days of Summer. It’s a debate that has been ongoing ever since the movie’s release but has been amped up in recent years. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel set the scene.
Generally, 500 Days of Summer is a unique movie that has indie written all over it. An introverted hopeless romantic falls in love with a girl who’s best described as the ‘manic pixie dream’ girl. It’s cute and all until it isn’t anymore. The movie explores what happens before, during, and after a relationship. Additionally, it also sets up the idea that a failed relationship is not the end of everything or the end of love.
If the blatant depiction of indie everything doesn’t cringe you out, then this is a great movie to watch.
3. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Two people with mental health issues and their lives a disastrous mess falling in love make for a rather interesting and messy premise. Silver Linings Playbook balances drama with romance and comedy, and it does it well. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as an unlikely couple.
Pat just got out of a psychiatric hospital for BPD and is on the road to making amends with his ex-wife. Tiffany is a widow with an undiagnosed mental disease who offers to help him get his wife back if he enters a dance competition as her partner. As they get closer, the two have to figure out their relationship as well as their own mental health issues that get in the way of it all.
Silver Linings Playbook is quiet and loud all at once. There’s a lot of shouting, but there’s a lot unsaid as the two characters battle with their personal issues.
4. FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
Steering ourselves into something more light-hearted and slightly raunchy, we’ve got Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Different from the previous films, this title is largely a comedy movie with some nudity interspersed throughout its storyline.
Peter gets dumped by his super hot superstar girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, and decides to go on a Hawaiian vacation. However, his ex-girlfriend, who just dumped him, happens to be on the same resort with her new boyfriend. Cue the reckless raunchiness and absurd plotline.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall explores the codependency of long-term relationships and the pain of breakups in a way that will make you laugh rather than cry.
5. 13 GOING ON 30
Let’s be honest. If you were a 13-year-old who woke up in a 30-year-old’s body, you would be heavily traumatized. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30. Well, it’s a movie after all.
Jenna makes a wish and somehow wakes up as her 30-year-old self. She has officially gotten her dream job, a dreamy boyfriend, and a fancy New York apartment. Regardless, she does not remember what happened over the last 17 years, so she seeks out her teenage best friend, Matt. As one thing leads to another, she somehow manages to navigate life as an adult and fall in love along the way.
13 Going on 30 is an adorable, quick romcom for those who need a little magic in their lives while reminiscing the 2000s era.
6. THE BIG SICK
You’ll probably find more appreciation for this movie when you think about the fact that Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon drew inspiration from their own relationship to write it. The Big Sick tells the story of an interracial couple and the cultural differences that arise in a relationship.
Adding to that, Emily somehow gets a mysterious illness and gets placed into a medically induced coma. This leaves Kumail to build an awkward relationship with her parents, bridging the two different cultures and backgrounds. Plus, his parents are keen on an arranged marriage, unaware of his situation with Emily.
The Big Sick explores interracial relationships and their challenges that are often overlooked in media at the time. Hence, be sure to add this to your list of must watch romcoms of the 21st century.
7. CRAZY RICH ASIANS
Undoubtedly, Crazy Rich Asians blew up in theatres and was even dubbed the ‘Black Panther’ for Asians mainly because this movie was the first major representation of Asians with an all-Asian cast in modern Western media, especially in the rom-com genre, which was seeing a decline at the time.
Crazy Rich Asians is exactly what its title suggests – a movie about the richest Asians in the world indulging in crazy fantasy-like parties and events. Amongst the chaos of it all, a simple Chinese-American woman gets transported to Singapore by her secretly wealthy boyfriend, who happens to be the heir to one of the biggest business conglomerates in Asia.
As she struggles to fit in with the super-rich and gets ostracised by the mother of her boyfriend, we watch as love trumps all, even tradition and familial expectations. Crazy Rich Asians is one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century.
8. CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
Going with the crazy theme here, we have Crazy, Stupid, Love. This movie is similar to Love Actually with its numerous characters and interconnecting stories revolving around love. It even offers a star-studded cast with Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and more.
After his wife asks him for a divorce as her affair comes to light, Cal Weaver starts to head out to bars in his quest to find love again. In his journey, he meets Jacob Palmer, a seasoned playboy who teaches him how to pick up girls. As usual with these kinds of movies, things get complicated as numerous people are involved.
There are a lot of laughable moments, but Crazy, Stupid, Love does present the intricacies of relationships and dating. The climax is not one you want to miss either.
9. HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson make a dreamy pair in How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. The plot is realistically ridiculous, but that’s part of what makes it a great rom-com. The man chases after the girl while the girl actively tries to make him leave her. It’s genius.
Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive with all the boyish charm that can only be found in movies. He rides a motorbike, wears a leather jacket, and is a big sports junkie. Andie Anderson is a writer for a women’s magazine that is out for her next big story. She’s beautiful, witty and smart.
Ben makes a bet that he can make any girl fall in love with him, and Andie is his target. At the same time, Andie chose him to be her victim as well. As the two try hard to reach their objectives, they somehow find something more.
10. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
This one is for those who need a little more dramatism and flair to their life. Pride and Prejudice, specifically the 2005 movie played by Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, is great for those who are into classical romance.
The movie follows the events of the classical book by Jane Austen, marvelously brought to life. It features five sisters of an English family, each facing issues of morality, marriage, and all sorts of misconceptions between suitors. Even so, the star of the movie would be Elizabeth Bennet’s relations with Mr Darcy.
In all fairness, the movie could not encapsulate each daughter of the family, but that’s fine, as Elizabeth’s story is the most captivating one. Hence, be sure to place this on your list as one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century!
11. PALM SPRINGS
Movies that mess with time are always fun, and with Palm Springs, there’s a special twist of romance and comedy to it. Andy Samberg’s comedic writing places a spin on what would have been another boring sci-fi drama.
Two strangers meet at a wedding in Palm Springs and get thrown into a never-ending time loop. Andy Samberg plays Nyles, and Cristin Milioti plays Sarah. The two sneak off after the wedding to rendezvous in the desert, but Nyles gets shot with an arrow and escapes into a cave that leads to a vortex. Sarah follows right behind him, and they awake to relive the same day repeatedly.
Nyles has been stuck in the time loop for a while and explains the circumstances to Sarah. Another character is also stuck with them, dead set on hunting Nyles down. The two bond, and things get complicated.
12. SET IT UP
The era of Netflix romcoms is upon us, and thus Set It Up was born. Two tired and overworked assistants get together to set up their bosses on dates in order to get them to loosen up. Along the way, the two assistants end up bonding and perhaps taking each other on dates instead.
A movie where Glen Powell (who is dashing in Top Gun, by the way) gets to play a charming assistant, along with Zoey Deutsch. The chemistry between the two is off the charts and is one of the most satisfying connections to watch in rom-com history. You’ll be surprised how this movie will leave you blushing and gushing for more.
Will their bosses end up together in the end? Will the two assistants date instead? Watch to find out!
13. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE
Adding to Netflix’s repertoire of romcoms, this time, we’re looking at the teenage crowd. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB) is an adaptation of a trilogy of books by Jenny Han. The main character is Korean-American Lara Jean and is one of the more adorable representations of Korean-Americans in media.
In TATBILB, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) writes letters to all her crushes and hides them in a hat box stashed in her closet. Yet somehow, her letters end up getting mailed and she has to deal with the various consequences. One of them is the charming Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo.
The two of them start fake dating in order to throw off the other suitors, and you know the rest. The entire trilogy is out on Netflix, so if you want something to binge on the weekends, get to it!
14. SOMEONE GREAT
Not all romcoms have to be about getting into relationships. Someone Great is a good example of that. This movie is about moving on and letting go of a relationship, it is a bittersweet movie with a lot of heart in it.
We start with Jenny as she gets broken up with by her boyfriend of nine years. She proceeds to call up her friends to head to a concert. As they get ready and find tickets, a swirl of other things happens with her friends. All this while she reminisces everything about her ex-boyfriend.
Someone Great is a good romcom to watch for those who are going through a heartbreak or a tough time in love. It’s a reminder that friendships are important and that it is necessary to let go in order to move on to better things.
15. SING STREET
Let’s change things up with a little musical coming-of-age romantic comedy instead. Sing Street captures the urgency of teenage romance, coupled with some wonderful original songs. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Lucy Boynton as leads in the musical granted an impressive performance.
The setting is 1980s Ireland, where a boy decides to start a band in order to impress a girl. Aside from his lovelorn crush, he is also struggling with poverty and personal relationships with his family. The musical’s original songs stay true to its era and the tone of the movie, feeling like it was truly written by the smitten boy at the time.
Sing Street is a great romcom and one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century. A title you should add to your list and perhaps fall in love with.
16. SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD
Sticking to the theme of music, we move forward with Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Popularised from a graphic novel of the same name and, subsequently, a video game that was re-released in 2021.
This movie is a more unique title than most on this list as it is about a musician who has to go through the seven evil exes of his current girlfriend, Ramona Flowers. What makes Scott Pilgrim a fun watch is its incorporation of wacky action in a romance plot. That, as well as some comic book visual elements into parts of the movie.
Scott Pilgrim is a great watch if you enjoy a movie that will take you on a weird adventure. It’s not serious, and it will take you on a fun ride. Plus, a Scott Pilgrim vs The World anime has just been released on Netflix!
17. BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY
Renee Zellweger is an iconic actress that we have all come to know as Bridget Jones. In this movie, adapted from a bestselling series by Helen Fielding, we get further acquainted with Bridget Jones.
Alongside Renee’s character, we have Hugh Grant and Colin Firth as her two love interests vying for her hand. Bridget is a 30-year-old single British woman navigating her imperfect life in London. As a New Year’s resolution, she has decided to stop smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, and find herself a man. In doing so, she has started to keep a diary.
As far as romcoms go, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a tense one filled with some comedic moments. You’ll find yourself rooting for one or the other to win over her affection, but you’ll be rooting for Bridget the most. For more, you can check out Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016).
This French movie is a rather whimsical venture into the romantic comedy world set in Montmartre. Amelie is a romcom that speaks to introverts and the struggle of reaching out and finding companionship as a shy person.
Its main character, played by Audrey Tautou, one day decides to change the lives of those around her by helping them. She’s a shy waitress who is trying to cope with her very own loneliness. In her process of helping others, she somehow finds love with an equally interesting character.
Amelie is an interesting, dreamy watch that has won its fair share of awards. It’s a playful movie that will appeal to creatives and dreamers everywhere.
19. THE HATING GAME
An adorable office rival romance is great in theory but terrible in execution. This is why it is always great to watch it unfold in a movie rather than experience it in real life. The Hating Game is an adaptation of a novel by Sally Thorne that stars Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell.
The two characters are forced to work together as their companies merge into one. As the two polar opposites that share the same workspace get interested in the same promotion, their rivalry intensifies. However, somewhere along the way, lines get crossed, and they start falling for each other instead.
The Hating Game is a movie that will twist your heart in numerous ways while keeping you interested in what’s to come.
20. HIGH FIDELITY
Jumping right into another movie adaptation of a book, we have High Fidelity with John Cusack. The movie tells the story of a man in his 30s who just got dumped by his long-term girlfriend. High Fidelity has a lot of male angst and will probably grind your gears a little as you continue to watch.
Rob Gordon delves into his past and reaches out to his ex-girlfriends in order to find out why they all eventually leave him. Somewhere along the movie, he starts to understand why he was left by his exes. Perhaps a glorified moment of self-awareness finally hits the deadbeat record store owner.
Not often do we get to see a male’s perspective in romantic comedies, so High Fidelity is a great venture point into that.
21. 50 FIRST DATES
There are several other Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler romcoms that should make this list, but if you were to pick one to watch, it’s this. The duo may be an odd one, but they work well together. Their chemistry has granted them both success in more than one rom-com movie.
Adam Sandler plays Henry Roth, a vet of a sea-life park in Hawaii. Drew Barrymore plays Lucy Whitmore, an art teacher with amnesia. Every night when she falls asleep, she forgets everything that happened the day before. The concept and premise are rather interesting as we watch Henry win her over day after day.
50 First Dates is one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century that will leave you feeling warm inside. As well as a little heartbroken at the idea of being forgotten by a loved one.
22. LOVE, SIMON
A coming-of-age romcom about a closeted high schooler who navigates his family, friends, and a blackmailer who is threatening to out him to everyone. The movie is based on a novel – Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli.
Adding to the mess that is his life, Simon is also on a mission to uncover the identity of an online classmate that he has a crush on. Love, Simon is a tender and cute movie that will leave you feeling warm inside. It is also a rather crucial movie to represent the LGBTQ+ community, especially during its release in 2018.
In a way, Love, Simon is a great way of relating to and further understanding the community. It’s also simply a cute movie that anyone should watch for the heck of it, anyway.
23. MAMMA MIA!
Everyone far and wide has felt the reach of Mamma Mia! This is a musical movie that combines hit songs from the pop group ABBA, this rom-com will get you singing along in no time.
The story follows a young bride who invites three men to her wedding in hopes of finding out which one is her true father. She does this behind the back of her mother, and a reunion between the four is messy, to say the least. As they each try to figure out who is the father of the bride, the wedding preparations carry on.
If you find yourself drawn to the movie, there’s a sequel released in 2018 that continues the story with more bops to sing along to. Undoubtedly, Mamma Mia is one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century.
24. LETTERS TO JULIET
Did you know that it is possible for you to send letters to Juliet herself? The iconic character from Shakespeare’s renowned play – Romeo and Juliet. This movie is inspired by the non-fiction book on those letters, and who knows, you might get inspired to send one yourself.
Sophie, a young writer, heads to the fair city of Verona with her fiance on a pre-honeymoon getaway. There, she stumbles upon the famous wall of letters written to Juliet and answered by the ‘Secretaries of Juliet.’ She joins them and answers an old letter which prompts a whole series of events on finding lost love.
Letters to Juliet is all about lost love and passion. Love without passion is like a birthday without cake. Sure, you can do without it, but it would be a sad and dull celebration for everyone involved.
25. 27 DRESSES
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. That’s the reality of Jane Nichols, a wedding planner who has now been the bridesmaid of 27 brides. Hence the title of the movie. The most memorable part of the movie is her collection of dresses that showcase the variety of brides she’s cared for.
Her life gets a little more spiced up as her sister announces her plan to marry Jane’s boss within 3 weeks of knowing him. Oh, and Jane has a crush on him and is now forced to be their wedding planner. Another sprinkle of fun is the cynical Kevin Doyle, with his skewed views on marriage that ends up writing a journalistic piece on her behind her back.
There’s drama, laughs, and perhaps a little bit of crying as we watch the fates of these odd characters align.
26. WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER
In a world of hookups and meaningless relations, how are we all to find love? Backtrack to your exes, of course! Okay, no, jokes aside, please do not get back with your ex. What’s Your Number is an enjoyable romcom with Anna Faris and Chris Evans as leads.
Ally Darling is now in her 30s, just got dumped by her boyfriend and lost her job. Her life is going downhill as she spots an article that states that women with over 20 lovers would have a hard time finding a partner. As she nears the magical number, she starts to panic. Now, she’s on a mission to track down her exes and see if they’re marriage potential.
Colin Shea is her next-door playboy neighbor, and as they get closer to each other, they come to realize that perhaps they’re better off together.
27. HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU
Another book adaptation, this time, we dive into the lives of nine different characters. Each character is facing their own issue within their romantic life and relationship. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find one you can relate to.
The amazing array of characters is played by some star celebrities, namely, Jennifer Anniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, and more. The one common character that we follow more closely is Gigi, embodied by Ginnifer Goodwin.
Gigi constantly misreads the romantic interests and intentions of her dates, reading more into each situation than what is being expressed. In comes Alex, who snaps her into reality and helps her interpret what they mean. The various characters bring a different outlook on love that you probably won’t get to experience in your lifetime.
28. ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE
Keanu Reeves in a romcom is a rare sight, but he appears briefly in Always Be My Maybe as Ali Wong’s love interest. Instead of the usual action-brooding personality, he’s more warm and passionate.
Always Be My Maybe is about two childhood friends who had a fling as young adults rekindling their relationship with each other. However, things are different now. There are more things at stake and emotional demons to confront. Are chemistry and connection enough to sustain a relationship? That’s part of what the movie will come to explore as you watch.
Ali Wong and Randall Park make an interesting couple that will resonate with Asian American couples raised by immigrant parents.
29. LAST HOLIDAY
What would you do if you found out that you only have a few weeks left to live? For Georgia Byrd, she decided that it was best if she took one last holiday at a luxury hotel in Europe. On top of that, she decides that she wants to try out some new experiences and buy all the things she’s always wanted.
As she decides to live life to the fullest, she starts making new friends and even gets the chance to try out some delicious meals from her favorite chef. Last Holiday showcases a carefree life and how much better it would be if we all stopped worrying and just started taking steps towards what we want.
Where’s the romance? Well, her handsome co-worker Sean – the man of her dreams – swoops in to confess his feelings sometime later. Honestly, Last Holiday is about falling in love with life and yourself, so we’re not that hard-pressed about a love interest.
30. THE PROPOSAL
A comedic pair with great chemistry, Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock make a fun couple. To this day, the scene of her proposing to Ryan Reynolds on a busy sidewalk is etched into the brains of rom-com lovers everywhere.
The Proposal is one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century, as it will give you the fuzzies and crack you up at the same time. A Canadian editor of a New York publishing company faces the threat of deportation, so she convinces her assistant to marry her. As such, they fly to his hometown to meet his family and get married.
There are unexpected secrets and weird moments that spice things up for the two. Even so, they have to keep their real reason for marriage under wraps from his family somehow.
31. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
One of the highest-grossing romantic comedies to grace cinemas, My Big Fat Greek Wedding stars Nia Vardalos as Fotoula Portokolas. John Corbett joins her as Ian Miller, her would-be beau.
Toula lives with her overbearing Greek family, which continues to pressure her into getting married. She undergoes a whole transformation and switches jobs, which catches the eye of Ian Miller, a school teacher. They start to date, but the issue comes when two worlds collide. Toula comes from a rather traditional Greek Orthodox family, and Ian is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant. As they plan their wedding, they face all sorts of challenges from their family and religious differences.
As all families with immigrant parentage and traditions have experienced, it is no easy feat to combine two families with different backgrounds. My Big Fat Greek Wedding does a great job of relating to that.
32. THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES
A strongly independent girl breaks up with her boyfriend and is now going on dates in an attempt to make her ex jealous. Most of the dates don’t work out well until she goes on a blind date with a recently divorced man named Boone.
They end up talking about each other’s problems and sleeping together. As they both go on a journey of getting over their exes, they find companionship within each other. Aside from that, Jessica is an aspiring playwright trying to figure out her career and the constant rejection she receives.
The Incredible Jessica James is a lowkey movie that not many have heard about, but you can catch it on Netflix. It’s worth your time, filled with your typical romcom troupes and more.
33. SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE
Not often do we get to see a spotlight on elderly relationships, and Something’s Gotta Give does a great job of showcasing it. Diane Keaton and Jack Nichols are two elderlies in their 50s and 60s who end up finding love with each other, even if their personalities clash.
We watch as Harry Sanborn, a rich, successful man who only dates younger woman suffer from a heart attack and has to stay with his girlfriend’s mother – Erica Barry. It starts off a little off-putting, but after spending a lot of time together in the same house, the two connect and eventually start dating. Don’t worry; his relationship with her daughter ended long before that.
Something’s Gotta Give is a unique perspective on relationships, showcasing that there is no expiry date on dating and love. This makes it one of the must-watch romcoms of the 21st century not to lose hope no matter how old you are.
Another Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore pairing that made the list, Blended is a more recent release of the enigmatic duo. This time, they each have their own families and responsibilities to account for.
The movie takes the concept of a blended family one step further. A divorced man and a widowed woman go on a terrible blind date with each other but end up on the same safari family vacation. To take things up a notch, they are also forced to stay together. In the end, they all start bonding with each other, family to family.
Blended takes a better look at how blended families work with several comedic elements interspersed throughout.
35. ISN’T IT ROMANTIC
This title is more on the meta side as Rebel Wilson’s character somehow wakes up in a world where everything plays out like a PG-13 rom-com. Every cliche and troupe gets written into Isn’t It Romantic to attempt to make it as cheesy as possible.
Natalie is an architect who does not believe in love, it is the antithesis of what she believes in due to her upbringing. Now, she wakes up in her worst nightmare – living in a PG-13 romcom. She gets swept off her feet by a billionaire, she gets a gay best friend, and her workplace bestie becomes her rival.
It’s a fun and light watch, nothing to be taken all too seriously.
READ MORE FROM US
- 15 Films With the Best Endings of All Time: Unforgettable Scenes That Changed Everything
- 8 Controversial Comedies That Could Never Be Made Today