Each year people celebrate Valentine’s Day in their own ways. Candlelit dinners, rose petals sprinkled in a warm bath, a weekend getaway. BUT, for us normal people spending Valentine’s Day like any other Tuesday, I’ve compiled a list of Latinx rom-coms to cuddle up with. So, whether you’re kissing or crying this year, here are some lovey-dovey movies to make you laugh and believe in love again!
The Wedding Planner (2001)
I’d be remiss to not start this off with the Queen of Rom-Coms, Jenny from the Block! In this heart-warming classic, Nuyorican royalty Jeniffer Lopez stars as Mary Fiore, an (Italian – not sure why!) wedding planner who forgets to make time in her life to plan her own wedding… or to find someone to marry for that matter! Enter Dr. Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey) who saves her when her heel gets stuck in a manhole. Thinking this would turn into a meet-cute by fate, she invites her knight in shining khakis out with her and her friend and they have a wonderful evening. Still high off the date, she gets more good news about a big client that will make her partner at her company. But when Dr. Steve Edison turns out to be the groom, things take a turn. The Wedding Planner is a rollercoaster ride of sweet moments and the right amount of drama to keep you on the edge of your sofa cushion!
We can’t discuss rom-com classics without Hitch. Will Smith stars as the titular hot-shot “relationship guru” Alex Hitchens, who coaches men on how to win over the ladies. He’s real smooth but his slick tricks disappear when he meets Sara Melas (played by Eva Mendes). Let’s be real, Eva would make anyone nervous! Watch as Hitch tries to win over the one girl who makes him lose all his charm and fail hilariously until he realizes she just wants someone real and vulnerable.
Fools Rush In (1997)
Ever had a one-night stand? (It’s okay, this is a safe space, we won’t judge!) Then you might be able to relate to Salma Hayek’s character, Isabel Fuentes, in Fools Rush In. Isabel meets Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) and does something new – she sleeps with a stranger. They two decide they aren’t a great match and decide to part ways. End of movie. Sike! Isabel pops back up not too long after and she’s pregnant. Because of her very traditional family, she gets married to her white baby daddy and he has the funniest time trying to fit in with her Mexican family. A marriage that started out of necessity, blossoms into genuine love. But what happens to that love when a big job promotion is offered to Alex? Watch and find out!
How to be a Latin Lover (2017)
Another Salma Hayek movie, but in a completely different way. This time, Salma plays Sara, a single mother to her son Hugo, played by the adorable Raphael Alejandro. When Sara’s brother Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) gets dumped by his sugar momma and needs to find a real job, he comes to stay with her and Hugo. While living with his sister and nephew, Maximo teaches Hugo how to be smooth and get the ladies as he once did. How to be a Latin Lover will have tears in your eyes but from laughter, not jealousy.
Christmas With You (2022)
Okay, this is technically a Christmas movie but it definitely falls into the Latinx rom-coms category and so it’s on the list! It’s a very cute story about a famous pop singer named Angelina (Aimee Garcia) who slums it in a small town in New York after Cristina, a superfan, wishes to meet her on social media. After Angelina comes to Cristina’s school, Cristina’s dad Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.) agrees to have Angelina and her assistant over for dinner. There, Angelina hides away from her spotlight life and creates the missing song she’s been searching for with Miguel. Christmas with You is a sweet watch that you can invite a friend, or more-than-friend, over to enjoy!
Marry Me (2022)
There are so many Latinx rom-coms starring JLo but this recent one is too good not to mention. Marry Me stars JLo as Kat Valdez, a famous singer, who is supposed to marry her boyfriend and fellow singer, Bastian (Maluma), on stage in front of millions of fans. Just before, she finds out he cheated on her with her assistant! So when Charlie Gilbert’s (Owen Wilson) daughter drags him to the concert and has him hold a sign that says “Will You Marry Me?”, Kat decides to do something out of the ordinary and marries Charlie instead. After the concert when Charlie realizes it wasn’t just a promotional stunt and he really married an international pop star, he’s overwhelmed and intimidated. Kat wants to try something different by living normally and the two do the work of falling in love, after being married. This one has great songs, Maluma, a touching story, oh and Maluma (he’s worth mentioning twice).
Now, this one isn’t as heart-warming as the others but it is real. Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning film depicts the intricacies of poverty, parenting, and growing up as a closeted gay boy in Miami. Jharrel Jerome plays the teenage version of the main character, Chiron’s, love interest. He is comforting and complicated and does a top-notch job of showing the messed-up parts of growing up and doing what you have to do to fit in and survive. In the film, he shares Chiron’s first gay experience and is gentle while also taking charge. It’s a treat to watch the two boys grow into men in Moonlight.
In this hilarious movie, we get a Latina Juliet in the classic Romeo and Juliet story. She’s played by Puerto Rican-Dominican actress Isabela Merced, and the movie takes a different approach to the age-old tale. It tells the story from the perspective of Rosaline, Juliet’s cousin, who was dating Romeo before he met Juliet and tries to break up the couple so that she can be with Romeo. The two young women go on quite an adventure together so if you need a laugh, press play on this one!
If you’ve ever crushed hard on two siblings, this one’s for you! I mean Omarion and his brothers and Chloe x Halle exist so I think it’s something everyone can understand. Paige Evans (Rowan Blanchard) has a huge crush on Gabriela Campos (Isabella Ferreira), so hard that she joins the track team just to be closer to Gabriela. Also on the team is AJ Campos (Auli’i Cravalho), Gabriela’s sister, who is assigned to train Paige. With feet and emotions both running, Paige finds herself having to choose between two beautiful sisters and trying not to hurt anyone in the process. Crush has a bit of drama, features lots of witty humor, and will take you right back to butterflies in your stomach when you saw your crush in the hallways at school!
In The Heights (2021)
Last, but certainly not least, we have a Lin-Manuel Miranda masterpiece. In The Heights is an adaptation of the musical and it stars Anthony Ramos playing Usnavi de la Vega telling his story about Washington Heights. The cast is star-studded with Latinx icons and the songs and choreography are gorgeous. This one isn’t a traditional rom-com but it certainly inspires love – a love of culture. Yes, it has romantic love stories but just as strong in it are the family love stories, community love stories, and all different manifestations of love. This one brought tears of pride, respect, and admiration to my eyes and so it’s actually the perfect definition of Latinx rom-coms.
You can’t go wrong with any of these movies this Valentine’s Day! Whether it’s you and a friend, a dog, a lover, or you’re solo dolo curled up on the couch, they’re all good pre-date, post-date, or in place of a date. And hey, if you watch them all ten of my Latinx rom-coms over the course of Valentine’s Day’s 24 hours, we won’t tell!