I’m sure your local grocery store is spewing with branded Valentine’s Day chocolates right now (pro-tip: buy them the next day when they’re half-off!). If you’re in the mood for love, I put together a few of my favorite Netflix rom-coms that give belly laughs, heartfelt moments, and at least one great twist. Plus these stories will take you across the world from the Pacific Coast to New Orleans to Mexico to Spain. So check out the films below to fill your rom-com craving whether it’s rekindled high school sweethearts, semi-enemies to lovers, an ex that comes back into the picture, or even a single gal’s path to freedom.
How about a belly laugh romance with some crime? Issa got you. Lovebirds follows a couple that is on the verge of a break-up. When shit goes down unexpectedly, they have to stick through it together. This is an unexpected rom-com that has a murder-mystery element to it – the comedy comes before the rekindled romance. Issa Rae plays Leilani and Kumail Nanjiani plays Jabron. Together, they’re a hilarious power couple and it makes me want to see more rom-coms with funny, non-white leads. You might feel as if their bickering doesn’t technically make it a romantic comedy, but I’m all about the realistic romance. I aspire to be in a relationship where we argue about whether or not we would win The Amazing Race.
Always Be My Maybe
Looking for high school sweethearts that make a comeback? Try Always Be My Maybe. Staring Ali Wong as Sasha Tran, a celebrity chef that moves back home to open a new restaurant, finds herself with her high school sweetheart, Marcus Kim (Randall Park). The film was also co-written by these two hilarious comedy stars, so you know the jokes are solid. Always Be My Maybe explores trying to navigate a new phase in your life. Is it possible to make it work with your high school sweetheart when you’re both on two completely different paths? Something we rarely see in rom-coms is the figuring it out part; the push and pull of a realistic relationship. Always Be My Maybe reminds us that love is about choosing to support your partner, no matter what.
Ready to Mingle (Solteras)
When are you going to get married? It’s a question we single Latinas often hear (and answer with our well-rehearsed eye roll). Ready to Mingle (Solteras) shows us how much pressure our culture puts on us to become engaged by a certain age. Getting married is so ingrained into her programming, that our main character Ana (Cassandra Ciangherotti) decides to take a class on how to find a husband. With even more ridiculous rules to apply, she forgets to live a life she actually loves. I like this movie because it shows how often we are told to be something different in order to find someone. Whiney yet charming, Ana has to break out of society’s mold to figure out what she actually wants.
Tired of dating apps? Sue them. That’s what Nick Evans, played by Damon Wayans Jr., does in Love, Guaranteed. When Nick finds a pro-bono lawyer to take his case, sparks slowly start to fly. It’s a rom-com with two super-efficient, Type-A Personalities who work together to take down an online dating site. Our leading lady Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) is a workaholic and badass lawyer who has never tried a dating site. I loved how her research takes her out of her own comfort zone. This one leans more towards a classic rom-com, but it got me to identify with the hardworking single girl who loves to help people. And I bet your heart will melt too when Nick tells Susan, “you stand up for people every day, someone’s gotta have your back.”
Sounds Like Love (Fuimos Canciones)
So you’re over your ex, right? That’s what our main character Maca (María Valverde) thinks in Sounds like Love (Fuimos Canciones). The cinematic editing in this film elevates the rom-com vibe with Maca interacting with past versions of herself and her relationship patterns. I love how Sounds Like Love (Fuimos Canciones) visually shows Maca going back to old habits. Also, it’s got a friend group that is #goals. Don’t you want friends that drag you out of a depressed state to get churros as an emergency? Yes, please. Plus, there’s a self-love ending that every rom-com should adopt. The film reminds us that getting over someone takes time and not to be so hard on yourself when you’re processing a past relationship.