21 Best romantic comedies of the 2020s So Far

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The romantic comedy genre is a beloved staple in the world of entertainment. It has produced classic films like When Harry Met Sally and Crazy Rich Asians. As we head into 2024, now is an excellent time to look back at the films that are already defining the decade.

Whether you are looking for a fun and lighthearted movie to watch with someone special or something that will guarantee some tears by the time the credits roll, this list has something for everyone. So, settle in. It’s time to look at the best romantic comedies the 2020s has to offer.

1. Palm Springs

Photo Credit: Limelight.

This genre-defying film became an instant hit with romantic comedy lovers. Palm Springs follows two wedding guests who find themselves trapped in a time loop. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and won Best Comedy Film at the 26th Critics Choice Awards.

Directed by Max Barbakow, Palm Springs is a laugh-out-loud comedy filled with genuine heart and emotion. Brilliant performances by Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti enhance the film. Palm Springs received critical acclaim for its bold approach to the romantic comedy genre.

2. Licorice Pizza

Photo Credit: MGM.

This whimsical film captures the essence of young love. Set in 1973, California, Licorice Pizza follows an aimless young man who falls in love with a directionless woman. The film hooks viewers in with a sense of teenage angst and nostalgia.

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza is a fun and romantic journey. The film features some amazing talents such as Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, George DiCaprio, and Skyler Gisondo.

3.Emma

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

This film brings Jane Austin’s work into the present. Emma tells the story of a young woman who cannot help but interfere with the romantic lives of those around her.

Directed by Autumn De Wilde, Emma is a brilliant retelling of this classic tale. It also features some of the best acting talent in the world. Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Bill Nighy, and Callum Turner all make appearances in this beautiful film.

4. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Photo Credit: FilmNation Entertainment.

Sometimes, it’s the small things that are important. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things follows two lovers trapped in a time loop. With nothing else to do, the two lovers set out to record all of the small things that make the day perfect.

Directed by Ian Samuels, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a clever and heartwarming story. The film explores the fleeting nature of time and the ups and downs of teenage love.

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5. Happiest Season

Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures.

This film explores how difficult it can be to come out to your family. Happiest Season follows a young woman who brings her girlfriend home for the holidays. But she soon realizes that coming out to her family is harder than she thought.

Directed by Clea DuVall, Happiest Season is a good-spirited holiday film that explores the complex relationship between queerness and religious holidays. It features brilliant performances by Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.

6. Bros

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

This romantic comedy focuses on inclusiveness. Bros is about two gay men who like to play the field but feel an undeniable connection to one another. Bros is equal parts love and laughter.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, Bros received mixed reviews upon release. However, the film has gone on to receive cult classic status for its unique charm and witty humor.

7. The High Note

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

This film is all about following your dreams. The High Note follows Grace Davis, a music superstar, and her overworked assistant Maggie. The two soon face a crossroads that will change their lives forever.

Directed by Nisha Ganatra, The High Note is loved for its fresh take on the world of celebrities and exploration of power dynamics. The film features standout performances by Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross.

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8. Downhill

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

This dark comedy highlights the dangers of marriage. Downhill follows a struggling married couple who must reevaluate their love life after nearly dying on a family skiing trip.

Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Downhill utilizes a wicked sense of humor to remake the classic film Force Majeure. The film features hilarious performances by Will Ferrel and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

9. The Wrong Missy

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film teaches us the importance of updating our contact information. The Wrong Missy is about a man who accidentally invites the wrong previous lover to a company retreat.

Directed by Tyler Spindel, The Wrong Missy is a callback to the gross-out romantic comedies of the early 2000s. The film features absurd humor and delightful performances from David Spade and Lauren Lapkus.

10. The Half of it

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film is about celebrating our differences. The Half of It follows a young Chinese American student who helps the school jock create love letters for his crush. During this time together, the two learn about life and the meaning of love.

Directed by Alice Wu, The Half of It is a fresh direction in the world of romantic comedy. The film does a fantastic job of exploring complex themes like friendship and young romance.

11. Love Wedding Repeat

Photo Credit: Notorious Pictures.

This film asks if the perfect wedding day even exists. Love Wedding Repeat follows Jack as he explores different scenarios to create the perfect wedding for his sister.

Directed by Dean Craig, Love Wedding Repeat is a beautiful remake of the 2012 French film Plan de Table. The film is a clever and unique twist on the classic romantic comedy formula.

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12. Isi & Ossi

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film highlights how opposites can attract. Isi & Ossi follows a wealthy young woman who fakes a relationship with a working-class boxer so that her rich parents will fund her culinary dreams.

Directed by Oliver Kienle, Isi & Ossi is a delightful German film with a lot of heart. The film explores themes of class and identity in a familiar but exciting way.

13. The Lovebirds

Photo Credit: Quinn’s House.

This film shows how murder can make the heart grow fonder. The Lovebirds follows a young couple on the verge of giving up. However, they soon become entangled in a murder mystery that forces them to work together to clear their name.

Directed by Michael Showalter, The Lovebirds is an exciting twist on the classic love story. The film received mixed reviews upon release. However, critics agree that Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani delivered exceptional performances in the movie.

14. Holidate

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film highlights the pressures single people feel around the holidays. Holidate follows two friends who agree to be each other’s platonic dates throughout holiday events. However, as they spend more time together, romantic feelings start to blossom.

Directed by John Whitesell, Holidate is a lighthearted take on the romantic comedy genre. The film features powerful performances by Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey.

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15. The Prom

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film celebrates love and inclusivity. The Prom is about a ragtag group of Broadway stars who head to a small town to help a young girl take her girlfriend to the prom. The film is based on Martin Beguelin’s Broadway play of the same name.

Directed by Ryan Murphy, The Prom is a heartwarming musical comedy about small-town acceptance and the power of love. The film also features terrific performances by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and James Corden.

16. Inside the Rain

Photo Credit: Act 13.

This dramedy explores the importance of mental health. Inside the Rain is a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy about a young man who was falsely expelled from college. Running out of options, he teams up with a porn star to prove his innocence.

Directed by Aaron Fisher, Inside the Rain is an introspective look into one man’s struggles with mental health. It is a poignant and honest film that shoots straight from the heart.

17. All My Life

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

This film shows the fleeting nature of life. All My Life is about a young couple who decide to get married after one of them is diagnosed with liver cancer. The film is based on the real-life story of Solomon Chau and Jennifer Carter.

Directed by Marc Meyers, All My Life is simultaneously heart-wrenching and uplifting. The film offers a powerful exploration of love and how little control we ultimately have.

18. Operation Christmas Drop

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This film showcases the importance of humanitarian aid. Operation Christmas Drop follows a congressional aid as she clashes with an Air Force captain about his Christmas-themed charity program.

Directed by Martin Wood, Operation Christmas Drop is loosely based on a military practice that has been active since 1952. This project serves as a training mission for pilots and provides relief for underprivileged areas during Christmas.

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19. Olympic Dreams

Photo Credit: IFC Films.

This unconventional film is full of heart. Olympic Dreams follows a first-time Olympic skier who forms an unlikely bond with a charismatic volunteer dentist. The film asks a simple question. What is next after you fulfill your wildest dreams?

Directed by Jeremy Teicher, Olympic Dreams was filmed in the actual Olympic Village during the 2018 Winter Olympics. It also features Olympic athletes Jamie Anderson and Gus Kenworthy alongside famed stars Alexi Pappas and Nick Kroll.

20. A Simple Wedding

Photo Credit: Mainstay Entertainment.

This romantic comedy is all about culture clash. A Simple Wedding follows an Iranian American woman who falls in love with a bisexual DJ. The two must work together to appease her parents and allow their love to flourish.

Directed by Sara Zandieh, A Simple Wedding explores the difficulty of planning a multicultural and inclusive wedding. The film is a charming take on the romantic comedy genre that anyone can enjoy.

21. Valley Girl

Photo Credit: MGM.

This is the ultimate 80s rom-com throwback. Valley Girl follows a pink-clad valley girl who falls in love with a punk from the wrong side of the tracks. Has this plot been done 100 times? Yes. But few have done it as well as Valley Girl.

Directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, Valley Girl is a tongue-in-cheek film that pays homage to the classic films of the 80s. The film explores the complex relationship between our identity and the heart’s desires.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Many movies are cast with actors that are decent fits. They can even be great because the actor does an excellent job adapting to the role. However, there are some movies where the fit is just so perfect that you could not imagine the movie being a success if they had chosen anyone else.

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Twilight
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

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