The Best and Worst Rom-Coms to Watch This Valentine's Day—Yes, You Will Have Thoughts on Our Ranking

In honor of Valentine's Day, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite romantic comedies and a handful of our not-so-favorites.

By Tierney Bricker Feb 13, 2021 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Best Valentine's Day Rom-Com Movies to Watch

"I fell asleep watching the movie Amélie, and when I woke up, I had spilled so much red wine on myself that I thought for a second that I had been shot."

If you can't relate to that iconic quote from The Mindy Project then you're probably not a rom-com fan and, well, that just sucks for you—especially during Valentine's Day weekend. 

The genre, like any other, has its hallmarks: The meet-cute (or, sometimes, meet-dislike). The will-they-or-won't-they tension. The wildly unrealistic obstacle keeping the main couple apart. The supportive-yet-sassy best friend. And yet, when a movie really nails it, there's nothing better than two wildly attractive people admitting their love for one another. But when a rom-com goes wrong, it feels about as disappointing as being stood up for a date. Not like we know how that feels or anything...

In honor of Valentine's Day, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite romantic comedies and a handful of our not-so-favorites. Hey, there's a thin line between love and hate after all. 

20 of the Best Rom-Coms You Can Binge-Watch Right Now

Without further ado, we present the best and worst rom-coms to watch this Valentine's Day, whether you're in a relationship or Netflix-and-chillin' solo. Plus, we address some of the movies that caused lively debate in the E! News Slack channel over whether or not they should even be included in the genre. Prepare for takes hotter than a grill at Benihana!

Shutterstock, Getty Images, Netflix, Casey Hollister/E! Illustration

When Harry Met Sally: All these years later, we'll still happily have what Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner served up in this classic.

You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle: The dream team of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan can do no wrong in our eyes. Between the two, we give the edge to You've Got Mail, which gives us all the banter that Sleepless deprived us of.

Runaway Bride: Go on, get mad, but Julia Roberts and Richard Gere's will-they-or-won't-they-JK-they-definitely-will dynamic, set against an idyllic small-town backdrop, is underrated and deserves more love!

Universal Pictures

It's Complicated: With a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell and that freakin' kitchen, Nancy Meyers' 2009 film's placement on this list is decidedly uncomplicated, along with 2003's Something's Gotta Give.

Hitch: Viewers get two entertaining and sweet love stories for the price of one, carried by the charm of Will Smith and comedy of Kevin James.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 18 years later and we're still watering our love fern because Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey's chemistry could never push us away.

Essential Couples Celebrate Valentine's Day 2021
Warner Bros/Netflix; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

While You Were Sleeping: In any other star's hands, the creepy and possibly problematic premise could've ruined this one. But Sandra Bullock's first breakout rom-com outing proved why she is one of the reigning queens of the genre.

The Proposal: Forget Deadpool, it was this 2009 movie that really kicked off Ryan Reynolds' second act, with a major assist from Bullock and Betty White.

Set It Up: It's a little raunchy. It's a little romantic. It's not too sweet. And it's totally irresistible. The 2018 movie starring Glenn Powell and Zoey Deutch is one of the best rom-coms to be made in the last decade, equal parts love letter to and send-up of the often-overlooked and underrated genre. And we're still waiting on a sequel centering on Lucy Liu, Netflix!

Netflix's Most Popular Titles of 2020

Love, Simon: You get to exhale now that you know Greg Berlanti's adaptation of Becky Albertalli's novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda—the first movie from a major studio (20th Century Fox) to center on a gay teenage romance—made our list. 

Palm Springs: Maybe a movie about two wedding guests stuck in a time loop was a little too on the nose for 2020, a year in which we were basically stuck in a global time loop. But Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti's time-bending love story broke all of Hulu's original movie records, becoming the most-viewed movie on the platform its opening weekend. And that's because it's awesome.

New Line Cinema

Love and Basketball: Why can't all sports movies be this sexy? Oh right, because they usually don't star two people who have off-the-chart chemistry like Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. Talk about a casting slam dunk. (See, we do sports!)

Crazy Rich Asians: Equal parts decadent and poignant, Jon. M Chu delivered the movie event of the summer 2018 with his adaptation of Kevin Kwan's bestselling novel. Plus, the movie served as a breakout for several of its crazy talented stars, including Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan and Awkwafina.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before: The whimsically delightful adaptation of Jenny Han's 2012 novel blew the f--k up in 2018, thanks to Lana Condor's effortlessly charming performance and the power that is Peter Kavinsky, aka the sarcastic-yet-supportive YA dream boy played by Noah Centineo

Always Be My Maybe: Ali Wong + Randall Park x Keanu Reeves as Keanu Reeves = a damn good time. 

Stars Celebrate Valentine's Day 2021

The Worst

The Kissing Booth: Just because it's popular and spawned a franchise doesn't mean it's good. Sorry not sorry, but we still adore you, Joey King!

The Perfect Date: Noah Centineo makes an app where he earns money by serving as a fake date in this hollow Netflix film that feels like it was made solely to get more Centineo content on the service after To All the Boy I've Loved Before turned him, momentarily, into the Internet's boyfriend.

Good Luck, Chuck and Employee of the Month: Remember when Hollywood tried to make Dane Cook a romantic leading man? LOL.


He's Just Not That Into You: Sorry, it's not us, it's you. We're just not THAT into this movie based on a dating advice book. Almost every female character in this movie deserved better.

Gigli: Probable the gold-standard reference when it comes to bad rom-coms/examples of why IRL couples should not work together.

Killers: The only thing Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher killed in this one were our vibes.

Sandra Bullock's Best Rom-Com Movies

Pretty Woman: Oh yes, we went there, put a down payment on a large piece of property and yelled at everyone to get off our lawns. An entertaining movie, to be sure, but come on, Edward was an a-hole who was unworthy of Vivian! We bet they broke up before their first holiday as a couple.

All About Steve: You'd think the combined charisma of Bradley Cooper and Sandra Bullock would equal magic but, wow, this one is walk-out-of-the-theater-to-demand-your-money-back-level bad. But it did give the world the iconic moment of Bullock showing up in person to receive her Razzie, gifting every audience member with a copy of the movie on DVD, only to go on and win her Oscar for The Blindside the very next day. What a legend!

Fool's Gold: least the shine of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days hasn't been dulled by McConaughey and Hudson's follow-up outing? 

20th Century Fox

This Means War: How could a movie featuring a love triangle between Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy be so blah?

When In Rome: A love spell is involved. How do you say "No thanks!" in Italian?

From Justin to Kelly: If only someone could've predicted a movie starring the American Idol finalists with no prior acting experience whatsoever would've resulted in a so-bad-it's-just-very-bad rom-com with music. Oh wait, Kelly Clarkson did!

How to Be Single: We were left wanting to mingle with the classics of the genre after a night with this 2016 movie starring Dakota Johnson (Still love ya!) and Rebel Wilson (Still love ya, too!)

New Year's Eve: Of all the ensemble holiday outings that Hollywood has produced, this is the worst of ‘em. You don't end up rooting for any of the couples to get together, a feat as disappointing as breaking a New Year's resolution.

They Dated? Surprising Star Couples

Is This a Rom-Com?!

Chasing Liberty and First Daughter: Romances or coming-of-age stories about the unique experience of growing up as the daughter of the president of the United States as told by Mandy Moore and Katie Holmes?

Someone Great: Listen, we LOVE this movie, but it's caused a major debate here at E! about whether or not it qualifies as a rom-com. We just took a DNA test and it turns out we're still 100 percent torn on its placement in the genre. 

Legally Blonde: What, like it's hard to make an empowering movie about a sorority prez-turned-Harvard grad who finds self-worth is more important than Warner Huntington III? Her romance with Luke Wilson's Emmett was just like a cherry atop a sundae: unnecessary but welcome.

Ron Batzdorff/Castle Rock/Fortis/Kobal/Shutterstock

Miss Congeniality: Eric Matthews pales in comparison to the friendships Grace Hart made with her fellow pageant contestants. Pizza, beer and paint drumming are forever!   

The Holiday: Don't lie, you really only watch this around the holidays, so it's technically a Christmas movie first. Ditto Love Actually and The Family Stone.

Easy A: Close, but no...?

She's All That and 10 Things I Hate About You: We consider these teen comedies—very good ones, don't @ us—not romances.

Trainwreck: While Bill Hader is super dreamy in this one (We stan a lowkey heartthrob!), it's a comedy first and foremost thanks to Amy Schumer's audacious performance. 

My Best Friend's Wedding: The hardest decision to make, but technically it's not a love story…or at least considered one by the genre's conventional standards.

For everything you should be watching right now, don't miss BingE! Club hosted by Erin Lim on Snapchat!