The Best Romantic Comedies of 2017
We've been in a strange time for romantic comedies — though not as prevalent as they were a decade or two ago, there are still diamonds in the rough to be found. That's certainly true for this year's films, and the movies we can call best in show all have heart, sweet romance, and a healthy does of unconventionality. There are varying levels of critical approval, but for us, it all comes down to the films that make you feel, that entertain, and that have you rooting for two humans you just know need to be together.
The Big Sick
It's not enough that this indie comedy is raucously funny thanks to star and cowriter Kumail Nanjiani, but it really kicks you right in the heart because it's based on the true story of Nanjiani's own romance with wife — and cowriter — Emily Gordon. The basis of truth is just one reason it feels so real; The Big Sick also portrays the harrowing feelings of waiting for a loved one to recover from life-threatening illness, and the relationships between Kumail and the parents (both his own and Emily's) are so richly drawn. Oh, and we're not the only ones who loved this movie, as evidenced by its Critics' Choice and SAG Award nominations.
This little-seen romantic comedy looks like it's full of clichés from the trailer, and sure, the movie has them — a lovelorn, recently dumped girl (Anna Kendrick) ends up at an awkward wedding with her ex in attendance, where she meets another cute boy. But the movie is really more about the unlikely friendships of a bunch of strangers at the least desirable table — and there are a couple of twists that turn this movie around from the predictable ending you're expecting.
The Incredible Jessica James
Netflix original The Incredible Jessica James is truly original; with the dynamic Jessica Williams as the lead, the audience gets a strong, self-assured heroine who is figuring stuff out but doesn't need saving. Her love interest is Chris O'Dowd, whom you're not even sure you or she likes at first, but it's one of the many things that surprise you about this film.
Literally, Right Before Aaron
It's really hard to not like Justin Long and Cobie Smulders as romantic leads, and Literally, Right Before Aaron gets by on their combined charm offensive. Even with its imperfections, there's a sweetness and relatability to be found in the story of this pair of friendly exes.
Yes, this movie is a straight-up comedy, but it's also got elements of romantic comedy, since two of the lead characters undergo some serious relationship shakeups over the course of the movie. The flirtation between Regina Hall's Ryan and Larenz Tate's Julian is heartwarming, while the one between Jada Pinkett Smith's Lisa and sexy stranger Malik, played by regulation hottie Kofi Siriboe, is just hot.