Romantic comedies are a subgenre of comedy films, as well as romantic movies
The basic plot of a romantic comedy is that two people meet, joke with each other, but despite the obvious attraction to the audience they are not romantically involved because of some kind of internal factor (outwardly they don’t like each other) or an external barrier (one of them has a love affair with another person, for example). At some point, after various comic scenes, they separate for some reason. One or the other then realizes that they are perfect for each other, and (usually after a spectacular effort or an incredible coincidence) they meet again, declare eternal love for each other, and live happily ever after.
Of course, there are numerous variations on this basic line of argument. It is not even essential that the two main characters end up in each other’s arms: My best friend’s wedding is a good example.
The basic format of a romantic comedy predates the cinema. For example, many of William Shakespeare’s plays, such as Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, fall squarely within the genre of romantic comedy, and other well-known examples are the series My Beautiful Genius and Bewitched, which were characterized by comedy and romanticism between the characters.
Take a look at these romantic comedies for all tastes: they are not the most obvious, but they are very good.
It is very common to see that romantic comedies are not taken very seriously. There are even people who hate them with all their might. In fact, a good romantic comedy is very difficult to find, but when you find it, it will most likely leave you with a good taste in your mouth.
The formula of this genre is simple, but somewhat rigid and does not admit many changes: character one falls in love with character two, but various vicissitudes happen so that both, in the end, find happiness in the arms of the other. To this general formula you can add certain seasonings, but you have to be very careful so that the story is entertaining and credible at the same time.
For this reason and because we know the ending since we know it is a romantic comedy, two of the great ingredients that these films must have in order to work are well-constructed characters and a charismatic cast. Of course, a good story and a good script are necessary to find the perfect romantic comedy.
If you are one of those who rant and rave about these movies, we challenge you to watch some of these tapes to change your mind. This list, of course, does not pretend to be definitive and it is not a ranking, but only a random selection of the romantic comedies that, from our very subjective point of view, are worth watching. If you have another favorite that we don’t mention here, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment, because we will be updating this list.
Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) is 35 years old and still living with his parents. He is a functional man with a lot of success with women, but rationally has no interest in leaving the maternal home and even uses it to get rid of women who want something serious with him. His parents, in desperation, decide to hire Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), who has a peculiar business: in exchange for a fee, she seduces men who still live with their parents to give them confidence and to decide (“on their own”) to leave the nest. But Tripp will be a difficult case.
Why should we see her? Although they have brief roles, Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates make a very funny duo as Tripp’s parents, and in general the whole secondary cast is quite good (Zooey Deschanel and Bradley Cooper, among others).
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Sophie (Marion Cotillard) and Julien (Guillaume Canet) met as children and since then they play at challenging each other with feats that grow in boldness as they too grow. The game reaches unsuspected levels when it involves saying no at a wedding or it can cost a life and both must acknowledge that they are attracted to each other. How far will they go?
Why should you see it? Now a recognized movie star, this was one of the first films that Cotillard (La vie en rose) was shown internationally and it is interesting to see her in this extreme love relationship.
Andy (Kate Hudson) is a reporter whose next assignment for the magazine she works for is entitled “How to Lose a Man in 10 Days” and she doesn’t know where to start. Ben (Matthew McConaughey) is a don Juan and accepts the challenge that he can conquer any woman in 10 days. By a not so coincidental coincidence, the one is the target of the other, so she will make his life miserable for him to leave her and he will endure anything to conquer her.
Why should we see her? McConaughey is a great actor -that’s for sure- and his charisma is enhanced by Hudson in this romantic comedy that could perhaps be said to be a 21st century classic.
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Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) gets her dream job, but has to move from New York to San Francisco. Her boyfriend decides he doesn’t want to leave and a painful break-up of a nine-year relationship ensues. In that trance of leaving everything and starting over she decides to embark on one last New York adventure with her best friends Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise).
Why should we see her? This is an atypical romantic comedy because it begins with the break-up and, in reality, there is no love that is consumed as such, but rather the three friends review their love life and strengthen their friendship. In any case, it feels like a romantic comedy and it’s worth it.
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Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a naive school teacher who buys a ring for Juli (Christiane Paul), who tells her that with it she will find the love of her life – because she has the other half of the ring – and tells her to go to a party that night. Daniel meets Melek at the party and Juli can’t find him. As Melek returns to Istanbul the next day, Daniel decides to drive to Turkey to find Melek under a bridge and he asks Juli – whose name coincides with the month, July, when the story takes place – to accompany her.
Why should we see her? This German-Turkish co-production has the rhythm of European comedies, which is slower, but also combines elements of a road movie throughout Eastern Europe, which makes it very attractive. The chemistry between Bleibtreu (Lola Rennt, 1998) and Paul (Counterpart, 2017-2019) is great.
Max (Russell Crowe) is a London stockbroker who inherits a house in the French countryside, where he spent much of his childhood. When he leaves dark London and arrives in France to sell the property, he is reunited with his past and even with Fanny (Marion Cotillard) so he questions the need to return to his life in the financial world.
Why should we see her? With the same winning combination as Gladiator (2000), directed by Ridley Scott and starring Crowe (even her character is named after the gladiator Maximus), one would expect an epic film and instead we enter this intimate world of memories, which is further completed by the beautiful Marion Cotillard.
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A New York writer with obsessive-compulsive disorder, misanthropic and prejudiced (Jack Nicholson), his neighbor, a homosexual painter (Greg Kinnear) and a waitress with a lot of patience, a single mother with financial problems (Helen Hunt) converge creating unlikely links in New York City.
Why should we see her? Nicholson does one of those wonderful roles he has us used to and the couple he forms with Hunt is rare, but it works very well. A modern classic.
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A high school student (Noah Centineo) wants to go to Yale, but has no way to afford college or the life of luxury that appeals to him. By chance, he signs up to impersonate a classmate’s cousin’s (Laura Marano) boyfriend and from there, he comes up with an app that offers his services to impersonate the perfect date for any occasion to generate money.
Why should we see her? The idea is not entirely original and, like all romantic comedies, it can be predictable. However, the development, although simple, is very well executed and ends up being a very fresh film.
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Martha (Martina Gedeck) is a renowned German chef, famous for her volatile temperament and stubbornness, who is 100 percent focused on her career. However, one day, after a tragic accident, she must take care of her 8 year old niece who was recently orphaned, which will change Martha’s life and make her recognize and have better relationships with the people around her.
Why should we see it? The remake of this film (starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart) was released in 2007, but it is always better to see the original version, more realistic and with a more European humor.
Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) is a woman in her 30s who is beginning to feel the social pressure of being single, while having a hard, hard time finding someone moderately acceptable. So she decides to look for a different option and decides to answer an ad for a woman looking for another woman. Then, a possibility that seemed lost reappears with Josh (Scott Cohen), her boss, who tries an approach, but Jessica may prefer to be with Helen (Heather Juergensen).
Why should we see her? This film portrays very well the New York of the beginning of the century and also ventures to introduce this element of a homosexual relationship in a time when it was not at all common.
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After some time alone, Clara (Karla Souza), a Mexican gynecologist working in Los Angeles, seems to know someone interesting, a colleague of hers, Asher (Ben O’Toole). However, before a possible relationship could be consolidated, Clara’s old love, Daniel (José María Yazpik), makes his presence felt, overflowing with perfection and putting her in a tight spot.
Why should we see her? The film is the second film directed by Catalina Aguilar Mastretta (Las horas contigo, 2015) and although at times it flirts with melodrama, it manages to keep the film on the side of comedy. In addition, the love triangle is very solid and so are the cast performances.
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is a complex Londoner in her thirties whose love life is in crisis and she decides to put her life in order. She works in a publishing house and, one day, her boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), a well-known don Juan, begins to seduce her. They have a torrid affair, until Bridget discovers him with another woman. Then, she quits her job and lurches in as an old acquaintance, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), takes an interest in her, and Cleaver comes back to haunt her.
Why should we see her? This film is based on the book of the same name by Helen Fielding, but it immediately took on a life of its own and became an instant classic. The sequels, however, leave much to be desired.
Rosalba (Licia Maglietta) is a mother with several children and a long marriage who has lost her identity. One day, in the middle of a family trip, the bus full of her relatives forgets her at a stop and she takes the opportunity not to return home. She takes refuge in Venice where she meets a strange but endearing guy, Fernando Girasole (Bruno Ganz), a holistic masseuse and tries to restart her life by working in a flower shop.
Why should we see her? Bruno Ganz, one of the most famous and respected European actors of the last century, draws a perfect character that overflows with comedy from a sepulchral seriousness.
Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Jack Taylor (George Clooney) meet on a New York City dock, where the ferry that was to take their children on a school trip has just sailed. Both separated parents now have to take care of the children but both have a busy day at work, so they choose to split up: he watches them for a while while while she goes to an important meeting, and she watches them for a while while while he develops a story. A day full of vicissitudes, but one that ends with both of them pretty much hooked.
Why should we see her? This is a romantic comedy that has a tint of the old Hollywood movies, most likely because the protagonists are two stars at their peak. It is a delight to see Clooney and Pfeiffer together in this film.
Jorge (Ricardo Darin), a budding writer, meets Laura (Soledad Villamil), a waitress who is waiting for her boyfriend to return. They fall in love, but because of life’s difficulties they separate and maintain an intermittent relationship for the next two decades.
Why should we see her? The narration has a lot of humor, irony and sarcasm, which makes it attractive. Darín and Villamil also portrayed a couple with disagreements of more than two decades in the Oscar-winning film El secreto de tus ojos (2009), directed by the same director as this one, Juan José Campanella.
Emily’s (Julianne Moore) and Cal’s (Steve Carell) marriage has worn out and she confesses an infidelity to him and they separate. Cal has trouble accepting his new reality and is having a hard time; in the midst of this crisis, he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a young Don Juan who takes pity on him and decides to adopt him as a project to teach him how to conquer women. In the process, Cal finds himself and tries to reconquer his wife.
Why should we see her? The Gosling/Carell combination is very funny and the script is quite agile and entertaining.
Elle (Joey King) and Lee (Joel Courtney) have been best friends since childhood and to preserve their friendship they have developed a set of rules to follow. Now that they are in high school, however, Elle has trouble following one of those rules because she is falling in love with Lee’s older brother.
Why should we see her? King (The Act), an actress who has been working since she was 4 years old, stands out in this film. A typical youthful romantic comedy, but contemporary and the sequel is in post-production.
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Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) have been living together in New York for some time and decided to spend a couple of romantic weeks in Venice to rekindle the flame of their relationship. On their return, however, they will have to spend a couple of days in Paris, with Marion’s family, where Jack will have the opportunity to meet all of Marion’s exes.
Why should we see her? The film is written, produced and directed by Delpy and has a much stronger touch of reality, comedy and freshness compared to, for example, the famous trilogy with Ethan Hawke from Before Sunrise (1995).
A Sicilian (Marcello Mastroianni) falls fervently in love with his cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli) and wants to marry her. However, the man is married to Rosalia (Daniela Rocca) and divorce is illegal in Italy, so he prepares a plan: to encourage his wife to have an affair and then he kills her so that her sentence – as it is the murder of an adulterous woman – is lighter. However, Rosalia turns out to be quite faithful to her husband.
Why should we see her? It is a classic of the genre and of Italian cinema, and has become a cult film. Besides, Mastroianni’s performance is great.
Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) are best friends who spend all their time arguing about the possibility that a man and a woman can be just friendly. In the end, of course, they end up kissing under a mistletoe leaf on New Year’s Eve.
Why you should see it: The single scene of Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm in the restaurant justifies the movie. It is perhaps the best script written by the great Nora Ephron. Ryan and Crystal have never been better.
Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) have known each other since childhood and even went out, but eventually they stopped seeing each other. Without any planning, however, they met again, just when Sasha’s boyfriend broke off their engagement, so a little bit because of loneliness and a little bit because of social pressure, Marcus and Sasha start rebuilding their bonds but when everything seems clear to Marcus, Sasha meets Keanu Reeves (Keanu Reeves).
Why should we see her? The fact that Keanu Reeves comes out as himself is reason enough. But it is also a very agile film that portrays the current times.
Rafa (Dani Rovira), a Sevillian who has never left Andalusia, meets Amaia (Clara Lago), a Basque girl and a bit antisocial, and is fascinated to the extent that he follows her to the Basque Country. Amaia, who doesn’t want anything to do with him, decides to take advantage of the visit to introduce him to her father, a Basque with deep-rooted traditions, so Rafa will have to pretend to be from the north of Spain.
Why should we see her? This comedy plays with the stereotypes of the Spanish autonomous communities, exaggerating them and showing how absurd they can be, with a light and very funny tone.
Tracy Lord (Katherine Hepburn) is a wealthy woman who is about to get married. The day before the wedding, her ex-husband, Dexter Haver (Cary Grant), opens the doors of the Lord’s house to sensationalist journalists Macauley Connor (James Stewart) and Elizabeth Imbrie. What could go wrong?
Why we should see it: It is a classic of the genre with three of the best and most charismatic actors in American cinema. Not to be missed.
Amélie is a French film very different from any other. The freshness and complexity give the character of Amélie (Audrey Tatou) a unique profile. And for a person so different from the common denominator, there can only be one other person equally different. An original and very funny love story that breaks the mold of the genre.
Why we should see it: “There is real magic in this film…and enough energy to light up an entire city on a dark and sad night,” wrote Steven Rea for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Over the course of five social events – as the title warns – a young, hardcore bachelor (Hugh Grant) ends up falling in love with a woman (Andie MacDowell) who, however, seems like an impossible love.
Why should we see it: This genre has been very well worked by English cinema and this film opened the door to the world for Hugh Grant, who was a revelation with his naive, intelligent and sarcastic character (an image that still haunts him).
Diego ‘El Tenso’ (Adrián Suar) and Tana (Valeria Bertuccelli) are married. She likes to complain about absolutely everything and he feels worn out by it, so he wants to end the relationship, but without hurting her. So, he comes up with the idea of hiring someone to seduce his wife and the idea of ending it is hers. The arrival of that third party in discord, however, changes the dynamics of the couple and Tenso is no longer so sure he wants to end the relationship.
Why should we see her? This Argentine film was such a success that several remakes of the original film have been replicated in different countries (Mexico, Chile, Brazil and South Korea, are some).
The innocent Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) escapes from the yoke of the security team that surrounds her to get lost in Rome, along with the cynicism of journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), who ends up helping her so that the press doesn’t tear her apart (yes, the story sounds very much like many other movies you may have seen).
Why you have to see it: This film launched Audrey Hepburn to stardom, and she came to become an icon of cinema, and particularly of the genre.
A famous American actress, Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), and a London independent bookseller, William Thacker (Hugh Grant) Of course, it’s easy to imagine the string of obstacles this unlikely couple encounter along the way, but, in the end, of course, they end up together.
Why you should see it: Roberts’ monologue in front of a mute Grant is a classic: “I am just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. The screenwriter is Richard Curtis, the same one who wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).
An advertising creative who is an unredeemed Don Juan, Tomás Tomás (Daniel Giménez Cacho) receives the news that he has AIDS (a bad joke from a scorned examiner), and when he thinks all is lost he meets his neighbor, an angelic purser, Clarisa Negrete (Claudia Ramírez), whom he cannot seduce because he does not want to infect her.
Why you have to see it: Long before Gravity (2013) or Rome (2018), Alfonso Cuarón directed this, his opera prima, with a delicious rhythm and a setting that gave identity to the Mexican cinema of the 90s.
A boy, with the help of a radio program, joins his father (Tom Hanks) with a stranger (Meg Ryan) at the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York – a clear reference to the classic An Affair to Remember (1957), with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
Why you should see it: The couple Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks make is very strong when it comes to romantic comedies. Not to be missed. Besides, there are a lot of references to classic films.
This film deals with the struggle of the sexes at work, a very typical theme of the sixties, between two publicists, Carol Templeton (Doris Day) and Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson), which, as is to be expected, ends up becoming a torrid and turbulent romance.
Why you have to see it: The anthology couple Doris Day and Rock Hudson revitalized the genre in the 1960s.
Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) meets Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) and what should be a normal romance turns into an obstacle course because of social and economic differences.
Why should we see it? It gives us a picture of what the 80s were like – at least that’s how I want to remember my tender youth. Besides, Molly Ringwald is an icon for a whole generation.
The world of Will Lightman (Hugh Grant), a confirmed bachelor, changes when he meets Marcus, a 12-year-old boy he meets on one of his dates.
Why should we see it? The famous phrase “no man is an island” is the basis of this film. Besides, this is a rare romantic comedy where the focus is not on the love conquest, but on the bond of friendship between an adult and a child.
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At the height of the Prohibition era, Joe and Jerry are two ordinary musicians who are forced to flee after witnessing a murder. Since they can’t find work and the mafia is after them, they decide to dress up as women and play in a female orchestra.
Why should we see it? Because it is time to stop reading about this masterpiece, one of the most acclaimed comedies in the history of cinema, and watch it once and for all.
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Toula (Nia Vardalos) undertakes a series of changes in her routine life and thanks to this initiative, she meets Professor Ian Miller (John Corbett). Will she resist the initial spark of the couple, the constant intrusion of Toula’s Greek family?
Why should we see her? She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, which speaks to her writing quality and ingenuity. It is also an interesting picture about cultural clashes in patriarchal societies and how complicated it is for women to break down prejudices.
Ricky (Antonio Banderas), a young man coming out of a psychiatric hospital where he had to spend some time as a sentence for a crime he committed, is convinced that the actress Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril) is the woman of his life, even though she does not know who he is. Ricky’s plan is to kidnap Marina in his own apartment and force her to live with him because, once she meets him, she will realize that they are made for each other.
Why should we see her? Pedro Almodóvar was the king of comedies during the 1980s and this is perhaps one of his finest films of that time. Besides, it is worth seeing Abril and Banderas shine.
A boy, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), meets a girl, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), and courts her. She tells him she doesn’t want anything serious; he accepts, but ends up falling in love and, as would happen in real life, the affair does not have a happy ending. However, after the bitter drink, both the boy and the girl will find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Why should we see it? This is a romantic comedy -the only one, or one of the few- that breaks the mold of living together and happily ever after. Some people don’t even give it the degree of romantic comedy, but it’s worth it.
A Frenchman (Gérard Depardieu) is looking for a way to legalize his papers to stay in the United States and a New Yorker (Andie MacDowell) needs a partner in order to get the apartment of her dreams. These two strangers decide to get married, for convenience, and never see each other again. But, the government hesitates and decides to open an investigation to know if the couple is not committing a fraud.
Why should we see her? The film, directed by Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society), has an intelligent and subtle script, which together with the performances of MacDowell and Depardieu leave a perfect romantic comedy.
David (Cary Grant), a quiet paleontologist, is about to get married and is seeking a generous donation from Mrs. Random, a wealthy woman who plans to support the museum where David works. Susan (Hepburn) is a restless woman who confuses David with a zoologist who would have to keep an eye on a leopard she has in her country house. David doesn’t want to snub Susan, because she is Mrs. Random’s niece, so he doesn’t snub her and start a mess of entanglements.
Why should we see her? The film was a box-office flop, however, the years and the charisma of the great film couple Hepburn and Grant, do the film justice – especially since it adds a leopard to the equation.
A young father (Ryan Reynolds) in the midst of his divorce is questioned by his daughter (Abigail Breslin) to tell her the story of how he met his mother now that they are divorcing. At the insistence of the girl, he confesses that he has two important ex-girlfriends and since the girl does not stop harassing him, he decides to tell her the story, although without giving names and she will have to deduce who her mother is.
Why should we see her? The freshness of Reynolds and Breslin makes this romantic comedy very attractive; without leaving aside the interesting story of the protagonist with Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Summer (Rachel Weisz) and April (Fisher Island).
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Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is not allowed to date any boy if her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles), a grumpy, antisocial young woman, is not dating either. Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to go out with Bianca, but given the situation, he comes up with a plan to have a third party pay the toughest guy in high school, Patrick (Heath Ledger), who would be the only one who would dare, to go out with Kat.
Why should we see it? Besides being one of Ledger’s first roles, this film immediately became a youth classic. It is also a free adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
A young Lloyd (John Cusack) with a bleak future and Diane (Ione Sky), a model student about to leave for college, fall in love against all odds. However, the clear differences turn the whole environment against them.
Why should we see her? The famous scene of Cusack serenading himself with a tape recorder is a classic and is now recreated in programs and movies. It is also directed by Cameron Crowe.
A prime minister, an office worker, a pop star, a writer and other characters find love from different perspectives.
Why should we see it? is actually a combination of 10 small romantic comedies that are intertwined and happen during the holidays, particularly the end of the year. It also has a stellar cast: Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, among many others.
Maria de las Montañas (Leticia Dolera) is a girl who has had to move back to her mother’s house and feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. By accident, she meets Borja (Manuel Burque), another misfit with whom, however, she begins to develop a bond that makes them both feel at ease with each other.
Why should we see her? Because it is an intelligent and fresh script, and Dolera, besides starring it, wrote and directed the film.
Ronald is a young nerd and worker who takes advantage of a circumstance to help his neighbor, Cindy, the most popular blonde in the high school. In exchange, Cindy will have to pretend to date Ronald for a couple of weeks, which Ronald says will make him popular at school. Of course, in the end, they will fall in love.
Why should we see her? Before, long before Dempsey became McDreamy, he excelled as a romantic comedy buff, and this is your chance to see him as a young man.
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Maru (Karla Souza) celebrates without control at the wedding of a friend of hers and, to her surprise, she gets pregnant. The problem is that she does not remember well to well who she did what with that night. After recounting what happened with her other friends, she concludes that she ended up sleeping with Renato (Ricardo Abarca), who is a distant friend of the wedding groom and decides to look for him to give him the news.
Why should we see her? This Mexican comedy is fresh and confronts, at the same time, the prejudices, classism and racism of Mexican society. Besides, Souza (How to get away with murder), does it very well.
A neurotic comedian, Alvy Singer (yes, Woody allen), falls in love with an attractive and absent-minded woman named Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), forming a totally unlikely couple in the 1970s in New York.
Why we must see it: This is a different romantic comedy because of the peculiar characteristics of the characters and the intelligent dialogues, which place it, in many counts of romantic comedies, always within the best.