The best romantic comedies on HBO Max – Entertainment Weekly News

Sometimes you just need a rom-com to brighten a bad day or elevate an already sunny mood. There's the love, the laughs, and above all, the comforting fact that two people (usually, but not always) end up together in the end. So, if you're looking for a great romantic comedy to watch on HBO Max, look no further. From a couple of old Hollywood classics, to movies from the rom-com heyday of the '80s and '90s, to some newer favorites, here are 12 excellent rom-coms ready to stream right now.
Multiple love stories come together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. The 2011 rom-com stars Steve Carell as a man recently separated from his wife (Julianne Moore), who gets dating tips from a charming younger man played by Ryan Gosling. Meanwhile, Gosling’s character finds himself in the throes of a (semi-)unrequited love with a hard-to-get law school grad played by his frequent collaborator Emma Stone.
When it comes to Gosling and Stone’s chemistry, a lot of it is based on their real-life connection. “We were like, ‘Do that weird stuff you’ve been driving everybody crazy with,'” co-director John Requa told EW of the actors’ improvised falling-in-love scene that takes place in bed. “It feels real because it is real. It’s what they were doing when they were just hanging out goofing around.”
If you liked Crazy, Stupid, Love., you might also enjoy: La La Land (2016) streaming on Hulu.
Love triangles are common in romantic comedies, but classic rom-com The Philadelphia Story brings viewers a love square. Katharine Hepburn stars as a socialite, who is engaged to marry one man (John Howard), but starts falling for both a reporter sent to cover her wedding (James Stewart) and her ex-husband (Cary Grant). The movie still ends with a wedding… but to whom?
In a 1991 piece about weddings in film, EW’s David Everitt wrote that “Few Hollywood comedies are as sophisticated or as funny as this film … George Cukor, the master of genteel entertainment, directs this wise comedy about the marital problems of the very rich.” Now over 80 years later, The Philadelphia Story‘s charm lives on. 
If you liked The Philadelphia Story you might also enjoy: Bringing Up Baby (1938), available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.
Cher stars in Moonstruckmore of a rom-dramedy, really — as a widow, who falls in love with her fiancé’s (Danny Aiello) younger brother (Nicolas Cage). Cher won an Oscar for the role, while Olympia Dukakis, who plays her mother, took home the Best Supporting Actress statuette.
In 2011, Chris Nashawaty wrote for EW, “Norman Jewison‘s tiramisu-sweet romantic comedy is passionate and profound,” while “As Ronny Cammareri… Cage not only gets the chance to play the knight, the brute, and the fool in the same film, but each role fits him like the glove on his character’s prosthetic hand.”
If you liked Moonstruck, you might also enjoy: Working Girl (1988), streaming on Hulu.
Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child stars Jenny Slate as a stand-up comedian, Donna, who decides to have an abortion following a one-night stand with a man named Max (Jake Lacy). During the time of the hookup and her appointment, Max pursues Donna and she attempts to tell him about the pregnancy while pushing his earnest affections away.
“The film was quickly branded as an ‘abortion comedy,’ which is a real shame — especially if that label cost it awards love,” wrote EW’s Emily Blake in 2015. “To call Obvious Child political, even provocative, is selling it short. Yes, Donna’s decision is a crucial part of the story — but it’s really the engine that propels a romantic comedy. The film, like its protagonist, is bristly and sarcastic on the outside, but warm and vulnerable at its core.”
If you liked Obvious Child, you might also enjoy: Trainwreck (2015), streaming on Peacock.
Any rom-com list can use a little Nora Ephron, and thankfully, When Harry Met Sally… is streaming on HBO Max. The movie stars Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal as friends who are finally able to become more than that after over a decade… or are they?
Director Rob Reiner spoke to EW about the most memorable scenes from the movie in 2019. Of Crystal’s famous speech at the end, he explained, “Stuff like ‘I love the way your nose crinkles’ — that was Billy — [and] the great line ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.'” Between Crystal’s now-iconic improvisations and the all-too-relatable chemistry between him and Ryan, When Harry Met Sally… has more than earned its spot in the rom-com hall of fame — and this list.
If you liked When Harry Met Sally…, you might also enjoy: You’ve Got Mail (1998), streaming on Hulu.
Singin’ in the Rain has everything: dance, music, comedy, romance. The love story comes from Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds as a famous star and an up-and-coming actor, respectively. Much of the comedy is delivered courtesy of co-star Donald O’Connor, with his over-the-top dance numbers, and Jean Hagen as a silent movie star with a voice that absolutely cannot transition to the talkies.
While Singin’ in the Rain is one of the most beloved films of all time now, it wasn’t as big of a hit when it first came out. Think it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards? Nope, only two (Best Supporting Actress for Hagen and Best Original Score). But the passing years (or rather decades) have looked fondly upon this classic now dripping with charm. 
If you liked Singin’ in the Rain, you might also enjoy: An American in Paris (1951), available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.
In the ’80s classic Coming to America, Eddie Murphy stars as Akeem Joffer, a crown prince from fictional African country Zamunda who flees his parents and his arranged marriage in an attempt to find love on his own terms. Joined by his loyal sidekick Semmi (Arsenio Hall), Akeem’s quest lands him in Queens, New York where he becomes intertwined in a love triangle with a fast-food heiress named Lisa (Shari Headley) and her less-than-likable boyfriend/Soul Glo heir Darryl (Eriq La Salle). 
In light of the release of the long-awaited sequel, Coming 2 America, last year, EW’s Kristen Baldwin described the original as “​​a treasure, an endlessly rewatchable modern classic that blends rom-com sweetness with standalone sketch-comedy brilliance.”
If you liked Coming to America, you might also enjoy: Coming 2 America (2021), streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Four Weddings and a Funeral is about exactly that: a group of friends whose lives shift and change as they find love at some of the most significant gatherings one can imagine — the start of a marriage and the end of a life. Nineties rom-com regular Hugh Grant stars as Charles with his love interest, Carrie, played by Andie MacDowell.
“Weddings have rarely been choreographed so appealingly as they are in this creation from writer Richard Curtis and director Mike Newell,” wrote EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum in 1994. “And Grant is the rare actor who can mix the characteristics of sex appeal and ambivalence in believable, rather than irritating, proportions.”
If you liked Four Weddings and a Funeral, you might also enjoy: Notting Hill (1999), streaming on Starz.
Even if you haven’t seen it, you know Say Anything… as the movie with John Cusack playing music from a boombox under his crush’s window. Cameron Crowe‘s directorial debut stars Cusack as a slightly dopey but still somehow irresistible high school grad Lloyd Dobler, who attempts to win over the beautiful yet reserved valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) despite their differing social circles. 
The stars, Crowe, and producer James L. Brooks got together for the 30th anniversary of the movie at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 to reflect on capturing such a singular love story that wouldn’t exist in the same way today. “It was a simpler time before cell phones, when you could go out at night and get lost,” Cusack said of the film at the event. “The whole milieu of the movie, when you’re leaving high school and making a transition, leaving young adulthood and going into adulthood. All these rest stops and views and vistas. I think that’s what makes this really special are those layers of depth underneath.”
If you liked Say Anything…, you might also enjoy: Pretty in Pink (1986), streaming on Starz.
James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News follows a group of TV newscasters: serious reporter Jane (Holly Hunter), awkward, but talented Aaron (Albert Brooks), and charming newcomer Tom (William Hurt). A love triangle of sorts ensues, but the outcome might leave you surprised.
“Wickedly funny and smart, Broadcast News came out at the exact moment when TV news was caught in a tug-of-war between blow-dried anchors (Hurt) and self-righteous defenders of integrity (Brooks),” wrote EW’s Chris Nashawaty in 2011. “Holly Hunter was the career woman stuck in the middle — and her performance is sweet, soulful, and staggering.”
If you liked Broadcast News, you might also enjoy: Network (1976), available to rent on Apple TV+.
Jennifer Garner stars in 13 Going on 30 as the actualized older persona of 13-year-old Jenna Rink, who awakens to find that she is now in the body of a 30-year-old and has no idea what happened during the intervening years. Mark Ruffalo co-stars as her childhood friend-turned-love interest Matty, tasked with helping her find her true form — literally.
The pair recently reunited, playing a couple once again in The Adam Project. “It kind of feels like Jenna and Matty were married all this time,” Garner said of co-starring with Ruffalo 18 years later. Cue the “aww”s from 13 Going on 30 fans everywhere.
If you liked 13 Going on 30, you might also enjoy: Big (1988), streaming on Disney+.
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