Modern Romantic Comedies to Watch on Valentine’s Day



Photo provided by: Film Takeout
Photo provided by: Film Takeout
Jesse Baalman

Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on movies of the romantic comedy genre. Here are some game-changing romantic comedies that are innovative entries to the genre and have a modern take on relationships.

‘Obvious Child’ directed by Gillian Robespierre, premiered in 2014. Jenny Slate makes this feel-good movie her own. It is centered on a stand-up comedian who has a drunken one night stand and ends up having an abortion on Valentine’s Day.

The dark subject matter and Slate’s hilarious and heartwarming performance make “Obvious Child” one of the most subversive romance films of all time. Every bit of this New York comedy is a joy to experience, especially the odd-couple pairing of Slate and the charming Jake Lacy.

‘500 Days of Summer’ directed by Marc Webb, premiered in 2009. While this one hasn’t aged too well since its release, it still is a groundbreaking take on the genre. The sundance movie deconstructs audience’s perceptions of romantic comedies by having a nonlinear narrative structure and adding in elements of the coming of age genre.

Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) share a 500 day relationship that is examined over the course of the movie as well as other ideas about fate, sentimentality, and cynicism.

‘Enough Said’ directed by Nicole Holofcener, premiered in 2013. Nicole Holofcener has crafted a romantic comedy that feels real in a typically fantastical genre because of the lived-in writing, setting, chemistry between leads Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini.

Dreyfus stars as Eva, a masseuse who unknowingly begins a relationship with her friend and client’s ex-husband. This is a mature story of two middle-aged and divorced people who seem like they live in the real world as their relationship unfolds in the simplest of ways.

‘Trainwreck’ directed by Judd Apatow, premiered in 2015. Amy Schumers writes and stars in “Trainwreck,” the broad studio comedy that features LeBron James in a winning supporting role.

Brie Larson, and Colin Quinn costar in the vital roles of Amy’s sensible sister and her dying father. As a writer for a men’s magazine, Amy experiences hardships and realizations all the while going through her first serious relationship with her article subject and sports doctor, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader).

‘Sleeping With Other People’ directed by Leslye Headland, premiered in 2015. Headland’s wild and hysterical “Sleeping With Other People” is every bit as bold and irreverent as her previous feature, “Bachelorette.”

It is a story about the the messiness of a relationship between people with commitment issues. Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) are two refreshing faces of today who are outrageous and flawed, but it never takes away from the emotional impact in the third act.

‘Maggie’s Plan’ directed by Rebecca Miller, premiered in 2016.

Greta Gerwig’s light and bubbly persona is put to the test in this movie that is whimsical and intelligent and also features Julianne Moore and Ethan Hawke in a love triangle with Gerwig’s character. “Maggie’s Plan” is a modern romantic comedy and Rebecca Miller has made the movie that Woody Allen should’ve made years ago.

Do you have any modern romantic comedies you’d recommend? Let us know at

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