The perfect date film? That’s easy. Couples have chosen rom-coms as their preferred movie genre for decades.
To determine the best romantic comedies to stream this week (and for the rest of December), 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of December 2022, weighting all ratings equally. We only considered movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Criterion Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi, and Freevee. Data on streaming availability, current as of this month, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial and acting credits are from IMDb.
Rom-coms are certainly nothing new. The top seven films on the list all date from the early 1950s or before. Some of the comedies featured are of the screwball variety that was popular in the 1930s and 1940s. And the best of the genre actually dates from the silent-movie era. Only one movie in the top 10 was released in this century. (These are the greatest love stories in movie history.)
There are 22 movies on the list that hold a Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score of 90% or above. Three films – “The Strawberry Blonde,” “The Philadelphia Story,” and “The Shop Around the Corner” – have a perfect score of 100%.
Nora Ephron wrote and/or directed three rom-coms on the list: “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” Rob Reiner and Woody Allen directed two apiece.
On this list, Audrey Hepburn is the queen of rom-coms, starring in three classics: “Sabrina,” “Roman Holiday,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Jennifer Garner is a more contemporary queen of the genre with two movies on the list.
Two films on our list, “The Half of It” and “Love, Simon,” have put a gay-theme spin on the traditional rom-com genre. (Here are the 30 best LGBTQ+ movies of all time.)
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