Love is in the air
The past year brought plenty of political whiplash, but in film we got plenty of escapism in the form of formulaic but utterly lovable love stories. Netflix led the charge with a bevy of infinitely rewatchable options, but the big screen offered a fair share of gems too. See our 10 favorites (well, 11) from 2018.
Honorable mention: How to Talk to Girls at Parties
The only movie this year to feature Nicole Kidman as a punk-rock den mother, John Cameron Mitchell’s coming-of-age film (based on a Neil Gaiman short story) about a young punk who meets an alien was definitely love-it-or-hate-it, but it deserves a shoutout for sheer audacity and courage of conviction.
10. Sierra Burgess Is a Loser
This modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac tale cemented Noah Centineo as the king of Netflix romantic comedies. Shannon Purser’s performance (and Alan Ruck and Lea Thompson as her parents!) elevated a fairly derivative story into something pretty sweet.
9. Alex Strangelove
Flying largely under the radar, this Netflix romantic comedy about a teen boy (Daniel Doheny) discovering his sexuality was smart and funny, and deserved more love.
8. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A film far more manageable than its title, Guernsey stars Lily James as a literary celebrity in the postwar U.K. who learns about a book club on a tiny island in the English Channel. The cast (Matthew Goode! Glenn Powell!), and the gorgeous clothes and scenery make this the perfect rom-com to pair with a rainy day and cup of tea.
7. Book Club
One of the most fun movies of the year, and a shameless reminder that even ladies of a certain age are entitled to their swoon-worthy romances.
6. Love, Simon
Love, Simon deserved its well-earned buzz, as one of the first major studio teen rom-coms to feature a gay protagonist (played by Nick Robinson). The movie was well-told, memorable, and heartfelt — plus we got Jennifer Garner.
5. Crazy Rich Asians
4. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Was there a more fun movie that came out this year? The answer is no. If you didn’t grin like an idiot while watching Colin Firth groove to Dancing Queen, then I can’t imagine you being the type of person I’d ever want to meet. Donna’s flashback story is three rom-coms in one, so it gets some points off for lacking conventional structure, but it still gives us everything we could want. If you need me, I’ll be meeting handsome strangers all over Europe.
3. Set It Up
What a wonderful surprise of a movie! What might have been a hokey premise was elevated into something phenomenal by a clever script and the tangible chemistry between the charming leads, Zoey Deutch and Glenn Powell (not to mention supporting stars Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs). Put the pizza scene in the rom-com hall of fame!
2. Juliet, Naked
This underseen gem stars Rose Byrne as a woman who realizes life may be passing her by and begins an unlikely friendship with a washed-up American rock star (Ethan Hawke) who knows his best days are in the past. Based on the Nick Hornby book, Juliet, Naked is subtle but unforgettable, and gives us a great comedic supporting role from Chris O’Dowd.
1. To All The Boys I Loved Before
TATBILB captured the internet’s heart with two words: Peter Kavinsky. It was the jean-pocket-spin seen round the world. The Netflix film (based on the Jenny Han book) capulted Lana Condor and Noah Centineo into mainstream attention, and for good reason: We’d write them both love letters any day of the week.