7 best romantic comedies you (probably) haven’t watched for Valentine’s Day

(L-R) Zoe Kazan as Chantry and Daniel Radcliffe as Wallace in What If?
(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo / Entertainment One)

If you’ve already seen “When Harry Met Sally”, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Noting Hill” more times than you can count, then you might be looking for one of the best romantic comedies you haven’t watched this Valentine’s Day (or on any other day of the year, no judgment here). 

The classics of the genre have earned their status for a reason, but look beyond the familiar favorites and you'll find a whole treasure trove of movies that blend romance and comedy in smart and refreshing ways. So, if you’re looking for a rom-com that you’ve (probably) never seen that's available to watch on one of the best streaming services, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Below you'll find seven movies that will have you feeling warm and fuzzy (Although, I'll warn you, one of these movies might also have you sobbing). All of the movies on this list, for one reason or another, flew under the radar upon release, which is a shame, as these overlooked romantic comedies deserve to be watched ASAP. 

'Rye Lane' (2023) 

(L-R) David Jonsson as Dom and Vivian Oparah as Y

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Searchlight Pictures)

The “boy meets girl” setup of “Rye Lane” is very generic, so it’s a testament to pretty much every other element of the movie that it still manages to feel so refreshing. From the wonderfully witty script to the utterly charming performances of its two leads (David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah), there’s so much to love here. And, at a breezy 82 minutes long, Rye Lane is a very easy watch that can be easily slotted into a post-work date night. 

“Rye Lane” follows two twenty-somethings living in South London, Dom (Jonsson) and Yas (Oparah), who spend an eventful day getting to know each other after a chance encounter in the toilets of a South London art exhibition. Both have recently been through bitter breakups, but the pair find solace in each other, and as you can probably guess, romantic sparks fly. 

Stream it on Hulu.

'What If?' (2013)

(L-R) Daniel Radcliffe as Wallace and Zoe Kazan as Chantry in What If?

(Image credit: Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo / Entertainment One)

One of Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Harry Potter projects was the criminally underseen romantic comedy, “What If?” (Also known as “The F Word” in some regions). Don’t worry, this isn’t a crass comedy full of curse words and potty humor, the “f word” the title refers to is actually “friend” because this is a flick about two mates who could be something more. 

Radcliffe plays Wallace, a medical school dropout, who meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at a party hosted by his best friend, Allan (Adam Driver). Wallace’s excitement at meeting a potentially perfect partner soon turns sour when he discovers Chantry already has a boyfriend of several years, Ben (Rafe Spall). Despite this hiccup, the two become extremely close, but this leaves Wallace in the very awkward position of falling in love with a girl he swears is "just a friend."

Stream it on Paramount Plus with Showtime.

'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' (2018)

Lily James as Juliet Ashton in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo / StudioCanal)

A historical drama, with a dash of rom-com energy to keep things light, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” stars Lilly James as Juliet Ashton, an author who becomes intrigued by the titular book club after hearing about their experience during World War II, a period that saw the island of Guernsey occupied by German forces. 

After corresponding with one of the members, the dreamy Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman), via written letter, Juliet decides she wants to write a book on the society, and heads off to Guernsey to meet her new pen pal. Naturally, her American fiancée (Glen Powell) isn’t too happy about that, and once on the island, Juliet finds herself drawn to the picturesque place and its many kooky residents, making her question if she ever wants to return to her old life in London. 

Stream it on Netflix

'Celeste and Jesse Forever' (2012) 

(L-R) Rashida Jones as Celeste Martin and Andy Samberg as Jesse Abrams in Celeste and Jesse Forever

(Image credit: Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo / Sony Pictures Classics)

A romantic comedy starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg is a pretty easy sell and it’s the chemistry between the two leads that elevates “Celeste and Jesse Forever” beyond its largely cookie-cutter narrative. Jones and Samberg are both in top form, delivering zippy one-liners with ease, but also perfectly nailing the more tender and heartful moments that all good rom-coms need to offer. 

As you’d expect, the movie focuses on the shifting dynamic between Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Samberg). Former high school sweethearts who got married at an early age, but are now getting divorced. However, the pair are determined to make sure this won’t be a bitter breakup and that they can still be close friends afterward. That’s all going to plan until Jesse gets into a new relationship, and Celeste finds moving on a little more difficult than she’d imagined. 

Stream it on Max

'Man Up' (2015)

(L-R) Simon Pegg as Jack and Lake Bell as Nancy in Man Up

(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo / StudioCanal)

A British romantic comedy that centers on a case of mistaken identity, “Man Up” sees two unlucky-in-love singles, Nancy (Lake Bell), and Jack (Simon Pegg), spend an evening together after a blind date mix-up. Their meeting was never supposed to happen but what follows is a chaotic adventure through London as the pair get to know one another and maybe realize that they’re perfect for each other, so long as the truth doesn’t spoil the vibe.  

“Man Up” is another rom-com that thrives largely because of the effortless chemistry between its two main characters. Bell and Pegg bounce off each other, and their enjoyable, if slightly awkward, interplay is a real treat. The movie also touches upon finding love as you get older, which is a topic well covered in the genre, but “Man Up” handles gracefully. 

Stream it on Man Up

'The Last Five Years' (2014)

(L-R) Jeremy Jordan as Jamie Wellerstein and Anna Kendrick as Cathy Hiatt in The Last Five Years

(Image credit: AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo)

Fair warning, “The Last Five Years” is a musical, so if you can’t stand the idea of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan singing their feelings to one another for 95 minutes, then feel free to skip this one. But you’d be missing out on a wonderful watchable big-screen musical adaptation based on the hit stage production of the same name by Jason Robert Brown. 

Kendrick and Jordan are both excellent vocalists and the musical’s score is highly memorable (“A Summer in Ohio” is a personal favorite). Plus, the nonlinear narrative structure makes this exploration of a five-year relationship all the more interesting (And heartbreaking). Across the movie we see Jamie (Jordan) and Cathy (Kendrick) go from a loved-up young couple to husband and wife on the verge of a bitter breakup. Jamie’s perspective is told linearly, while Cathy’s viewpoint is shown in reverse. This makes “The Last Five Years” stand out compared to other contemporary musicals that cover similar ground. 

Stream it on Amazon Freevee

'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' (2015)

(L-R) Olivia Cooke as Rachel Kushner, Thomas Mann as Greg Gaines and RJ Cyler as Earl Jackson in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

(Image credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jesse Andrews (Who also wrote the movie’s screenplay), “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” leans a little heavier on comedy than romance, but it’s a hugely charming movie that is sure to capture your heart — but just be warned, it’ll also break it along the way. Bring the tissues because this one gets emotional!

This indie flick follows a socially awkward teenager, Greg (Thomas Mann), who spends his free time making truly awful home movies with his best friend, Earl (RJ Cyler). When his overbearing parents (Connie Britton and Nick Offerman) force him to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cookie), a school peer who’s just been diagnosed with leukemia, the three form an unbreakable bond, and face an uncertain future together. But, don’t worry, Rachel doesn’t die in the end. 

Rent/buy on Amazon

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.