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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

The month of flowers, chocolates and Valentine’s cards may have passed but that doesn’t mean that you can no longer sit down and enjoy a nice romantic comedy. Even though it is only March, quite a number of romantic comedies have been released this year and as a person who uses them as an emotional comfort blanket, I am here to tell you which ones are worth seeing and which failed to live up to their potential.

Your Place or Mine:

I was very excited for this movie because of the cast. I mean it had Ashton Kutcher and Reece Witherspoon – two rom-com legends- as childhood friends who had hooked up once many years ago but continue to be long-distance best friends who each have buried feelings for each other. So excited was an understatement but after watching it I was just disappointed. This movie was a reminder that romantic chemistry between the leads is integral, especially in a romantic comedy. You would think that this was obvious as the name of the game is romance but that was forgotten in this movie. Throughout the movie it was completely believable that they were friends, but they could not get me to believe that they were anything else more than that. I know everyone saw those cast photos!

The movie was saved by the fact that Ashton and Reece were only in a few scenes together and spent most of the movie interacting with each other over the phone or Facetime. But the main saving grace of the movie was the supporting cast: Tig Notaro and Zoe Chao were fantastic and hilarious. They played their roles as the main characters’ best friends perfectly and kept the story moving with a dash of panache.

Rating: 2/5

Available on Netflix:

Your Place Or Mine | Official Trailer | Netflix

At Midnight:

This vaguely reminded me of one of my favourite romantic comedies, Notting Hill. Sophie Wilder, an actress played by Monica Barbaro, meets Alejandro, a regular guy played by Diego Boneta at a hotel. They date in secret for a while but eventually split because of fame-related problems and then a sometime later, a big romantic gesture is made. But what are romantic comedies if they don’t remix the same 5 tropes over and over again. That said, I will still watch every iteration and be amazed when the couple overcomes all odds. However, this movie did have the added layer of being set in Mexico which gave us some beautiful scenic backgrounds.

The movie was a little like a Hallmark telenovela – the mix of English and Spanish dialogues felt like an ode to the writer, director and actors in the movie. Unlike ‘Your Place or Mine’, the movie did suffer due to the one-dimensional supporting characters and rather odd pacing. I know that within the genre of romantic comedies, the storylines of the supporting characters usually get tossed away or lost within the couple’s, but these characters (especially on Sophie Wilder’s side) seriously had no depth. They were mere caricatures of the ‘sassy’ best friend, the overworked but friendly manager and the sharp but job-focused agent.  I must say though, the late night midnight dates were adorable!

Rating: 2.5/5

Available on Amazon prime or Paramount+

At Midnight | Official Trailer | Paramount+

Somebody I Used to Know:

Being someone who is utterly obsessed with wholesome celebrity relationships, watching Alison Brie and Dave Franco in their press tour for this movie really sold it to me. I promptly found out everything I could about them and then needed to watch the movie that they did together. Alison Brie is joined by Danny Pudi so along with an unconventional rom-com, the viewer is simultaneously blessed with a mini Community reunion. The story follows Ally, played by Alison Brie, who goes back to her hometown for a break from her career that’s spiralling downwards. She runs into her ex-boyfriend, played by Jay Ellis, who is getting married in a week but now she suddenly wants him back, so what does she do next? She decides to break up the wedding, of course. 

How original, I know, but who doesn’t love a good wedding crashers movie. Similar to the movie, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, the fiancée who we aren’t supposed to root for is actually quite loveable and hard to hate, which Ally finds out soon enough. The movie takes a different approach than a regular romantic comedy and approaches self-love and self-growth in a delicate and intuitive way.

Ally learns a lot about herself whilst attempting to ruin another what is supposed to be another woman’s happiest day ever. We also get Danny Pudi’s character calling her out at every other moment, essentially saying all the things that the audience are shouting to the screen. I would definitely give this watch especially if you are in the mood for a more reflective but still funny romantic comedy.

Rating: 4/5

Available on Amazon Prime

Somebody I Used to Know – Official Trailer | Prime Video

What’s Love Got to Do with It?:

This was probably the movie I was most excited to see. It stars Lily James in a childhood friends-to-lovers story between her character and her Pakistani neighbour, essayed by Shazad Latif, who is about to go through with an arranged marriage. It had a fantastic range of characters from the families to the leads who had palpable chemistry with each other. The movie delved into the topic of multiculturalism in modern Britain from two important perspectives, that of the “British” and “British-born”. 

The whole movie felt like a love letter to not just childhood friendships but the love with a close knit family. Honestly, I called my parents and siblings after watching it. The movie’s lighting and scenery were absolutely stunning and the pacing of the movie was perfect! *chef’s kiss*

P.S Emma Thompson plays Lily’s mother – yet another reason to watch the movie!

Rating: 5/5 

Available in cinemas

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? – Official Trailer – Starring Lily James, Emma Thompson, Shazad Latif

Rye Lane:

I definitely saved the best for last because I could not stop smiling for the entirety of the 1 hour and 22 minutes. Like seriously, I came out of the theatre with my cheeks hurting. The story follows two young people who meet in an art gallery after Yas, played by Vivian Oparah, hears Dom, played by David Jonsson, crying in the bathroom after a terrible breakup. Once they leave the gallery, they decide to go on a walking adventure through London. It turns out as an adventure neither you nor the characters want to end. 

This was by far the funniest movie on the list. It had a level of surrealism throughout, mainly in the flashbacks. Most of the scenes were shot with a fisheye lens which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before but it simply added an extra layer of quirkiness that made the movie as unique as it was. It was one of those movies where the story is cute and the visuals were perfect as well. The lighting director, costume designer and location scouter all deserve the awards for how aesthetically pleasing and vibrant this was. 

It is definitely my favourite so far in 2023 – and that is truly high praise from me because I watch A LOT of rom-coms.

Rating: 10s across the board!

You can find it in the cinema or on Hulu (America) and I suggest you do.

Rye Lane | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures UK

Written by: Ozioma Ofoezie

Edited by: Harsheni Maniarasan

A Politics, philosophy and economics girlie who loves anything pop culture and film related :)