If sooner or later everything old is new again, isn’t it time for film studios to get back into the business of putting out quality romantic comedies? Remember back in the ’90s when Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, and Meg Ryan romantic comedies were a box office staple? Given the state of the world, we need more lighthearted, escapist fare. It’s time for studios to stop neglecting the romantic comedy genre.
2019’s roster of romantic comedies is so slim that we wound up adding two films that in better rom-com years wouldn’t be considered for this list. The live-action version of Aladdin and the new Lady and the Tramp remake aren’t truly romantic comedies but made the cut to pad out the list so it doesn’t look quite so pathetic.
2019 Romantic Comedies Preview:
Aladdin – May 24
Starring Will Smith, Billy Magnussen, Naomi Scott, Mena Massoud, Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari, Numan Acar, and Navid Negahban
The Plot: A live-action retelling of the classic animated Disney film with Will Smith playing the Genie.
Booksmart – TBD 2019
Starring Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis, Skyler Gisondo, and Will Forte
The Plot: The story follows Dever and Feldstein’s characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more. Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night. (Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes)
Isn’t It Romantic – February 13
Starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, and Priyanka Chopra
The Plot: New York City architect Natalie (Rebel Wilson) works hard to get noticed at her job, but is more likely to be asked to deliver coffee and bagels than to design the city’s next skyscraper. And if things weren’t bad enough, Natalie, a lifelong cynic when it comes to love, has an encounter with a mugger that renders her unconscious, waking to discover that her life has suddenly become her worst nightmare—a romantic comedy—and she is the leading lady.
Five Feet Apart – March 22
Starring Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson, Moises Arias, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Paraminder Nagra, and Claire Forlani
The Plot: Stella Grant (Richardson) is every bit a seventeen-year-old…she’s attached to her laptop and loves her best friends. But unlike most teenagers, she spends much of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Her life is full of routines, boundaries and self-control – all of which is put to the test when she meets an impossibly charming fellow CF patient named Will Newman (Sprouse).
There’s an instant flirtation, though restrictions dictate that they must maintain a safe distance between them. As their connection intensifies, so does the temptation to throw the rules out the window and embrace that attraction. Further complicating matters is Will’s potentially dangerous rebellion against his ongoing medical treatment. Stella gradually inspires Will to live life to the fullest, but can she ultimately save the person she loves when even a single touch is off limits?
Flarsky – June 7
Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Charlize Theron, Andy Serkis, Seth Rogen, and Randall Park
The Plot: Fred Flarsky (Rogen), an unemployed journalist battered by his own misfortune, endeavors to pursue his childhood crush and babysitter who now happens to be one of the most powerful and unattainable women on the planet (Theron).
Lady and the Tramp – TBD 2019
Starring Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Janelle Monáe, Kiersey Clemons, Ashley Jensen, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Thomas Mann
The Plot: A CGI and live-action remake of the beloved 1955 classic film. (Calling it a romantic comedy is a stretch.)
Last Christmas – November 15
Starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson
The Plot: Kate (Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.
Superintelligence – December 25
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry, Jean Smart and James Corden
The Plot: Nothing extraordinary ever happens to Carol Peters (McCarthy), so when she starts getting snarky backtalk from her TV, phone and microwave, she thinks she’s being punked. Or losing her mind. In fact, the world’s first superintelligence has selected her for observation, taking over her life…with a bigger, more ominous plan to take over everything. Now Carol is humanity’s last chance before this artificial intelligence-with-an-attitude decides to pull the plug.
What Women Want – February 8
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Tracy Morgan
The Plot: Ali Davis (Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Hodge) to the test.
Yesterday – June 28
Starring Himesh Patel, Kate McKinnon, Lily James, and Ed Sheeran
The Plot: Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.
Jack Malik (Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (James). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.
Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love.
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