Hollywood studios just don’t put out romantic comedies in the numbers they used to. Remember when Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Sandra Bullock could be depended on to serve up at least one decent romantic comedy every year or so? No one has stepped forward to take over the genre, and it’s times like these when we can use many, many more laughs in theaters that the genre is sorely missed.
Looking back over the list of 2017 romantic comedy releases, The Big Sick was the only memorable entry in the genre. Although The Big Sick has Oscar buzz and was nominated for six Critics’ Choice Awards, two Independent Spirit Awards, and won the Audience Award at 2017’s SXSW Film Festival, it can’t revive the genre on its own.
Here’s a look ahead at the few romantic comedies set to arrive in theaters in 2018. (There’s a possibility some will head straight to DVD/On Demand and others might get their release dates bumped back to 2019.)
Another Time starring Justin Hartley, Mark Valley, Chrishell Stause, James Kyson, Jake McLaughlin, and Alan Pietruszewski
The Plot: Eric Laziter (Hartley) is the top investment manager at his firm when his boss Ben (Valley) assigns him client turnover with Julia (Stause), the stunning owner of the company they just acquired. Julia, a true philanthropist, helps Eric realize that money isn’t everything, and Eric eventually begins to fall for her. Unfortunately, Julia is already engaged! Having a knack for math and science, Eric soon discovers that it may be possible to travel back in time to meet Julia before she meets her fiancé Adam (McLaughlin). With the help of his best friend Kal (Kyson) and local scientist Dr. Joseph Goyer (Pietruszewski), Eric goes on a journey that teaches him the true meaning of love and friendship.
Basmati Blues starring Brie Larson, Scott Bakula, Saahil Sehgal, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Donald Sutherland
The Plot: Brie Larson leads a wonderful ensemble cast as Dr. Linda Watt, a sheltered but brilliant young scientist who is sent on a work trip to India. She is welcomed by almost everyone, and embraces a world she is unfamiliar with.
Linda is assigned a guide, an ambitious young bureaucrat (Sehgal) who immediately takes a liking to her. But when Linda meets Rajit (Ambudkar), a rebellious college student forced to drop out by lack of funds, there’s instant chemistry! And through their playful antagonism, Linda’s eyes are ultimately opened to the fact she has unknowingly become part of a destructive plan against the farmers. When she and the villagers discover her company’s greedy agenda, they work together to fight against the abusive agricultural giant.
The Competition starring Thora Birch, Claire Coffee, Jason Tobias, and Chris Klein
The Plot: Lauren (Birch) becomes the voice of a generation when, after one too many bad boyfriends, she launches a blog promoting “The PIG Theory.” The PIG Theory insists you can enjoy all that romance has to offer, but only for six months. At this “Point of Infidelity and Guilt,” you must break up before your mate becomes unfaithful. Lauren is a beacon of light for her followers, but Lauren’s sister, Gena (Claire Coffee), is concerned. She introduces Lauren to the perfect man: Calvin (Klein) and they hit it off so an idea strikes: A competition! Calvin will pick five friends who have been in a relationship for longer than six months, and Lauren will pick the enchantress to be their downfall. If three out of five cheat, Calvin must walk away. But if three out of five resist temptation, Lauren must shut down her blog and open her heart to Calvin. Their friends will be the challengers who determine their destiny!
Crazy Rich Asians starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii, Nico Santos, and Michelle Yeoh
The Plot: Crazy Rich Asians follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.
Entanglement starring Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, and Diana Bang
The Plot: While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten (Middleditch) discovers that he very nearly, almost had an adopted sister – and, with the help of his neighbor, Tabby Song (Bang), Ben sets out to find this not-quite sibling in an effort to find out if his life could have been different.
When he finally tracks down his would-be sister and discovers the mysterious, Hanna Weathers (Weixler), Ben stumbles upon a very different relationship than he’d been hoping for… Soon, Ben is being pulled back to life – dragged by Hanna into an exciting world of adventure and wonder and the seemingly impossible. Ben is forced to confront some dark truths as he faces the possibility that everything he thinks he knows about himself, and about Hanna, just isn’t real… and that life, and love, is a lot more complicated than he ever imagined.
Half Magic starring Heather Graham, Stephanie Beatriz, Angela Kinsey, and Molly Shannon
The Plot: Half Magic is a satirical comedy about three women who use their newly formed sisterhood to fight against sexism, bad relationships and low self-esteem. Through embracing their wild adventures, they learn the secret to ultimate fulfillment. (per The Hollywood Reporter)
Juliet, Naked starring Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O’Dowd
The Plot: Juliet, Naked tells the story of Annie (Byrne) who is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan (O’Dowd) – a huge fan of obscure rock musician Tucker Crowe (Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel, Juliet, Naked is a comic account of life’s second chances.
Little Italy starring Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Alyssa Milano, and Andrea Martin
The Plot: Little Italy is a story about a little place with a big heart a community with deep roots that lives life loud and proud.
Off the Menu starring Dania Ramirez, Makenzie Moss, Santino Fontana, and Maria Conchita Alonso
The Plot: An unlikely heir to a Mexican fast-food empire goes ‘cuisine’ hunting for the next culinary big thing, and finds himself in a small, dusty New Mexican town where foodies come from all over to salivate over the culinary treats of a local, authentic, and feisty female chef.
Overboard starring Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, and John Hannah
The Plot: In a splashy new twist, Overboard focuses on “Leonardo” (Derbez), a selfish, spoiled, rich playboy from Mexico’s richest family and “Kate” (Faris), a working class single mom of three hired to clean Leonardo’s luxury yacht. After unjustly firing Kate and refusing to pay her, Leonardo falls overboard when partying too hard and wakes up on the Oregon coast with amnesia. Kate shows up at the hospital and, to get payback, convinces Leonardo he is her husband and puts him to work – for the first time in his life.
At first miserable and inept, Leonardo slowly settles in. Eventually he earns the respect of his new “family” and co-workers. But, with Leonardo’s billionaire family hot on their trail and the possibility of his memory returning at any moment, will their new family last or will Leonardo finally put the clues together and leave them for good?
Santa Girl starring Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Stone, and Devon Werkheiser
The Plot: Bostwick stars as a widowed Santa Claus who’s daughter heads off to college. Once there, she has to work to protect her father’s identity and keep the Claus magic a secret.
Valley Girl starring Mae Whitman, Jessica Rothe, Chloe Bennet, Peyton List, and Logan Paul
The Plot: The official plot hasn’t been released, however the 2018 Valley Girl will be a musical remake of the 1983 romantic comedy.