189 Best Movies to Watch With Boyfriend/Girlfriend (Page 13)

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As far as destination romantic comedies go, Irish Wish is at least self-aware enough to commit to its corniness without making its characters too insufferable to follow. For once avoidable misunderstandings don't drive the conflict, as the story progresses as one extended "be careful what you wish for" journey of self-discovery. Still, one can't help but feel like this exact same message could have been told even without the central fantasy plot device—and it probably would have earned its resolutions much more this way. Every move the film makes is predictable, but it definitely still possesses the energy of a group of filmmakers who probably enjoyed their time making it.

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Actor: Alexander Vlahos, Ayesha Curry, Carl Shaaban, Dakota Lohan, Dawn Bradfield, Ed Speleers, Elizabeth Tan, Jacinta Mulcahy, James Rottger, Jane Seymour, Lindsay Lohan, Matty McCabe, Maurice Byrne, Steve Hartland, Tim Landers

Director: Janeen Damian

Rating: PG

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Jack Whitehall definitely has funny observations to make about life around him, and he clearly has a writer's ear for detail-oriented jokes. But he hardly allows his jokes to breathe during this special, constantly over-explaining the point or killing the momentum of a really smart, clever punchline with so many more unnecessary lines after the fact. This is really just Whitehall's style at this point, and those who already find his dorkiness endearing (which it really can be) should enjoy most of this. But for this writer, his jokes are just far too obvious and feel far too "performed." It feels like he's speaking at an audience, rather than for them.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Jack Whitehall

Director: Chris Howe

Rating: R

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It isn't even just because it's a sequel, but every bit of Your Christmas or Mine 2 seems like it was sourced from other films with more personality, resulting in a stew of holiday tropes driven entirely by contrivances and conflicts that should be more easily resolved. And yet there's something that keeps the film far more tolerable than insufferable, as both Asa Butterfield and Cora Kirk compensate for the artificiality of the drama with authentic emotion. There are funny moments throughout and a decent supporting cast (who are given precious little to do), but all this adds up to a film that still feels like it was meant to be played in the background.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alex Jennings, Angela Griffin, Anna Behne, Asa Butterfield, Christopher Sherwood, Cora Kirk, Daniel Mays, David Bradley, Jane Krakowski, Karl Markovics, Natalie Gumede, Ram John Holder, Rhea Norwood, Simon Hatzl

Director: Jim O'Hanlon

Rating: PG-13

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Seemingly engineered in a lab to appeal strictly to romantic comedy enthusiasts who are familiar with every trope, Make Me Believe is charming and enjoyable in the moment, but ultimately does little with its ingredients. The things that it gets right are pretty foolproof: beautiful Turkish locales, steamy PG-rated romance, and a good dose of humor from supporting characters who can see the spark of love even before the couple does. Unfortunately this is all window dressing for a story built on flimsy foundations. The protagonist's assignment to book an interview doesn't actually carry that much weight, which makes the risk of pursuing and/or seemingly betraying her childhood neighbor feel inconsequential. And when these two characters inevitably meet in the middle, their connection is unconvincing, draining the excitement out of everything that follows.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Ayça Ayşin Turan, Çağrı Çıtanak, Ekin Koç, Naz Çağla Irmak, Yıldız Kültür, Zerrin Sümer

Director: Evren Karabıyık Günaydın, Murat Saraçoğlu

Rating: R

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Five Blind Dates is a squeaky clean, hopelessly boring film pretending to be a raunchy romcom. Despite Lia (Shuang Hu) going on five (or four, really) dates, she doesn’t find real chemistry with any one of them. There’s no heat, no passion, no inane fun to be had, or reckless experimentation. It’s clear that what she’s after isn’t really love but a partner who accepts her traditional whims, which I guess counts as a happy ending if this were airing on Hallmark or any other wholesome TV channel. But it isn’t, and instead of embracing its true form—that is, family drama—it instead postures as a modern and exciting romcom, even though it contains zero spice. To be fair, the film has its funny moments, and I do think the first date’s premise, while played for laughs, has the potential to spark an interesting discussion about our generation’s willingness to sacrifice intimacy for financial security. But the film doesn’t really go there, nor anywhere, and remains as stale and safe as can be.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Desmond Chiam, Gabrielle Chan, Ilai Swindells, Jon Prasida, Joshua McElroy, Melanie Jarnson, Renee Lim, Rob Collins, Sara West, Scott Lee, Shuang Hu, Tzi Ma, Yoson An

Director: Shawn Seet

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Even if it knows to keep its ambitions modest, Holiday in the Vineyards still doesn't find much to do for its small cast. The actors do what they can and certainly seem like they're having fun play-acting a warm Christmas romcom, but when all is said and done there simply isn't anything particularly striking about the collection of romcom-isms assembled for this movie. Even the film's premise—which seems to promise a unique clashing of values between a small town and big capitalist business—resolves things with little more than a pat on the back. It's certainly sweet on the surface, but these people we're asked to to spend 107 minutes with still feel like strangers to us by the end.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Alan Toy, Annika Noelle, Carlos Solórzano, Cullen Douglas, Eileen Davidson, Gregory Zarian, Josh Swickard, Kaleina Cordova, Manuel Rafael Lozano, Omar Gooding, Paul Witten, Sol Rodríguez

Director: Alex Ranarivelo

Rating: PG

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The film takes us into the mind of a performative teenager trying to convince us, or an imaginary cameraman, of his coolness and wisdom. The second-person device may evoke teen comedy series from the 2000s (at best), but it is incredibly disorienting in this 100-minute movie. It is a slog of straightforward punchlines and tired cliches, which picks up a little too late in the final act where the central idea finally reveals itself: the harder you try to maintain control, the more easily it slips away. Similarly, the less brain power you use for this film, the better it gets.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Charithra Chandran, Charles Camrose, Daisy Jelley, Dhanushka Anson, Guz Khan, Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Punch, Madeline Holliday, Maisie Peters, Nick Frost, Sebastian Croft, Tanner Buchanan, Tim Downie

Director: Alex Pillai

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What a waste of a premise, and what a waste of Woodley’s talents. Based on the short story “The Robot Who Looked Like Me” by Robert Sheckley, Robots has some clever things to say about the state of advanced tech and its role in society, but its clumsy, heavyhanded approach fumbles the execution. There’s an awkward and unfinished feel to Robots that doesn’t make anything about it believable—not the technology, not the convoluted story, and certainly not the romance. And except for Woodley, none of the characters seem likable. The male-dominated cast makes constant jokes about fatness and femininity, presumably for the sake of satire, but they end up participating in the very things they’re supposedly calling out. It’s not nearly as smart nor as charming as it thinks it is, and if you’re looking for an alternative, I would recommend the far superior German film I’m Your Man, which accomplishes everything Robots tries to be and more. 

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction

Actor: Barney Burman, Case Matthews, Casey Messer, Charles Grisham, Chelsea Edmundson, David Grant Wright, Emanuela Postacchini, Hank Rogerson, Jack Whitehall, Jackamoe Buzzell, Keith Campbell, Kevin Foster, Leslie Fleming-Mitchell, Nick Rutherford, Paul Jurewicz, Paul Rust, Richard Lippert, Samantha Ashley, Samantha Gonzalez, Shailene Woodley, Tiffany Adams

Director: Anthony Hines, Casper Christensen

Rating: R

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