Nothing hits the spot quite like the perfect romantic comedy.
Whether you’re single or happily cuffed for the season, these movies have a knack for making everything feel sweet and simple. Every problem has a solution, and the most pressing matter for everyone involved is that two likable and attractive people get together in 100 minutes or less. We can’t always explore nuances and gray areas. We’re busy!
So, in honor of those evenings when you’re hoping to turn your brain completely off, here are the best romantic comedies streaming for free on Prime Video, in no particular order. They’re simple, they’re soothing, and they go great with a glass of wine.
1. The Big Sick
Marvel star Kumail Nanjiani plays himself in director Michael Showalter’s telling of Nanjiani and wife Emily V. Gordon’s love story with a harrowing twist. Written by Nanjiani and Gordon, The Big Sick follows a couple on the brink of a breakup who suddenly face losing each other forever. Genuinely funny and extraordinarily sweet, this meaty rom-com is perfect for when you want a meaningful watch with high entertainment value. —Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
This 1963 classic brings together two of the biggest stars of the era. Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant mix it up in a rom-com rife with intrigue! She’s a recently widowed glamour girl being chased by a menacing and mysterious band of thieves. He’s a dashing stranger who insists on being of assistance…but why?! Directed by Singin’ in the Rain helmer Stanley Donen, Charade is full of twists and turns, both suspenseful and comical. Its charismatic leads handle both tones with aplomb, but are at their absolute best when it comes to flirty banter. Walter Matthau and James Coburn co-star. —Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
Credit: TFM Distribution
Attention anti-capitalists — this movie is not for you! Priceless is a French rom-com-slash-sex-farce about an honest, hardworking gold digger just trying to scrape together an opulent lifestyle in exchange for her companionship. Jet-setting through Europe with her wealthy lovers, Audrey Tatou (in an impossibly chic wardrobe) seems to have it all figured out — until she mistakenly spends the night with a luxury hotel waiter (Gad Elmaleh) she mistakes for another rich mark. In a different film, this story could be harsh or its characters unforgivable, but Priceless remains light and jubilant by keeping us laughing at the unchecked vanity and excess before us. So, then, maybe this is a movie for anti-capitalists. —Kristina Grosspietsch, freelancer
4. Fever Pitch
This British rom-com has a disappointingly low American profile, likely because we went and remade it with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore as Red Sox fans. The original Fever Pitch, itself based on a Nick Hornby book, stars Colin Firth (!!!) as a schoolteacher whose love for his soccer team, Arsenal, gets in the way of his budding romance with Ruth Gemmell. Guys and their sports, huh? If the tagline doesn’t thrill you (“Life gets complicated when you love one woman and 11 men”), then the kick of watching Mr. Darcy become a likable slob definitely will! —K.G.
5. Runaway Bride
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are a ’90s rom-com dyad for a reason. Nine years after they paired up for Garry Marshall’s instant classic Pretty Woman, they returned as the central couple in the comedy helmer’s Runaway Bride. Roberts is off-the-charts charming as Maggie, a woman known in tabloids for leaving three different men at the altar. Gere is swoon-worthy as Ike, a reporter assigned to cover the story of Maggie’s fourth and hopefully final wedding. Their attraction and mutual understanding are romance movie gold. Yet you can’t help but feel bad for poor Bob (Christopher Meloni), Maggie’s fourth fiancé, whose sports metaphors don’t stand a chance against that magical Gere/Roberts chemistry —Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
6. What If
Credit: entertainment one
Daniel Radcliffe forms an instant connection with a woman at a party, only to find out she’s happily in a longterm relationship. The pair decide to just be friends, despite the doubtful scoffing of everyone around them. Though the premise sounds PTSD-inducing to those of us who wasted years pining over unavailable crushes, What If (or The F Word, if you live outside the states) is a deeply comforting watch. Playful and grounded, the film soars thanks to its cast, featuring a magnetic Zoe Kazan, Radcliffe oozing relatability, and an unexpected (and chaotic) Adam Driver predictably stealing his scenes. Because, duh. —K.G.
7. Dil to Pagal Hai
This Bollywood classic stars Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Karisma Kapoor in a romantic musical dramedy. Khan plays Rahul, the director of a dance theater company, frequently supported, teased, and very much adored by his lead dancer Nisha (Kapoor). When Nisha injures her ankle, the company finds a new lead in Pooja (Dixit), who blows everyone away with her raw talent while she and Rahul fall inevitably in love.
Dil to Pagal Hai holds up after over 30 years due to a perfect storm of Bollywood talent, including veteran writer and director Yash Chopra, ’90s musical powerhouses Jatin-Lalit, and the feature film debut of choreographer Shiamak Davar, who would reign for years to come. Khan, Kapoor, and Dixit give grounded and magnetic performances, breathing life into Chopra’s irresistible script. As easy as it is to dismiss the film as a love triangle, Chopra’s script gives both Nisha and Pooja room to breathe, grow, love, and hurt — never pitting them against each other (except in one banger of a dance number), but reinforcing their emotional depth. —Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter
8. Tortilla Soup
Credit: Samuel Goldwyn / Starz! Encore Ent / Kobal / Shutterstock
Tortilla Soup is a cozy and heartwarming watch that remains pleasant from start to finish. The American remake of Ang Lee’s Taiwanese hit Eat Drink Man Woman, this romantic-comedy-drama features Héctor Elizondo as a retired chef worried about his three adult daughters still living in his suburban LA home. While the plot focuses heavily on the four main characters’ romantic trials and errors, it also gives time and space to exploring their evolving familial relationships as well. This makes Tortilla Soup a broader entry than many others on this list, a perfect pick for when you’re in the mood for something comforting — much like the many mouthwatering Mexican dishes this film serves up. —K.G.
9. Sleepless in Seattle
It might get frequently confused with You’ve Got Mail, but Sleepless in Seattle is solid company in the niche but excellent Tom-Hanks-and-Meg-Ryan-fall-in-love-without-meeting genre. Hanks plays widower Sam, whose son (Ross Malinger) convinces him to talk about his late wife on the radio. His story captivates listeners around the country, including Annie (Ryan), who writes to Sam and asks him to meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. As the day ticks closer, life mostly goes on, but chance encounters and missed connections pile up until the fateful meeting.
We know what you’re thinking: Do they go to the Empire State Building? Do they live happily ever after?? Who knows!! —P.K.
10. 500 Days of Summer
Credit: Watermark / Kobal / Shutterstock
Sometime in the 2000s, romantic comedies stopped trying to be funny and started trying to say something meaningful, none more overtly than 500 Days of Summer. This indie darling breaks from rom-com formula to tell a non-linear story of a relationship coming together and falling apart. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s sincerity is palpable and Zooey Deschanel, as the object of his affection, is a quirky girl so quirky she single-handedly ushered in a new era of messy bangs for millions of women everywhere. With unexpected touches of surrealism and a stellar supporting cast, 500 Days of Summer is a satisfying watch for a love story that hits you right in the gut. —K.G.
11. Love & Friendship
Based on Jane Austen’s posthumously published novel Lady Susan, Love & Friendship is an 18th-century rom-com that’s surprisingly raunchy for what we’ve come to expect from Austen. The titular character of Lady Susan is a widow and a notorious flirt whose reputation precedes her when she comes to live with her brother and sister-in law at their country manor and proceeds to seduce a variety of characters. Love & Friendship was adapted and partially rewritten by director Whit Stillman, who also released a version of the novel with the movie’s title to supplement a retelling that “vindicates” Lady Susan from the salacious gossip that, as seen in the movie, is pretty much entirely true. —A.N.
A little zany, a little underrated, and very ’80s, this Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell movie gained popularity over the years and deserves a spot on your binge list. Hawn plays the heiress Joanna Stayton, who ends up getting amnesia after falling off her yacht. Her husband uses this to abandon her, while local carpenter Dean (Russell) pretends Joanna is his wife and uses her for unpaid labor. The two fall in love in the way that only rom-com amnesia can bring people together, but Dean lives in fear that she might recall her own life and leave, hating him forever. —P.K.