I think we can all admit that 2018 has been a little rough. Luckily, on this here Beyonce’s internet, we stand and celebrate the comfort food of film, the pint of ice cream after a terrible breakup, the warm socks in a snowstorm: the romantic comedy. Rom coms, as they are best known, have not only made a comeback after far too long a hibernation but have also gifted us new beacons of thirst (oh hai Noah Centineo). With Netflix leading the way, studios are following suit and investing in romances made for modern audiences – without the creepy undertones (and overtones) of yesteryear. Here’s a few of our most anticipated romantic comedies coming your way in 2019. Bring forth the twitterpation!
WHAT MEN WANT (February 2019)
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Tracy Morgan, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Max Greenfield, Pete Davidson
Ali (Taraji P. Henson) is a sports agent who, after being passed up for a well-deserved promotion, gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts and let’s just say, wigs will be snatched. The film is a remake of Nancy Meyer’s 2000 hit film, What Women Want, which starred Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. It’s great to see the talented Taraji P. Henson lean into comedy, especially with such a talented comedic cast around her. The trailer alone has some legitimate laugh aloud moments, so it appears the potential magic of What Men Want is working.
ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (February 2019)
Director: Todd Strauss-Shulson
Cast: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Betty Gilpin, Tom Ellis
After long time cynic Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is mugged, she hits her head and wakes up to her worst nightmare – she’s stuck in a rom-com. Every romantic comedy cliche comes attached, too. There are sexy men (in the form of romantic interest Liam Hemsworth and her suspiciously hot Dr. McSteamy-esque physician), perfectly-choreographed spontaneous musical numbers, perfect wardrobes and more. Unfortunately, the cynical Natalie just so happens to be the leading lady in Isn’t It Romantic, no matter how much she doesn’t want to be. It’s a fish out of water that looks to be as funny as it is charming.
FIVE FEET APART (March 2019)
Director: Justin Baldoni
Starring: Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson, Claire Forlani, Parminder Nagra
This is, like, the apotheosis of teen rom-dramedies. Not only is it directed by JANE THE VIRGIN’s sexy baby daddy, Justin Baldoni, in his directorial debut, it also stars Riverdale fave, Cole Sprouse, as a brooding loner (wow, totally against type) and Edge of Seventeen’s Haley Lu Richardson in a match made in, uh, a hospital. Richardson stars as Stella, whose life revolves around dealing with her cystic fibrosis. During one of her endless stays at the hospital, she meets Will, who also has CF. Even though their caretakers and medical team have told them they need to keep a minimum distance between them, for their own health, love has a way of making you dare. Doomed teens? Forbidden love? Unfulfilled attraction? Five Feet Apart is bound to be more on the tearjerker end of things, but expect Sprouse’s deadpan delivery and the supporting cast to provide some lighthearted relief.
THE HUSTLE (May 2019)
Director: Chris Addison
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway, Tim Blake Nelson
Not much has yet been revealed about The Hustle other than it is a gender-swapped remake of Frank Oz’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the 1988 hit starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Similar to the original, this story involves two rival con artists, this time in a bet that will have the loser leaving town. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson will be playing the con artists this time, and with those two in the lead, much hilarity and many romantic possibilities are expected.
THE ROSIE PROJECT (May 2019)
Director: Ben Taylor
Starring: Ryan Reynolds (unconfirmed)
Based on Graeme Simsion’s best-selling novel of the same name, the story revolves around a genetics professor who tries to find the ideal woman using what he calls the Wife Project. This perfect system of data is supposed to determine his best match, only he ends up falling for a woman named Rosie who, quite frankly, doesn’t fit any of his criteria. This film has been circled for a few years now, having had several names attached to both direct and star. Currently, Ryan Reynolds is attached to the role, and with his track record of rom coms behind him, fingers crossed we’ll see it on the big screen soon.
ALADDIN (May 2019)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Billy Magnussen, Marwan Kenzari
Some may say this isn’t a romantic comedy, but I beg to differ! The classic animated film gets a live-action retelling of street rat Aladdin (Mena Massoud), the diamond in the rough who meets the beautiful, strong-willed Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and falls in love. With the help of the magical Genie (Will Smith), he tries to woo Jasmine, as the scheming Grand Vizier, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), tries to claim the genie for his own diabolical desires.
LONG SHOT (June 2019)
Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Seth Rogen, Alexander Skarsgård, Charlize Theron, Andy Serkis, Randall Park
Seth Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, a hapless journalist who is now unemployed thanks to a string of bad luck and poor decisions. On a whim, he decides to pursue his childhood crush and former babysitter, played by Charlize Theron, who now happens to be a powerful and prominent political figure. Seth Rogen said in an earlier interview that he hopes the mismatch of him and the stunning Theron in a love connection is believable, but considering Rogen has kind of made a career out of being the normal dude who snags beautiful women, it likely won’t be that much of a stretch. It also got a name change from Flarsky to Long Shot. When asked on Twitter why the change came about, Rogen said it was because the movie wasn’t just about him.
It’s for sure not a movie that should only be named after my character was the thinking. I’m only half the story.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 31, 2019
With that statement and knowing the types of roles Theron plays, can we expect this to be a progressive rom-com that is as much about the woman as it is about the man?
LAST CHRISTMAS (November 2019)
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding
Not much has been released about Paul Feig’s upcoming rom-com other than it’s a holiday romance set in London and we are HERE for it. The Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke, and news reporter-turned-Crazy Rich Asians thirst trap, Henry Golding, plus snow and accents and Christmas music. Need Last Christmas. Need. Now.
BOOKSMART (TBD 2019)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Starring: Billie Lourd, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Williams
In Olivia Wilde’s theatrical directorial debut, two academic superstars and best friends suddenly realize, on the eve of their high school graduation, 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. It stars Carrie Fisher’s up-and-coming actress daughter, Billie Lourd, and a few other promising actresses, along with a star-studded supporting comedic cast, including Olivia Wilde’s husband, Jason Sudeikis. Who said a rom-com can’t be about the love between friends?
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