Happy Valentine's Day: Rom-Coms From Around the World (and where to stream them)

Incluvie Writer
Incluvie Writer
February 15, 2021

Could you use some lighthearted romance in your life? Then you are in the right place! Here are some films that’ll make you fall in love with love, again.

Much like the Comedies From Around the World list, below is a selection of diverse romantic comedies from different countries. I’ve tried to pick iconic movies that give an introductory taste of each country’s culture, sense of humor and outlook on love. This is only just a beginning.

Let's start this international romantic comedy festival (straight from you home)!

Germany:

The Break Up Man (2013)

(Original title: Schlussmacher)

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Milan Peschel as “Toto” on the left and Matthias Schweighöfer as Paul on the right

So-called “relationship expert” Paul professionally breaks up couples and thinks he knows-it-all when it comes to love, until he gets dumped. He befriends a client (a breakup-ee) who gives him a new lease on life and outlook on romantic love. Though Germany is not a country typically associated with romance or comedy, it’s a disservice (and quite reductive) to think in those terms, as this little gem proves.

Available to buy on Amazon

Italy:

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)

(Original Title: Ieri, oggi, domani)

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Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren
Two titans of Italian cinema, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, team up with legendary neorealist director, Vittorio De Sica, for this three-in-one comedy about romance. Cut into three short stories, with each showing couples in different parts of Italy. It also happens to have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1964.

Available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime and Vudu

Japan:

Shall We Dance (1996)

(Original Title: Shall we ダンス?)

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Kōji Yakusho as Shohei on the left and Tamiyo Kusakari as Mai on the right

Before its famous remake with J.Lo and Richard Gere; Shall we Dance? was first a Japanese film about a mild-mannered salaryman who learns how to ballroom dance and, by extension, learns how to lead to a more fulfilling life. Wonderfully acted with a lot of funny and endearing moments watching men learn the values of dance and its steps. A cute and entertaining movie!

Available to stream on Youtube

India:

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

(Original Title: ये जवानी है दीवानी)

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Deepika Padukone as Naina on the left and Ranbir Kapoor as “Bunny” on the right

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani focuses on the wealth of discoveries life can bring. Naina and Bunny meet at two different parts of their lives and decide just how they want to define their love, their futures, and which dreams to fulfill. This is a joyous film, with colorful sequences depicting the Indian holiday of Holi and it contains fun dance numbers, too!

Available to stream on Amazon Prime

Available to rent or buy on: YoutubeGoogle PlayiTunes

Nigeria:

Isoken (2017)

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Isoken (center) and her two husband options

After being nagged by her family for not having a husband despite being the oldest sister at the ripe old age of 34 (*gasp*) Isoken’s societal pressures to get married start to fade away as two potential suitors come into her life. The pressure, now, is to choose: which one will she marry? A light-hearted Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) romantic comedy with colorful cinematography, costume design, and female-driven humor.

Available to stream on Netflix

Available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime

France:

Romantics Anonymous (2010)

(Original Title: Les Émotifs Anonymes)

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Benoît Poelvoorde as Jean René on the left and Isabelle Carré as Angélique on the right

Romantics Anonymous is a charming film that gently celebrates the often overlooked people in romantic comedies: the painfully shy. Set in a cutesy and colorful chocolate factory, Jean René and Angélique navigate their way through their emotions and their budding office romance. This movie was written and directed by someone who’s been part of the real-life Emotions Anonymous, so it offers a more sincere and compassionate look at dating while dealing with a fear of intimacy.

Available to stream on: TubiVudu

Available to rent or buy on: iTunesAmazon Prime

Argentina:

Sidewalls (2011)

(Original Title: Medianeras)

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The ultimate romantic comedy set-up: two people who are supposed to be together but always miss each other. Think Serendipity but with heartbroken, artistic, and neurotic leads. Sidewalls is grounded in reality with a wistful, and at times whimsical, tonal approach. The beautiful Buenos Aires cityscapes are just a bonus!

Available to stream on Hulu

Available to rent or buy on: YoutubeGoogle Play

Brazil:

The Way He Looks (2014)

(Original Title: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho)

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This queer coming-of-age movie follows Léo, a blind teenager who (along with his best friend Giovana) is convinced that he will never find love. Things change with the arrival of a new kid, Gabriel. This movie gives a tender, intimate and honest portrait of teenage-hood and first love. A must see!

Available to rent or buy on: Amazon PrimeVuduGoogle PlayYoutube

USA:

Lars and The Real Girl (2007)

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Bianca and Lars (Ryan Gosling)

Whatever preconceived notions you have of Hollywood romantic comedies can be left at the door for Lars and The Real Girl. This offbeat and heartwarming story follows socially inept Lars, as he decides to dip his toe into the overwhelming world of dating by starting a relationship with “real girl” (doll) Bianca. Ryan Gosling delivers a sweet and endearing performance and this indie darling demonstrates an empathetic, original, and thoughtful look at love.

Available to buy or rent on: Amazon PrimeYoutubeGoogle PlayiTunes

So ends this international romantic comedies list. Enjoy some easygoing cinema with any one of these movies!

Originally published by Mick Cohen-Carroll on April 29, 2020.