Happy New Year! For many of us, a new year means a fresh start, which could involve romance. The same can be said for Netflix, who recently added some of the best new movies to coincide with the beginning of 2024. Many of these films are rom-coms, whose themes of hope, love, and romance tie into the start of a new year.
For January, we curated a list featuring three of the best romantic comedies on Netflix to watch. Our picks include The Holiday, a winter romance from an iconic voice in the genre; Mamma Mia!, the musical-turned-movie based on the songs of ABBA; and She’s the Man, a mid-2000s comedy starring a teen idol from that era.
Who said you can only watch Christmas rom-coms during December? The Holiday is a movie that can be enjoyed all year round. Plus, the film takes place in winter, so watching it in January is fair game. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, The Holiday stars Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as two down-on-their-luck women who need an escape from love. Iris Simpkins (Titanic’s Winslet) is a London journalist whose heart sinks after discovering the man she loves is engaged. Meanwhile, Amanda (Diaz), a movie trailer editor in Los Angeles, breaks up with her unfaithful boyfriend.
Needing a break, the two women agree to swap houses, with Iris heading to a Hollywood mansion and Amanda retreating to an English cottage. Despite leaving the country to avoid romance, both women find love. For Iris, it’s film composer Miles (Jack Black), while Amanda falls for Iris’s brother Graham (Jude Law).
Stream The Holiday on Netflix.
Who doesn’t love Abba? Tunes from the iconic Swiss pop group serve as the inspiration for Mamma Mia!, the feature film adaptation of the 1999 musical of the same name. Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is set to marry Sky (Dominic Cooper) on the fictional Greek Island of Kalokairi. Sophie has always dreamed of her father walking her down the aisle. However, Sophie does not know her father’s identity.
There are three possibilities for Sophie’s father: Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Harry Bright (Colin Firth), and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgård). The common theme is that all three men slept with Sophie’s mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), during a time when Sophie could have been conceived. Determined to solve the mystery, Sophie invites all three men to her wedding, much to Donna’s dismay. With three of Donna’s former lovers in town for the big day, what could go wrong?
Stream Mamma Mia! on Netflix.
From the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, Amanda Bynes was an A-list teen star. Bynes became a star on All That and The Amanda Show and rode that TV success into a successful movie career. Her most famous and beloved hit is She’s the Man, the 2006 rom-com inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. Viola Johnson (Bynes) loves soccer, but her Cornwall Prep soccer team is dropped. To make matters worse, the boys’ team won’t let her try out for the squad, leaving Viola without a team.
To prove that she’s worthy of a spot on the boys’ team, Viola poses as her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) at Cornwall’s rival school, Illyria, and joins the soccer team. The scheme works as Sebastian gains a spot on the team. However, things become complicated when Viola, while posing as Sebastian, falls in love with her roommate, Duke (Magic Mike’s Last Dance‘s Channing Tatum).
Stream She’s the Man on Netflix.
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