This one’s for all the hopeless romantics out there.
Teen rom-coms are enjoying a modern renaissance right now and a lot of that popularity can be traced back to the success of the To All the Boys film series. The third and final movie in the franchise, which hit Netflix on Feb. 12, 2021, finishes telling the love story between Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky. But if you're already missing the high school sweethearts after seeing them off to college, don't worry. There are plenty more rom-coms like the To All The Boys movies to fall in love with.
There are tons of reasons why all three To All The Boys films instantly became teen romance royalty from the moment they premiered on Netflix. The story told across all three films is romantic and sweet, while containing relatable themes about growing up and learning to let your walls down in relationships. Or perhaps you were sucked into the fake-dating trope and enjoyed seeing Lara Jean and Peter's made-up relationship grow into something real. Or maybe still, you find yourself searching for more swoon-worthy coming-of-age content after watching these characters grow up before your very eyes. Whatever draws you to rom-coms like To All the Boys, you're sure to find something that appeals to you in the list below:
Set It Up
While TATB revitalized the teen rom-com, Set It Up successfully harkens back to the golden days of feel-good New York love stories. Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell star as two overworked assistants attempting to set their bosses up. As the movie goes on, they end up with an endearing, slow-burn relationship reminiscent of Lara Jean and Peter's.
Set It Up is streaming on Netflix.
The Kissing Booth
You can't recommend movies based on a teen romance without touching on The Kissing Booth, which follows awkward teenager Elle (Joey King) as unlikely sparks fly between her and bad-boy Noah (Jacob Elordi) at the school carnival. While this Netflix original hasn't been as universally well-received as TATB, it still makes for an entertaining movie night. And since the third and final Kissing Booth movie is coming to the streamer later this year, now's your chance to catch up with the series.
The Kissing Booth is streaming on Netflix.
The Perfect Date
If you're like me, you’re still swooning over Noah Centineo's performance as Peter. So why not indulge your fascination by streaming some of the actor's other Netflix rom-coms? The Perfect Date, in which he plays a high schooler who sells romantic yet fake dates in order to pay for college, is a great place to start.
The Perfect Date is streaming on Netflix.
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser
TATB isn't the only Netflix rom-com in which a popular Centineo character finds love with the shy girl at school. Stranger Things breakout Shannon Purser stars in this movie as its titular teen, Sierra Burgess. She’s an awkward high schooler who accidentally winds up dating a quarterback after a case of mistaken identity.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is streaming on Netflix.
Remember how Lara Jean realized she'd taken her fake relationship too far and had real feelings for Peter? A similar thing happens in Easy A. Protagonist Olive (Emma Stone), a high schooler who begins to reinvent herself by playing into rumors that she's promiscuous. The comedy is based on the classic novel The Scarlet Letter.
10 Things I Hate About You
TATB isn't the only rom-com with an unforgettable scene on a high school sports field! Just watch 10 Things I Hate About You for proof. Julia Stiles plays fiercely independent teenager Kat, who unexpectedly falls for Patrick (Heath Ledger), the school's resident hunk. Although Patrick is initially being paid to date Kat, the real connection between them eventually becomes undeniable.
10 Things I Hate About You is streaming on Disney+.
This classic film is Lara Jean's favorite rom-com, which is why it made this list. As she pointed out herself in the first TATB movie, though, it hasn't aged well (particularly in regard to its racism, homophobia, and dubious understanding of consent). But if you want to understand some of the throwback romantic comedies that shaped Lara Jean's worldview, this is one place to start.
The Half Of It
In The Half of It, lonely high schooler Ellie (Leah Lewis) makes a business out of doing people's homework while secretly crushing on popular girl Aster (Alexxis Lemire). When sweet but clueless football player Paul (Daniel Diemer) asks her to forge love letters to Aster (a parallel to Lara Jean's own letters), the two strike up an unexpected friendship. The movie doubles as a refreshing story of platonic love and is a much-needed addition to the growing number of LGBTQ+ rom-coms out there.
The Half of It is streaming on Netflix.
Clueless offers a '90s update of the Jane Austen classic Emma. In the film, Beverly Hills teen Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) schemes to help those around her find romance (while just starting to understand it herself). Although Cher is much more bubbly and outgoing than Lara Jean, both characters have big ideas about love that grow and change for the better (all while they banter with dreamy guys).
Clueless is streaming on HBO Max.
Just like Lara Jean and Peter were childhood friends before they were a couple, Saving Face's Vivian (Lynn Chen) and Wil (Michelle Krusiec) date as adults after a fateful childhood encounter. Wil then goes through a series of misadventures as she struggles to come out as a lesbian to her traditional Chinese family and openly pursue her relationship. The movie is at once a universal story of balancing love and family as well as an important example of an early LGBTQ+ rom-com.
Saving Face is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
13 Going On 30
While Lara Jean and Peter shared their first kiss during a game of spin-the-bottle, the main characters of 13 Going on 30's future romance have major ties to another teen party game: seven minutes in heaven. When unpopular middle schooler Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wishes to become 30 after the game goes awry, she's unexpectedly transformed into an adult overnight. But growing up isn't all it's cut out to be and she soon finds love where she least expected it.
13 Going on 30 is streaming on HBO Max.
The Incredible Jessica James
In this Netflix movie, heartbroken New York teacher and playwright Jessica (Jessica Williams) finds unexpected romance with a divorcée named Boone (Chris O'Dowd). Sure, Jessica is much older than Lara Jean and has more life experience as a result. But both main characters learn to let down their walls and reexamine love through a series of hilarious misadventures.
The Incredible Jessica James is streaming on Netflix.
Crazy Rich Asians
Although TATB and Crazy Rich Asians have been hugely successful rom-coms in recent years, Hollywood initially tried to whitewash each movie's main characters. Thankfully, that didn't happen and both were able to bring important Asian representation to the genre. Crazy Rich Asians stars Constance Wu as Rachel, who struggles to fit in with her fiancé's super-rich mother at a Singaporean wedding.
Crazy Rich Asians is streaming on HBO Max.
As Alex Strangelove begins, high school student Alex Truelove's (Daniel Doheny) plans to lose his virginity to his girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein). However, his goals are thrown into disarray when he develops a crush on a boy and questions everything. The movie manages to hit all the classic beats of a good teen rom-com while making progressive, relatable points about modern dating and sexuality.
Alex Strangelove is streaming on Netflix.
Peter and Lara Jean are great, but the TATB movies wouldn't be nearly as special without the memorable relationships between LJ and her best friends. The Netflix movie Someone Great is a testament to how your besties can help you process heartbreak and move on to better things. Gina Rodriguez stars as Jenny, a young woman handling a breakup and enjoying one last NYC night with her friends before moving across the country.
Someone Great is streaming on Netflix.
Like TATB, the 2018 film Love, Simon is also based on a beloved YA book of the same name. It follows Simon (Nick Robinson), a closeted high schooler who begins to fall in love with an anonymous classmate he's been emailing. The movie made history as one of the first mainstream teen LGBTQ+ romantic comedies, giving more people the chance to see themselves in the classic genre.
Friends With Benefits
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are at the helm of Friends With Benefits. In the rom-com, they play fast friends whose laid-back relationship becomes complicated once they start being intimate with each other. Although these characters are much older than Lara Jean and Peter, both duos are tested when their friendship becomes something more.
Friends With Benefits is streaming on Netflix.
Greta Gerwig's beloved Lady Bird centers on its titular California teen (Saoirse Ronan). Over the course of the movie, she deals with balancing first loves, family, and dreams of attending college in New York City. Like Lady Bird, Lara Jean's ideas about the future are also forever changed when she begins to imagine going to school in the Big Apple.
Lady Bird is streaming on Netflix.
All the best teen rom-coms are about the main character not only falling for their love interest, but learning to love themselves too. That's definitely the case in the Netflix movie Dumplin', in which Texas teen Willowdean Dickson (Danielle Macdonald) revolutionizes the narrow-minded, small-town pageant her mom (Jennifer Aniston) won when she was younger. In doing so, it also tells a different kind of love story about a mother and daughter.
Dumplin' is streaming on Netflix.
When Harry Met Sally
While Lara Jean is living her dream in NYC, I’m guessing she’ll make Peter watch When Harry Met Sally over FaceTime at least once. The iconic rom-com follows friends Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) as their relationship evolves over the years and they solve the question of whether a man and a woman can be friends without sex getting involved. Obviously that’s an outdated notion, but the movie’s hilarious script and heartfelt takes on how your bonds with people can grow and change over time makes it a classic.
When Harry Met Sally is streaming on HBO Max.
The Edge of Seventeen
While Lara Jean was the heroine of an entire rom-com trilogy, she often marches to the beat of her own drum and struggles to find a place in her high school’s social scene. The Edge of the Seventeen’s protagonist Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is largely dealing with the same situation, although her dramatic high school existence is turned upside down when her popular older brother (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson). As they struggle to make sense of their teen years, both Lara Jean and Nadine grieve the loss of a parent and find a totally unexpected romance.
Love & Basketball
In To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean initially plans on attending Stanford with Peter, who’s going there on a lacrosse scholarship. But soon, their dreams for the future are inevitably thrown into disarray. In the 2000 rom-com Love &Basketball, a young couple’s sports-based plans also end up testing their relationship. The film follows childhood friends Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps), two aspiring professional basketball players whose burgeoning romance goes through its ups and downs on and off the court.
A guy holding up a boombox outside a girl’s window has become a huge rom-com trope — Peter even imitates the gesture after he thinks Lara Jean got into Stanford. But Say Anything… is the movie that started the tradition to begin with! In the movie, optimistic but naive teen Lloyd (John Cusack) attempts to win the heart of closed-off, popular girl Diane (Ione Skye), despite her father’s (John Mahoney) objections. Lara Jean makes Peter watch the movie in Always and Forever, and honestly, she’s got taste.
Pride and Prejudice
Lara Jean spends most of the third movie reading Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice, which is reason enough to watch the acclaimed 2005 movie adaptation. Also, Austen stories are basically the original rom-coms, and watching Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) stubbornly dance around their feelings for each other truly never gets old. Juicy romantic drama has existed in every single time period, and I love to see it.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Like Lara Jean and Peter, the titular couple from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’s relationship also starts as one of them is struggling to get over their ex. But after Norah (Kat Dennings) asks high school student Nick (Michael Cera) to be her boyfriend for five minutes, they set off on a wild night and have to decide what they want from each other. It also features amazing music, which fans of To All the Boys’ on-point soundtracks are sure to appreciate.
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