Film

10 Latino Romantic Comedies to Swoon Over This Valentine’s Day

Lead Photo: 'Everybody Loves Somebody.' Courtesy of Pantelion Films.
'Everybody Loves Somebody.' Courtesy of Pantelion Films.

This is a list for all you heart-eyed lovers out there. For those, also, who’d rather stay at home and chill rather than brave the crowds on a holiday as busy as Valentine’s Day. For those, even, who’d prefer to spend Galentine’s Day with your friends watching syrupy movies about lovelorn couples. In sum, this is a list for any and all your desires.

So whether you’re looking for a classic romcom starring Salma Hayek or Jennifer Lopez, more unconventional takes on the genre that celebrate female friendships or tender LGBTQ dramas that put romance front and center, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at the list below, pick your fave and stream away!

Everybody Loves Somebody

Catalina Aguilar Mastretta

Available to stream on Pantaya

How to Get Away with Murder star Karla Souza continues her hot streak on the big screen with Everybody Loves Somebody. She plays Clara Barron, a successful OB-GYN living and working in Los Angeles. In true rom-com mode, Clara asks a co-worker to pose as her boyfriend as she heads to a family wedding in Mexico, a choice that may finally push her to let someone into her love life again. Of course, she couldn’t have anticipated that her ex-boyfriend whom she hasn’t seen in a decade would show up unannounced, derailing what would have been a perfect weekend with her family. Helped along by her loving (and hilarious) family, Clara will have to choose between going back to the past or open her heart to new and unexpected possibilities.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Romantic Comedy
Catalina Aguilar Mastretta
Francisco González Compeán, Jose Nacif, Ramiro Ruiz
2017
90

Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho

Daniel Ribeiro

Available to stream on Kanopy.

Brazil’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 2015 Academy Awards, this dramatic romance stars Ghilherme Lobo as Leonardo, a blind teenager who wants to study abroad but has one big obstacle, his overprotective mother. When new kid Gabriel shows up at school, drawing the attraction of both he and his best girlfriend, Leonardo’s world is turned upside down. A jubilant portrait of young gay love, this assured debut feature tenderly parses the terrain of growing up different in more ways than one. The film won two major awards at the Berlin International Film Festival this year and has been screened across the world at a number of LGBT film festivals, including L.A. Outfest and the Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto.

Synopsis By: Kiko Martinez
Brazil
Drama
Daniel Ribeiro
Daniel Ribeiro, Diana Almeida
2014
96

Como agua para chocolate

Alfonso Arau

Available to stream on Netflix.

Based on the popular magical realist novel by Laura Esquivel, Como agua para chocolate (Like water for chocolate) is set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and its immediate aftermath. Tita is the youngest daughter in a traditional Mexican family and is forbidden from marrying her true love, Pedro, so that she may care for her aging mother. With little choice, Pedro opts to marry Tita’s sister, Rosaura, instead, but over decades of revolution, sickness and family upheaval, their love remains unbroken.

Synopsis By: Andrew S. Vargas
Mexico
Drama
Laura Esquivel
Alfonso Arau
1992
123

The Wedding Planner

Adam Shankman

Available to stream on Crackle.

San Francisco wedding planner Mary (Jennifer Lopez) has one goal: to make partner in at the wedding company she works for. That’s how she lands the biggest gig she’s ever worked: the wedding between catering heiress, Fran Donolly (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras) and her boyfriend Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey). Only Mary has already met the groom and fallen for him after he saved her from an incoming car and later a movie date orchestrated by Mary’s best friend. When she finds out the guy she’d be daydreaming about is the same groom for the wedding she cannot mess up, she’s left to figure out whether her love life should take precedence over her career (and over Steve’s engagement, obviously). A classic rom-com with a hell of a couple at its heart, The Wedding Planner shows that JLo truly can have it all.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
United States
Romantic Comedy, Romance, Comedy
Pamela Falk, Michael Ellis
Peter Abrams, Deborah Del Prete, Jennifer Gibgot, Robert L. Levy, Gigi Pritzker
2001
103

How to Be a Latin Lover

Ken Marino

Available to stream on Netflix.

Two of Mexico’s biggest stars come together in a laugh out loud comedy all about what it means to, as its title suggests, be a “Latin lover.” At the heart of it is Maximo (Eugenio Derbez), whose gigolo days are behind him after he married a wealthy woman more than twice his age. Only, after 25 years of married bliss (and pampered privilege), Maximo finds himself replaced – by a younger though definitely less attractive car salesman. Kicked to the curb, out of shape and with nowhere else to go, he ends up crashing with his estranged sister, Ana (Salma Hayek), and her adorable young son, Hugo (Raphael Alejandro). Never to waste an opportunity, Maximo finds that his nephew may well be the ticket back to wealth when he starts pursuing Hugo’s crush’s grandmother, played by Raquel Welch. Will he succeed or will he merely learn some valuable life lessons along the way?

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
United States
Comedy
Jon Zack, Chris Spain
2017
105

Someone Great

Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Available to stream on Netflix.

Aspiring music journalist Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) has just landed her dream job at an iconic magazine and is about to move to San Francisco. Rather than do long distance, her boyfriend of nine years (Lakeith Stanfield) decides to call it quits. To nurse her broken heart, Jenny gathers up her two best friends, Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow), for one outrageous last adventure in New York City. From writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (creator of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious), Someone great is a hilarious and heartfelt story of friendship, love and what it means to let go of your 20s and enter adulthood.

United States
Romantic Comedy, Romance, Comedy
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Gina Rodriguez, Peter Cron, Paul Feig, Emily Gipson, Jessie Henderson, Anthony Bregman
2019
92

Mosquita y Mari

Aurora Guerrero

Available to stream on Kanopy.

Featuring intimate camera angles and a lilting soundtrack to make US indie filmmakers swoon, Mosquita y Mari is the low-key and personal tale of two young Latinas, Yolanda and Mari, whose burgeoning affection develops under the domineering glare of family tradition. What begins as a friendship energised by the rebellious spirit of adolescence soon becomes something deeper as the girls’ mutual journey allows both to discover their true self. If that sounds corny, the film is anything but, with supreme performances from the two leads. The overriding message is one of positivity and unity, where the decisions we make are ours and ours alone. Not that that stops everyone else from sticking their beak in where it’s unwanted.

Synopsis By: Nick MacWilliam
United States
Drama
Aurora Guerrero
Charlene Blanco Agabao, Chad Burris
2012
85

Solteras

Luis Javier Henaine

Available to stream on Netflix.

When Ana (Los Espookys‘ Cassandra Ciangherotti) gets dumped by her fiancé, she spirals. Getting married was always the goal and she finds herself at a loss as to how to get back on track. After a slew of horrifying dates she takes a gamble on a plan so outrageous, it might just work: She enrolls in a class for wannabe-brides that’s designed to help her find a husband. But as she bonds with her fellow classmates (played by Irán Castillo and Sophie Alexander-Katz), Ana soon finds that there may be more to life than finding a groom-to-be in this wildly female-driven comedy about the pressures of conforming in this day and age.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Comedy
Luis Javier Henaine, Alejandra Olvera Avila
Pablo Zimbrón Alva, Luis Javier Henaine
2019
95

Fools Rush In

Andy Tennant

Available to stream on Crackle.

A quintessential 90s rom-com, Fools Rush In is that rare film that grapples with bicultural identity and cross-cultural romance. Matthew Perry, of Friends fame, plays strait-laced Alex, an architect who’s relocated from New York to Las Vegas where he falls for Isabel (Salma Hayek) a free-spirited Mexican-American photographer. Except, after their steamy one-night stand, they realize they’re not quite a good fit. That all changes when months later Isabel realizes she’s pregnant and they decide to take a go about pursuing a relationship to raise their kid together — though that’ll require needing to figure out how to get over their cultural differences.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
United States
Romantic Comedy, Romance, Comedy
Katherine Reback
Doug Draizin
1997
109

Y tu mamá también

Available to stream on Netflix.

Sounding for all the world like a teen rom com meets road movie, bromance at the beach, or other take-out/toss-out formulaic genre film, Y tu mamá también manages to be all of those things while being limited by none of them. Tenoch and Julio (played by then up-and-coming heartthrobs Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) are on the loose for the summer while their girlfriends are away, when they meet a gorgeous Spanish older woman. Though only 10 years older than the lads, she might as well be light years away with the worldly understanding that sets her apart from the guys. Does “worldly understanding” suggest in its cheesy wording sex? Well yeah, but the sex here is far more real, playful, and complicated in the best possible ways than in your average film of this ilk. Combining coming of age with a realization of the complexities and inequities of their country, Cuarón captures the dualities of Mexico in a gorgeous road movie that showcases a restless new generation of millennials ready to take it all on.

Synopsis By: Maria-Christina Villaseñor
Mexico
Drama
Carlos Cuarón
Jorge Vergara
2000