Your Essential French Rom-Com List

February 07, 2024   TV, Films & Podcasts

We all have our personal favorite rom com. Maybe you cry along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt during 500 Days of Summer at least once a year. Or maybe you’re desperately waiting for the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. But do you have a favorite French rom com? If you think Amélie is the only one out there, then you’re in for a treat!  There are 14 movie recommendations on our list, so that’s only 2 movies a day until V-day…or 7 a day over the weekend which is, let’s face it, kind of manageable! You’ll probably recognize a lot of iconic French actors such as Marion Cotillard, François Civil, Sophie Marceau and more…Get ready to see Romain Duris  in a lot of different roles: He’s basically the French equivalent of Hugh Grant!

By Sophia Millman


FriendZOne (2021)

Hopeful romantic Thibault (Mickael Lumière) meets Rose (Eva Danino) and sparks fly but it isn’t long before she makes clear that anything romantic between them is felt purely on his end. His three best friends (played by Fadily Camara, Manon Azem, and Constance Arnoult), team up to give him quite the makeover: he works out, learns how to dance, gets sex (and sexy talk) coaching, and yes, a wardrobe and hair revamp. Can Thibault escape the friendzone and make things work with the love of his life? It’s a sweet and feel-good movie, available to stream on Netflix!


Jeux d’enfants – Love me if you dare (2003)

Julien and Sophie met when they were children and have been playing a dare game since then, testing each other’s limits. While they often act out to relieve one another’s pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another. Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet have been acclaimed for their performance in this movie. It’s a lot of French people’s favorite rom-com and French Vogue put it on their best rom-com list!


Mon Inconnue – Love at Second Sight (2019)

Raphaël, played by François Civil (a.k.a. the hot brother on Call My Agent) and Olivia (Joséphine Japy) have been in love since high school. After they get into a huge argument, Raphaël goes to bed and wakes up in a parallel universe… in which Olivia is famous, engaged, and doesn’t know him. Can he win her back? This rom com is a favorite of French critics and audiences alike.


Amour et turbulences – Love Is in the Air (2013)

Julie, a sculptor, gets on a New York-Paris flight to meet Franck, her future husband. Antoine, a lady’s man, also leaves the Big Apple for the City of Light where he hopes to land an important position. On the plane, the two find themselves side by side. It so happens that Julie and Antoine used to date. During the flight, memories will resurface and Julie will have to decide between her old and new loves.


Populaire (2012)

Spring 1958. Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François), 21 years old, lives with her father in a small Norman village. She has to marry the garage owner’s son and is promised the destiny of a docile and diligent housewife. But Rose wants something more. She leaves for Lisieux where Louis Echard (Romain Duris), a charismatic boss of an insurance firm, is looking for a secretary. With Louis, she discovers that she has a talent for typing. 


Les Émotifs anonymes – Romantics Anonymous (2010)

Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde), the owner of a chocolate factory, and Angélique (Isabelle Carré), a talented chocolate maker, are two highly emotional people. They share a passion for chocolate and fall in love without daring to admit it. Will their shyness keep them apart or will they overcome their lack of self-confidence?


L’arnacoeur – Heartbreaker (2010)

Do you think one of your friends or family members could find someone better than their partner? Have you ever thought about hiring an actor (and heartbreaker) to split them up? In this classic rom com, Vanessa Paradis plays a rich heiress and future bride. The charming Romain Duris is hired to seduce her and make her leave her fiancé. Unsurprisingly, he lets his guard down and is seduced in turn. French Vogue selected it from rom com of all time on their list


Ensemble c’est tout – Hunting and Gathering (2007)

If you’re looking for a French romantic novel, then you should read Anna Gavalda’s book Ensemble, c’est tout before watching the movie it’s based on! Audrey Tautou plays the discreet Camille, a professional housekeeper with a complicated past. She ends up rooming with Guillaume Canet, who plays Franck, a gruff chef. Thanks to their vivacious neighbor Philibert (Laurent Stocker), both characters will discover new sides of themselves. 


Deux Moi – Someone, Somewhere (2019)

Director Cédric Klapisch (famous for his Spanish Apartment trilogy) paints a realistic portrait of how difficult it can be to find someone in our hyper-connected era. Rémy (François Civil, again!) and Mélanie (Ana Girardot) both live in Paris and suffer from depression and loneliness. Through therapy, the two neighbors will eventually cross paths. If you liked this movie, make sure to check out Cedric Klapisch most recent movie: En Corps (Rise) from 2022


Prête-moi ta main – I Do (2006)

This surprise box office hit stars beloved French comedian Alain Chabat, who plays Luis, a 43-year-old bachelor. Luis hires a fake fiancée (Charlotte Gainsbourg) to appease his mother and five sisters. Unfortunately, she’s only willing to play along by her own rules. The result is a hilarious set of misunderstandings and spectacular scenes, including a BDSM session gone wrong.


Sur mes lèvres – Read My Lips (2001)

This César-winning film is a bit darker than the other rom coms on our list, but if you’re a fan of actor Vincent Cassel or director Jacques Audiard, then it’s a must-watch. 35-year-old Carla (Emmanuelle Devos) works at a real estate agency and is deaf. Nothing happens in her life: she is alone, underpaid and exploited by her employers. Her boss decides to hire a new employee. Played by Cassel, Paul Angeli is a thug who has just been released from prison. Carla and Paul develop a unique relationship. 


Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

Jacques Demy’s brilliant musical was nominated for an Oscar in 1969 for Best Music. With its jazzy score, pastel paradise of costumes, and fabulous cast (Gene Kelly and real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac), this film remains a French favorite. Twins Delphine and Solange, a dance instructor and a music teacher, long for big-city life. When a fair comes through their quiet port town, so does the possibility of escape. 


Trois nuits par semaine – three nights a week (2021)

29-years-old Baptiste is in a relationship with Samia when he first meets Cookie Kunty, a young drag queen from the Parisian scene who immediately mesmerises him. Initially motivated by the idea of a photography project revolving around Cookie, he immerses himself into this world, eventually embarking upon a relationship with Quentin, the young man behind the drag queen.


La boum – The party (1980)

This coming of age movie is a classic! Sophie Marceau’s first screen performance as the fourteen year old school girl Vic won her international acclaim. Vic lives with her parents but she gets along much better with Poupette, her great-grandmother. Vic confides in the energetic old lady and shares all her joys and feelings with the very open-minded dowager while her parents muddle through the cross-purposes of their love life. If you loved that movie, make sure to check out La boum 2 and L’étudiante.


Need even more French rom com recs? 

💗 On est fait pour s’entendre – Hear Me Out (2021)

💗 Perdrix – The Bare Necessity (2019)

💗 Tout le monde debout – Rolling to You (2018)

💗 Embrasse-moi ! – Kiss Me! (2017)

💗 Toute Première Fois – I Kissed a Girl (2015)

💗 Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément – Blind Date (2015)

💗 Le goût des merveilles – The Sense of Wonder (2015)

💗 Les combattants – Love at First Fight (2014)

💗 20 ans d’écart – It Boy (2013)

💗 Joséphine (2013)

💗 Un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul – Happiness Never Comes Alone (2012)

💗 La Délicatesse – Delicacy (2011)

💗 L’amour dure trois ans – Love Lasts Three Years (2011)

💗 Le Nom des gens – The Names of Love (2010)

💗 Je crois que je l’aime – Could This Be Love? (2007)

💗 Hors de prix – Priceless (2006)

💗 Ma vie en l’air – Love Is in the Air (2005)

💗 Romuald et Juliette – Mama, There’s A Man In Your Bed (1989)


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