Rom-coms by state

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re pretty sure you still have a favorite rom-com that you love to curl up on the sofa and watch.

So, with love in the air, we thought we’d investigate which rom-com is most popular in which state. But this year, we’ve added TV shows into the mix to see where everyone’s getting their love and laughs from.

Fun fact: According to IMDb, the most popular romantic comedy (TV and film) at this moment in time is Groundhog Day. Perhaps watching someone else battle their way through the same day is providing the light relief we all need amid the current pandemic!

Phil: “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?”

Ralph: “That about sums it up for me.”

Most popular rom-com movies and TV shows by state
DC isn’t featured on the map but the favorite title there is Emily in Paris.

Some states are rom-com crazy

Out of all of the states, the ones that cropped up at the top of the list for more than one movie are the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, and Vermont.

In the District of Columbia, residents are enjoying a mixture of the classics as well as all of the latest rom-coms, favoring the likes of Coming to AmericaWill & GraceBridesmaids, and Search Party. But the standout winner in DC is Emily in Paris, one of the hottest new TV shows to hit Netflix in the past year.

Over in Massachusetts, people are mostly binging This Is Us, with some other new releases, i.e. Palm Springs and Modern Family, to go with it. While over in New Hampshire, Big Mouth is the order of the day — but not before an episode or two from across the pond. The UK’s longstanding and popular TV show, Doc Martin, is also a favorite for New Hampshirites. A taste of the British is also popular in Vermont where the 2019 movie, Yesterday (featuring The Beatles), and the TV show, Last Tango in Halifax, are a must-watch.

In North Dakota, nothing screams rom-com more than the cheesy TV classic, Saved by the Bell, but the real guilty pleasure there is Pitch Perfect. Utahns also favor TV classics with Friends being the must-view rom-com alongside Mama Mia! Here We Go AgainClueless, and About Time.

Some states can’t get enough of the classics

The majority of these rom-coms are recent, but there are also a handful of older classics that have made it to the top.

  • Pretty Woman – To leave this out of the list would be a “big mistake…huge!” but thanks to those in Arkansas, this popular classic remains as one of our top rom-coms for another year running.
  • Mystic Pizza – Another top pick featuring Julia Roberts is Mystic Pizza which was filmed in 1988 and is the standout choice for those in Connecticut (perhaps because, as we’ll see shortly, it was filmed there).
  • Coming to America – Another film from 1988, Coming to America featuring Eddie Murphy is the pick of the bunch for those in New York, Maryland, and North Carolina.
  • Where the Boys Are – This is the oldest movie to make our top list as it was released in 1960. It’s the pick of rom-coms for Floridians (again, we’ll probably see why next).
  • The Wonder Years – Running from 1988 to 1993, The Wonder Years sees Kevin Arnold recalling what it was like to grow up in the late 60s and early 70s.
  • The Love Boat – One of TV’s original rom-coms, The Love Boat ran from 1977 to 1987 and told the trials and tribulations of the passengers and crew on board the Pacific Princess.
  • Saved by the Bell – If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, watching Saved by the Bell was a ritual. Its re-appearance as one of the most popular rom-coms comes alongside the sad passing of Dustin Diamond who played Screech in the comedy.

Some states are keeping things close to home

A few states favored movies that were shot in their own backyard, including:

  • Alabama for The Hart of DixieRunning from 2011 to 2015, The Hart of Dixie follows Zoe Hart, a new doctor and New Yorker who accepts a job offer at a medical practice in Bluebell, Alabama. Upon arrival, Hart discovers that the mysterious Dr. Harley Wilkes has left half the doctor’s practice to her in his will. The TV show was also the top pick for Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
  • Alaska for The Proposal: Starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, The Proposal sees Margaret (Bullock), a New York editor, trying to convince Andrew (Reynolds) to marry her so he can receive a promotion (and she can fight off her imminent deportation to Canada). However, a trip to Andrew’s hometown (in Alaska), offers up a few surprises.
  • California for La La Land: A Box Office hit in 2016 featuring Ryan Gosling as a pianist and Emma Stone as an actress, La La Land follows this couple’s story as they navigate their careers and love in Los Angeles.
  • Colorado for The Ballard of Buster ScruggsSet in the Old West, this movie tells six tales about a bank robber, a wagon train, an elderly prospector, a traveling impresario, and a pair of bounty hunters.
  • Connecticut for Mystic PizzaSet in the town of Mystic, Connecticut, this movie features three girls who are coming of age while working in their local pizza parlor.
  • Florida for Where the Boys AreIt’s Spring Break and four entirely different college girls head to Florida to seek out adventures and romance.
  • New York for How I Met Your MotherThis TV series ran from 2005 to 2014 and saw a father recounting his life before he met their mother. Also a favorite for Texans.
  • Oregon for EurekaSet in the fictional town of Eureka, Oregon, a U.S. Marshall becomes the sheriff only to find the inhabitants there have some of the best minds in America and are secretly building all sorts of inventions for the government (many of which go spectacularly wrong).
  • Washington for 10 Things I Hate About You: Based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this rom-com from the late 90s stars Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger. Also a favorite for Idahoans.

One thing’s for sure, there are enough rom-coms here to keep you busy way beyond Valentine’s Day…

Which is your favorite and why? Comment below!

Methodology

Using IMDb’s list of the 75 most popular romantic comedy TV shows and movies (at the time of writing), we searched each title individually on Google Trends to find which state scored the highest. The top result is the designated title for that state. If any state came up twice, we used the title that was more popular over the last 12 months. Any title that didn’t come up as a topic on Google Trends (i.e. only a search term) was omitted to ensure a fair comparison.

Researcher: George Moody