Valentine’s Day is not as significant an occasion in France as it is here in the United States. I do not recall ever gifting cards and sweets to my friends as a kid for instance. In France, it is mostly viewed as a date that only a few happy couples celebrate with a box of chocolates and un dîner aux chandelles. However, rom-coms or comédies romantiques certainly do exist, and I’ve made a little selection! The following list contains uplifting movies and series about love, friendship and relationships of every kind. Bonus: you will either be able to borrow the DVDs from the library through Curbside Pickup, “Borrow by mail”, or stream most of these online through your local library with Kanopy and Hoopla. Bon visionnage et joyeuse Saint-Valentin !

#1 - A trilogy about love and friendship (2002, 2005 and 2013)
L’Auberge Espagnole (FCC library)
Les Poupées Russes (FCC library, Kanopy)
Le Casse-Tête Chinois (FCC library, Kanopy)

Follow Romain Duris through the first two decades of the 21st century as he tries to understand what “Love” with a big “L” means to his generation, and whether or not he can find it. The answer is not as obvious as in other rom-coms, which makes this trilogy that much more interesting. The films are touching and hilarious, and take place in Barcelona, Paris, Saint-Petersburg, London and New York. Watch the trailer below !



#2 - An edgy comedy (2010)
Le Nom des gens (Kanopy, Hoopla)

This political comedy follows the unlikely romance between seriously uptight Arthur Martin and free-spirited social activist Bahia Benmahmoud. It won two César awards and is as refreshing as it is entertaining! It’s also a reminder that we should take our political convictions with a grain of salt, especially when love is in the air.

 

#3 - A great blockbuster (2010)
L’Arnacoeur (FCC library)

We can’t get enough of Romain Duris. His profession? Professional Heartbreaker. His mission? To seduce Vanessa Paradis. Will he succeed? Watch to find out 😉



#4 - An incredibly cute comedy (2010)
Les Émotifs Anonymes (FCC library)

If you’ve ever felt socially awkward and scared of entering into a romantic relationship (haven’t we all?), this romantic comedy is made for you! Watch as Jean-René and Angélique tiptoe around each other in the chocolate factory where they both work.



#5 - An animation movie (2000 & 2011)
Princes et Princesses (FCC library)
Les Contes de la Nuit (FCC library, Hoopla)

These two movies come from the makers of Kirikou, one of France’s most famous animations of all time. Each feature film is made up of several short movies (10-15 min. long), which tell the tales of various princes and princesses. The quality of the voice acting is as astounding as Michel Ocelot’s striking illustrations (inspired by Chinese shadow puppet theater). Great to watch with kids (age 5+), in one sitting or in bits and pieces!



Bonus : A Netflix TV series (2018)
Plan coeur (Netflix)

If you’ve been wondering whether you want to start watching Emily in Paris, well… don’t, and give “The Hookup Plan” (Plan Coeur in French) some views on Netflix instead! Mind you, it still suffers from the usual limitations of its genre. The series contains a tad too many unrealistic turns of events… but if you feel like indulging in a mindless rom-com, this French Netflix series will do the job!

A dual citizen of France and the USA, Sonia grew up between the Midwest and Brittany. After obtaining her BA in Philosophy and Modern Languages at Oxford University in 2015, she spent several years in Paris, working in classical music and studying voice & opera at the Conservatoire. She moved to Boston in the fall of 2020, where she now performs as a singer. Sonia is thrilled to also be a part of the French Cultural Center’s team, where she can put her deep love of French literature to use while working as Librarian.

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