Still image from Me estás matando, Susana
Still image from Me estás matando, Susana Still image from Me estás matando, Susana

What is it about the Romcom? Like a blanket on a cold winter day or an ice cream on a hot one, there's something extremely comforting about popping one of this on and just losing yourself in campiness for 90 minutes straight. Think about it: no other genre can touch our hearts and our funny bones at the same time.

They're corny. They're predictable. They're freaking amazing.

Hollywood wrote the book on the Romcom way back in the day and has been dishing out these things for ages. But they're hardly alone. The format has travelled around and there have been romantic comedies premiering in all languages for years now. And Spanish is no exception. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, here are 5 romantic comedies in Spanish to share with that Special Someone en tu vida.

Sin hijos (2015)

Still Image of Sin Hijos from Netflix
Still Image of Sin Hijos from Netflix Official image from Netflix

Sin hijos tells the story of what happens when Gabriel runs into Vicky, a fling from his teenage years and is immediately struck by the chemistry between them. The only problem? Vicky HATES children, and Gabriel just happens to be the father of Sofía, a nine year old. What happens next is everything you would expect from such a premise, as Gabriel has to pull out all the stops to juggle his dating and parenting lives, without one spilling onto the other.

Led by a masterful comedic performance from Diego Peretti (is Hughgrantesque a word?), the film is packed with memorable performances, including Spanish actress Maribel Verdú (who you may recall from Pan's Labyrinth), and a breakout turn from Guadalupe Manent as Peretti's daughter. It's tender, funny as hell and includes this memorable cover of the Argentine Rock Classic Seguir viviendo sin tu amor.

El otro lado de la cama (2002)

El otro lado de la cama (2002)
El otro lado de la cama (2002) Official promotional image from the movie

Speaking of music... Back in 2002 El otro lado de la cama was all the rage in Spain, thanks, in no particular order to: a killer soundtrack, a funny script and Paz Vega, who would make her debut in the U.S. just two years later in Adam Sandler's Spanglish. In fact, the movie was the biggest grossing flick of that year in Spain and went on to spawn a sequel, a theater adaptation and a French remake.

So what's it all about? Well, try to stay with me here: Paula breaks up with her boyfriend Pedro in order to continue her affair with Javier who is, unfortunately for her, unwilling to break up with his current girlfriend Sonia, or confess to their affair to Pedro, who happens to be his best friend.

Did you get all of that?

Well, just trust me, it's a fun wild ride packed with shenanigans, bed-hopping and mistaken identities that will have you singing its tune in no time (literally).

Me estás matando Susana (2016)

Still of Me estás matando, Susana from Netflix
Still of Me estás matando, Susana from Netflix Official image from Netflix

Gael García Bernal has been toying with our hearts ever since he was an up and coming Mexican star in classics like Amores perros and Y tu mamá también.In this under-the-radar romantic comedy, Bernal plays Eligio, a theater actor whose girlfriend Susana, played by Spanish actress Verónica Echegui, leaves him on short notice and runs away to a scholarship in Iowa. Eligio, with his male ego in shambles, decides to go win her back and, well, all Romcom hell breaks loose.

The chemistry between Bernal and Echegui carries the film as they check all the boxes from the Romcom manual. Yet what sets this one apart is that it has something to say about the legendary Mexican machista stereotype, taking Bernal's character on a wild inner journey.

Ocho Apellidos Vascos (2014)

Still frame from Ocho Apellidos Vascos
Still frame from Ocho Apellidos Vascos Promotional image from Ocho Apellidos Vascos

Back in 2014, this Spanish comedy pretty much shattered every box office record for a local film thanks to its gross revenue of over 60 million Euros in total, a preposterous number that still remains unbeaten to this day. Ocho Apellidos Vascos (translated as The Spanish Affair) is an enchanting Romcom that tells the story of Rafa, an Andalucian who's never left Seville and a Basque girl named Amaia who resists Rafa's seduction techniques.

What follows is a laugh-out-loud comedy that manages to make fun of every Spanish autonomous community and region in such a disarming way that every spectator in Spain seemed to to be in on the joke. it doesn't hurt that Dani Rovira and Clara Lago lead an all star cast of characters that make every misunderstanding a joy.

El amor menos pensado (2018)

Still frame from El amor menos pensado
Still frame from El amor menos pensado Still frame from El amor menos pensado

Most Romcoms focus on the early stages of a relationship or a marriage. Furthermore, the protagonists are usually young, vibrant and rarely over 40, let alone 50. But El amor menos pensado takes a very different route, while still honoring the romantic comedy lore that precedes it. The film stars Ricardo Darín, who you may remember from pretty much any other Argentine film you've ever seen, and Mercedes Morán as a couple whose been married for 25 years. One day, when their son leaves for college, they discover a massive void in their marriage that eventually leads to a separation.

Even though it sounds like a huge downer, the split up between the protagonists leads to a really fun ride including a hilarious parade of characters (keep an eye out for the aroma salesman that is as insane as it sounds) and one of the most memorable Argentine Romcoms around.

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