The 10 Best Friends-To-Lovers Romantic Comedies, Including 13 Going On 30

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as Jenna and Matty eating Razzles in 13 Going on 30
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Great love isn’t just about romance and attraction, it’s often about finding someone you click with as a friend as much as a partner. And while falling in love with your closest friend isn’t necessarily recommended in the real world (that can get messy, folks), it’s certainly a tried-and-true trope that has made for some of the best romantic comedies of all time.

With it being the best month of the year to snuggle up to a great rom-com and Valentine’s Day on the horizon, check out the best friends-to-lovers romantic comedies Hollywood has given us over the years. There are a lot of classics on here! 

Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart in Just Friends

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Just Friends (2005)

Sometimes falling in love with your best friend can mean some awkward, unreciprocated feelings. Just Friends tells the story of Chris (Ryan Reynolds), who confesses his feelings for his high school bestie Jamie (Amy Smart) and is met with rejection. 10 years later, when the estranged friends run to each other in their hometowns during the holidays, Chris’ unresolved feelings resurface. Between all the comedic hijinks of Just Friends, including a hilarious standout performance from Anna Faris, and the relatable embarrassment that comes with going back home, Just Friends is a really fun movie with this trope. 

Stream Just Friends on HBO Max. 

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in sweaters in When Harry Met Sally

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

When Harry Met Sally (1989) 

I mean, this is the most classic rom-com there is, and yes, it’s very much friends-to-lovers. When Harry Met Sally follows Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s titular characters over 12 years as their close friendship unexpectedly leads to a great love story for the two of them with the backdrop of Manhattan and some iconic sweater fashion from them both. The movie also has them talking through an intriguing dialogue about whether men and women can just be friends? 

Stream When Harry Met Sally… on HBO Max. 

Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman spooning in No Strings Attached

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

No Strings Attached (2011)

Another great rom-com that pertains to a popular question in dating regarding friendships is No Strings Attached. The 2011 movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman is about two best friends who decide to get physically intimate with the rule to not to get too invested in each other. The movie helmed by the late Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman is stacked with charm that makes it a friends-to-lovers must watch. 

Stream No Strings Attached on Paramount Plus.

Piper Perabo and Lena Headey in Imagine Me & You

(Image credit: Focus Features)

Imagine Me & You (2005)

While there has been an influx of LGBTQ+ romantic comedies made in recent years, Ol Parker’s 2005 film Imagine Me & You was ahead of its time. The British movie centers on a newly married woman, Piper Perabo’s Rachel, who befriends Lena Headey’s flower shop owner character, Luce. The women become fast friends who soon learn they also have an attraction between them. Imagine Me & You explores forbidden romance in tandem with societal fears of being queer all wrapped up with some cozy rom-com moments. 

Rent Imagine Me & You on Amazon. 

Himesh Patel and Lily James in Yesterday

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Yesterday (2019)

If you’re looking for a higher concept romantic comedy that plays into the beloved friends-to-lovers trope, check out the 2019 film Yesterday. The movie is about Himesh Patel’s HD suddenly becoming the only person in the world who remembers who The Beatles are and using their songs to gain worldwide fame. All the while, Lily James plays his longtime best friend who gets pushed to the side as he follows his music dreams. It’s an interesting ‘what if’ for Beatles fans and a really sweet rom-com about appreciating what’s in front of you. 

Rent Yesterday on Amazon. 

Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan playing basketball in Love and Basketball

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Love And Basketball (2000) 

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s directorial debut before she went on to helm action movies like The Old Guard and The Woman King was 2000’s Love and Basketball. The modern classic stars Sanaa Lathan’s Monica and Omar Epps’ Quincy as childhood best friends who’ve always dreamt of being pro basketball players. The movie follows the pair over the years as they each try and pursue their passions to mixed results, and how their longtime friendship blossoms into a love story. 

Stream Love and Basketball on HBO Max. 

Ali Wong and Randall Park in Always Be My Maybe

(Image credit: Netflix)

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Another great movie about childhood friends who unexpectedly find love down the line is 2019’s Always Be My Maybe. The movie stars comedian Ali Wong as Sasha, who is a celebrity chef and newly single woman who returns to her hometown of San Francisco to oversee the opening of her new restaurant. Along the way, she runs into boy next door, Randall Park’s Marcus, who lives with his father and plays in a small band. Always Be My Maybe is as hilarious as it is sweet as Sasha and Marcus reconnect. 

Stream Always Be My Maybe on Netflix. 

Lily Collins and Sam Chaflin in Love, Rosie

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Love, Rosie (2014)

Based on the best-selling romance novel of the same name, Love, Rosie tells another story of two best friends throughout their lives with Sam Chaflin and Lily Collins as its leads, Alex and Rosie. During Rosie’s 18th birthday party, which Rosie is drunk at, the pair kiss, and the next day while she is nursing a bad hangover, she says she wishes the night never happened. Mistaking her words as rejection for him making a move, they remain friends for years as his hidden feelings remain at bay. It’s such a warm will-they-won’t-they comfort movie! 

Stream Love, Rosie on Paramount Plus. 

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum in she's the man

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

She’s The Man (2006) 

She’s The Man is a modern spin on William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night about a teen who poses as her brother so she can play on a soccer team. Amanda Bynes is very funny as Viola as she tries to navigate passing off a teen boy and secretly falls for her roommate and teammate, Channing Tatum’s Duke. The pair become best friends, but little does Duke know that his newest soccer buddy is secretly Viola the whole time. 

Stream She’s The Man on Paramount Plus. 

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo dancing to Thriller in 13 Going on 30

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

13 Going On 30 (2004)

Razzles, anyone? One of the cutest friends-to-lovers romantic comedies has got to be 13 Going On 30, starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. The movie is about a teen girl named Jenna who wishes she is “thirty, flirty and thriving” and wakes up one day at that age, surprisingly estranged to her best friend in the whole world, Matty. When Jenna goes out of her way to reconnect with Matty and change the trajectory of her adult life, it becomes a rather fun and dazzling movie that’s become a favorite for many. 

Rent 13 Going On 30 on Amazon. 

Along with these awesome friends-to-lovers movies, Netflix has a new one coming up with Your Place Or Mine, starring Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon. You can check that out on February 10 with a Netflix subscription

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.