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The Best, Worst Romantic Movies

A Look at Which Poorly-Rated Romance Movies are Most Popular, and Where

By Pam JannesPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

Admit it: we all have guilty pleasure movies that we wouldn’t dare admit to watching. The ones that you could sleep through, but still be able to know exactly how the movie ends. Those films that are so sappy and predictable, you just can’t look away.

Sometimes, the worst movies are simply the best.

As painful as it is to admit, romance movies typically fall into this category. Couples on the big screen have a way of bringing out the hopeless romantic that lives in us all, regardless of the actual quality of the movie.

Maybe it’s because we like to live vicariously through characters whose lives follow a perfect script straight to their happily-ever-after. Or, maybe it’s because we like to make fun of cheesy romance, while we mask our feelings of envy. Either way, bad romance movies have a way of capturing audiences across the country, some in certain regions more than others.

So, what bad romance movies are secretly beloved in America? This survey by Shane Co. found the answers.

The old saying is true: the home is where the heart is. Geographical themes uncovered in the survey show that people like watching films in familiar areas. Sweet Home Alabama was the top-searched romantic movie in Alabama, and Nevadians gravitated towards watching their home-state in What Happens in Vegas.

Hawaiians enjoyed a piece of home in the tropical setting of their top-searched movie, Couples Retreat. And, West Virginia’s most-searched film, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, takes place in a fictional town inspired by the real town, Fraziers Bottom, in West Virginia. Even more, the movie itself was filmed there!

Americans have a soft spot for Something Borrowed. This film was the most popular bad romance movie in the U.S., ranking first in nine states overall. In second place was Couples Retreat, as the top-searched movie in a total of four states. Coyote Ugly and Drive Me Crazy followed close behind as the most popular in three states each. Rounding out the top six most popular bad romance movies are John Tucker Must Die and Two Weeks Notice, with two states each.

As far as favorite bad romance movies go, Cocktail beats them all with a ridiculously low Metacritic score of 12. To put it in perspective, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time scored a 22 on Metacritic: 10 points higher than Cocktail.

While Something Borrowed ranked first for the most popular bad romance movie, The Proposal brought in the most revenue with nearly $164 million. Sweet Home Alabama generated the second-highest amount of money, with a gross revenue of around $127 million.

There’s no denying that bad romance movies are a beloved guilty pleasure in America. But, there are certain qualities that make these cheesy plots so appealing.

For example, bad romance movies do well as long as they aren’t too bad. The movies that earned the most search interest in at least one state had an average IMDB rating of 5.9 out of 10 stars, and an average Metascore of 40 out of 100. So, bad movies that lean more towards an ‘average’ tend to be more popular.

Nostalgia is another factor that plays into how good a bad romance movie is. The average release year of the movies in this study was 2004: 17 years ago. Those early 2000’s romance movies centered around flip phones and pencil-thin eyebrows really know how to capture a crowd in the best, worst way.

Romance movies aren’t popular because they’re works of cinematic art. Romance movies are popular because they’re the opposite. And, just as you can expect a scene full of kissing in the rain, you can expect a bad romance movie like these to capture your heart.


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