When it comes to hate-watching, Netflix has consistently dominated the market for their seemingly endless supply of subpar films, especially in the rom-com genre. Although the platform holds plenty of critically acclaimed films as well, it seems that every month a new cringey or just painfully cliche film gets released on the site. More often than not, these movies fall into the Goldilocks zone of terribleness: with bad enough writing, acting or plots that are hilariously entertaining, but not so completely appalling that they are unenjoyable to even make fun of.
A good, hate-watchable movie is like the cinematic equivalent of Franzia wine: it’s unquestionably lowbrow, generic and cheap, but nonetheless, it often leads to some amusing nights. Although some people might consider it a waste of time to knowingly watch and enjoy these admittedly mediocre movies, sometimes all you need after a long, stressful day is to turn your brain off with a mind-numbing plot and a delicious, inexpensive drink.
To fuel your next movie night, here are five budget-friendly wine and rom-com recommendations that will perfectly complement each other.
“The Kissing Booth” trilogy with Barefoot Pink Moscato
“The Kissing Booth” follows Elle, an awkward high school student who develops feelings for her best friend’s older brother, Noah, leading to lots of friendship drama. Both “The Kissing Booth” and its sequels are filled to the brim with romantic cliches, cringey lines and strange editing choices, yet it’s hard to look away. Barefoot Pink Moscato, which is fruity, sweet and tastes like juice, goes down just as easy as this watered-down version of a rom-com.
“The Perfect Date” with Sutter Home Chardonnay
Starring Noah Centineo and Laura Marano as romantic leads Brooks and Celia, “The Perfect Date” gives neither of them any opportunity to show off their acting skills with a predictable premise and comically generic dialogue. The film is very much a product of 2019, when it seemed that Netflix wanted to cast Centineo in every romantic lead role following the releases of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” A drier, citrus-infused chardonnay that is refreshing and light provides a nice balance to the plot that is so predictable and bland it’s funny.
“Falling Inn Love” with Beringer Main & Vine White Zinfandel
“Falling Inn Love” stars Christina Milian as Gabriela, a young woman who moves from San Francisco to New Zealand after winning a dilapidated inn in a contest. Gabriela finds a local contractor named Jake to help with repairing the inn, but catches feelings for him. The film holds no limits when it comes to corny jokes that are funny for how not funny they are, as well as hilarious details that make it clear Jake is less of a fully realized character and more eye candy. With outdated dialogue and endless romance tropes, “Falling Inn Love” is a harmlessly fun, light watch. A highly sweet, berry-and-melon-flavored zinfandel matches the stereotypical, Hallmark-esque plot of the film.
“Little Italy” with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend
“Little Italy” is a very strange movie. Starring Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen as protagonists Nikki and Leo, the movie follows two childhood best friends falling in love despite their families’ long-standing pizza restaurant feud. With a bizarre premise to start with, most aspects of the movie also don’t make much sense either. Although many characters have strong Italian-American accents, the film is set in Toronto, Canada. The dialogue of the movie also feels as if it was written by artificial intelligence that was only fed rom-com cliches, “The Sopranos” and pizza. All of this combines to make an entertaining comedy, as the focus of the viewer is less on the budding romance and more on the insane number of pizza references. To match the bold aesthetic of the film, drink a rich and flavorful classic red wine like Woodbridge Red Blend.
“Rip Tide” with Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio
“Rip Tide” sees Cora Hamilton, a New York City model played by Debby Ryan, decide to move to Australia after a humiliating video of her went viral. She soon becomes enamored with her surfing instructor Tom. “Rip Tide” doesn’t shy away from being extremely shallow in its depth, with little character development fleshed out and the dialogue feeling stilted. Debby Ryan’s mediocre acting performance and the odd casting contributes to its downfall. In honor of the Australian setting and surface level feeling in “Rip Tide,” enjoy a crisp, lightly flavored white wine like Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio.