Let’s face it, many romantic movies are bad. Some are simply not great, and others are so bad, they’re good. And then there are the flicks that are Sharknado bad. The ones you’d never let your friends catch you watching unironically.
Well, at Shane Co., we can’t resist a good romantic comedy … or a bad one either, for that matter. We are always here for that sappy meet-cute, no matter how overdone, we unleash the waterworks when things predictably fall apart in act two, and we shamelessly root for the leading couple to get back together all the way up to the credits.
But then again, we are in the business of love. It’s in our nature. We couldn’t help but wonder what bad romance movies America is watching with guilty pleasure after everyone else has gone to bed. So, we decided to find out.
We compiled a list of more than 60 poorly rated (6.1 stars and below) romance movies from IMDB. Next, we used Google Trends search data to determine which of these bad romance movies Americans searched for the most in 2020. Then we analyzed the results and discovered which bad romance movie is the most popular in every U.S. state. Read on to learn more about what we uncovered!
The Most Popular Bad Romance Movie in Every State
The results surprised us. We not only found that America is indeed searching for critically bad romance movies, we also found some interesting geographical themes.
It turns out Sweet Home Alabama is the top-searched romantic movie in Alabama, while What Happens in Vegas is the most popular in, you guessed it, Nevada. We guess home really is where the heart is.
Furthermore, Couples Retreat, a movie about four friends who visit a fictional tropical resort and fall in love, was the top-searched movie in palm-studded Hawaii.
West Virginians searched for Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! the most, but we’re not sure if they were actually up for watching it or trying to impress a date with obscure cinema trivia. The town depicted in the movie, Fraziers Bottom, was inspired by the real-life West Virginia town of the same name. The movie was also filmed there, with set locations including Fayetteville, Grandview, and the London Locks on the Kanawha River.
The Most Popular Bad Romance Movies in the U.S.
Something Borrowed was by far the most popular movie in the country, taking the top spot in nine states overall. The 2011 rom-com follows a lawyer named Rachel who almost lets her law-school crush get away and marry her best friend.
The runner-up, Couples Retreat, was the top-searched movie in four states. After that, Coyote Ugly and Drive Me Crazy are the most popular in three states each. John Tucker Must Die and Two Weeks Notice were just good (or bad) enough to make the top six, with two states backing each one.
What Do the Critics Say?
Wanting to know more, we collected additional data on movies that won at least one state, including Metacritic score, gross revenue, release date, and rating. Metacritic combines the review scores of respected critics all over the internet into one simplified and digestible review score. Then we compared America’s favorite bad romance movies based on their critical merit, gross revenue, and more.
Two of America’s favorite bad romance movies were more than just bad. They were actually Sharknado bad. Couples Retreat and Coyote Ugly were some of the worst-rated out of America’s top-searched movies with Metascores of 23 and 27 out of 100, respectively. For reference, the 2018 release The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time scored a 22 on Metacritic.
America’s most-searched bad romance movie, Something Borrowed, didn’t make the top six in terms of being condemned by critics, but it was still poorly reviewed with a Metascore of just 32.
What Do Americans Like in a Bad Romance Movie?
So, what are the qualities of the bad romance movies that are most likely to worm their way into our hearts despite cheesy dialogue, unforgivable plot holes, and predictable endings?
Overall, Americans like their romance movies bad, but not that bad. Of the movies that earned the most search interest in at least one state, the average IMDB rating was 5.9 out of 10 stars and the average Metascore was 40 out of 100.
Considering romance movies are usually fairly low-budget films with little in the way of special effects or CGI, the average gross revenue of just over $61 million is considerable.
The most common rating was PG-13, and the early 2000s appears to be the heyday of cheesy romance on the silver screen in America.
We’re the first to admit we love a delightfully bad romance movie, but there is nothing we love more than seeing real-world romantic stories play out. Once you’ve spun through all the movies identified in this article, why not act in a love story of your own?