Love is in the air with Valentine's Day less than a week out. If you browse the cable lineup, you're sure to see an oversaturation of popular romantic comedies and dramas grace your TV screen over the next several days. The website Looper decided to do the work in determining each state's favorite romantic comedy.

Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin's favorite rom-coms are all different, which makes this list especially fun! I decided to take a look at each state's favorites, and also included where you can watch them in time for Valentine's Day too!

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Looper's Methodology:

In order to conduct this study, Looper used a combination of IMDb rankings as well as Google search data:

The study looked into IMDb’s list of the 100 best rom-com movies of all time and analyzed the global Google search volume for each movie. It then cross-referenced the findings with IMDb votes and scores and box office lifetime gross to identify the top 15 best rom-coms out there. It then analyzed Google search trends data for each of the top 15 movies[....] - per Looper

Iowa's Favorite Romantic Comedy:

Iowa's favorite rom-com was an instant classic in 1990: Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. One of my favorite fun-facts about the film is that it was originally conceived as a much darker movie about class differences and the perils of sex work. It was greatly reworked into the romantic comedy we know today.

Normally, when films are greatly reworked and reimagined in the middle of production. That wasn't the case with Pretty Woman. From its divine soundtrack to the cutesy relationship that fosters between Gere and Roberts over the course of the film, there's no wonder it's become a classic of the genre:

A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets... only to fall in love. - Pretty Woman's plot, per IMDB

As of this writing, Pretty Woman is available to stream on Hulu.

Illinois' Favorite Romantic Comedy:

Love Actually takes the cake as Illinois' favorite romantic comedy. The film is a British anthology that boasts a delightful ensemble cast: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, and Rowan Atkinson! There's an actor for everyone in this movie:

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. - Love Actually's plot, per IMDB

Love Actually doubles as a Christmas movie too, so there are two times this holiday favorite comes each year! As of this writing, Love Actually is available to rent on multiple platforms.

Wisconsin's Favorite Romantic Comedy:

As for Wisconsinites, 10 Things I Hate About You is the rom-com of choice. The 1999 Julia Stiles/Heath Ledger film also tops the list as most states' favorite, per Looper. This was during the era where Julia Stiles seemed to be the next movie star, with this prominent role and later Save the Last Dance.

I actually haven't seen 10 Things I Hate About You. It's one of the few rom-coms on this list I haven't checked out yet, which is strange, admittedly, because I do like Stiles and love me some Heath Ledger:

A high-school boy, Cameron, cannot date Bianca until her anti-social older sister, Kat, has a boyfriend. So, Cameron pays a mysterious boy, Patrick, to charm Kat. - 10 Things I Hate About You's plot, per IMDB

As of this writing, 10 Things I Hate About You is available to stream on Disney+ and Hulu.

Other Key Takeaways:

Photo Credit: Looper
Photo Credit: Looper
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Looper also provided a few key bulletin points in its study of each state's favorite rom-com. Here's a general overview of their study:

  • When Harry Met Sally is an incredible New York film, but British fave Bridget Jones's Diary won top place in the Empire State. The Proposal, similarly, is an ode to Alaska's natural beauty but didn't win hearts in the far-flung 49th state; that honor went to The HolidayPretty Woman and Sleepless in Seattle are odes to Los Angeles and Seattle, respectively, but California chose The Proposal while Washington went for 10 Things I Hate About You.
  • The Holiday is most loved in states as radically different as Alabama and Connecticut, while Bridget Jones's Diary is just as beloved in Minnesota and Wyoming as it is in New York.
  • The study excluded data from around the holidays so that the uptick in seasonal cheer wouldn't skew results. When considering the whole year, Love Actually was the favorite movie in 44 states.

Looper's Top 11 List:

The Favorite Rom-Com Movies in the U.S.
🏆Fav Rom-ComYearGenreIMDb RatingIMDb VotesNumber of states where it is the most popularStates where it was favored
110 Things I Hate About You-1999Comedy, Drama, Romance7.3376,6587Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin
2When Harry Met Sally...-1989Comedy, Drama, Romance7.7238,7067Arizona, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia
3The Holiday-2006Comedy, Romance6.9319,2946Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii
4Love Actually-2003Comedy, Drama, Romance7.6527,8326Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee, Vermontand Virginia
5Sleepless in Seattle-1993Comedy, Drama, Romance6.8188,7675Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah
6Pretty Woman-1990Comedy, Romance7.1354,0935Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Michigan
7Bridget Jones's Diary-2001Comedy, Drama, Romance6.8260,6344Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Wyoming
8Notting Hill-1999Comedy, Drama, Romance7.2336,9144Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas
9The Proposal(I) (2009)Comedy, Drama, Romance6.7353,1233California, Idaho, and Kansas
10Crazy, Stupid, Love.-2011Comedy, Drama, Romance7.4556,1082Montana and North Dakota
11How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days-2003Comedy, Romance6.5264,6551Rhode Island

View the full results of this study on Looper's website.

The American Gothic House in Eldon, IA

A collection of photos from my visit to the American Gothic House in Eldon, IA.

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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