1. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
This film tells the story of two best friends whose parents are incompetent and unavailable, but they have one another to navigate New York. It has some sadder notes, but it’s unique in that it’s not a typical rom-com cop out and it lets you see all the many wonderful aspects of NYC, avoiding the cliché film locales of Central Park or 5th Ave.
2. The Intern
Clichés are all that’s necessary sometimes though! Between the beautiful brownstone Anne Hathaway lives in and the chic warehouse office space of her company, it showcases all the best parts of New York. Watching the friendship that blooms between her and her intern (Robert De Niro) is an added bonus and enough to make you want to pick up the phone and call your own grandparents.
This a rather dark and definitely lesser known movie about wealthy New York high schoolers, the parties they throw, and the drugs and alcohol they consume. It holds some surprises and is honest about the struggles of adolescence. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Chace Crawford plays the lead role. It lets you explore some of the most gorgeous landscapes from the Upper East Side to Central Park, despite the somewhat bleak circumstances faced by the characters.
4. Friends with Benefits
Ok, maybe you already knew to watch this one because anything starring Justin Timberlake is a must-see. Either way, this movie takes all the “negatives” of city life from crowds to the loneliness of being surrounded by strangers and makes them something to be desired. It combines friendship, flash mobs, and “tennis” for a refreshing romantic comedy.
5. Hello, My Name is Doris
This movie completely embraces all the quirkiness of New York. The characters find eccentric new restaurants and it shoots the city through a younger, more hipster lens. The characters have the same insecurities that plague most of us, but they get to deal with them in the best environment possible – the melting pot that is New York. Experiencing all this through the eyes of the incredibly talented Sally Field is just the icing on the cake.
6. How to Be Single
Contrary to the title, this is all about the friendship between 2 hilarious women, and the way they learn to support each other in all romantic pursuits without judgement. It shows that women can have the same types of relationships the whole time, and keeps you laughing from beginning to end. Best of all, it embraces the magical holiday season in New York and gives a taste of all the nightlife it has to offer.
7. That Awkward Moment
The leading men should be enough to make this movie worthwhile. If that is not however, the connections this film's take on 21st century relationships should be sufficient. It addresses the trivial issues and very real ones that can burst the bubble of a new fling. Watching the protagonists on unconventional dates at Gramercy park & getting drinks at Le Baron, among other locations, makes it even easier to get sucked in their world.
8. Something Borrowed
Two women fighting over the same man might not seem like an original premise, but there are definitely some new aspects to this age-old tale. It holds some definite surprises and achieves a version of The Big Apple where the weather's always gorgeous and money never seems to be a concern. Sure it's a bit unrealistic at points, but movies like this are for looking at New York with rose colored glasses.
9. Sleeping with Other People
This one shows how the pleasures of an urban setting like NYC might just be the simple ones like finding a favorite Chinese restaurant to visit over and over with a friend. It not only shows us the unique friendship that can exist between a guy and a girl, but does so in a variety of settings. They may not be as spectacular as the top of the Empire State building, but they do depict the magical quality of The City That Never Sleeps.
This one’s a decade or so older than the rest, but it had to make the list. No one can deny Will Smith can make anything seem cool, which is essentially how his character earns a living. Visits to Ellis Island, the steps of the Met, and the Fulton Fish Market among others gives a sense of the millions of locales New York has to offer.
For those days when you wish you were living your best life in the city or just want to remind yourself of what makes New York so amazing, these movies will do just that and more.