5 Movies Like Upgraded (2024)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Upgraded ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

No one watches a romantic comedy expecting anything novel, although it’s nice to be surprised once in a while. In the past years, we’ve seen movies like Rye Lane and Palm Springs subvert expectations and give the genre a pleasant, refreshing twist. Upgraded isn’t like those movies. It’s pretty standard and formulaic, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t enjoyable—Amazon Prime’s latest romcom is breezy good fun from start to end. The predictable parts of the film are buoyed by vibrant performances. As leading lady Ana, Camila Mendes expertly toes the line between approachable and aspirational, while Marisa Tomei delivers campy goodness as Ana's boss Claire Dupree, who is like a less serious, more humorous Miranda Priestly. In fact, the entire film is like a pleasant blend of The Devil Wears Prada and every single Cinderella story in Hollywood, from Pretty Woman to What a Girl Wants. If you’re looking for something new, you can skip this film, but if you like recalling your favorites and are satisfied by performances before anything else, then Upgraded comes highly recommended.

We’ve already seen the coming-of-age conflict presented in Música in other films– namely, where parents, society, and loved ones expect things from a male protagonist, but he has a passion for his creative endeavors, only awakened by a gorgeous girl that recognizes his talent. It’s a cliché storyline, even for a musical, but we’ve never heard it this way before, the way Rudy Mancuso takes in the day-to-day noise of his Brazilian neighborhood in Newark and turns it into a musical soundscape paired with rhythmic dancing, theatrical set pieces, and a metanarrative portrayed by his puppets that he says is unfortunately real. There’s something special in the way Mancuso’s directorial debut unfolds, so visually and sonically creative, with a lot of heart that we’ve been missing.

Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance

Actor: Andy Grotelueschen, Andy Muschietti, Bia Borin, Bianca Comparato, Camila Mendes, Camila Senna, Francesca Reale, Gregory Jones, J.B. Smoove, José Báez, Maria Mancuso, Milly Guzman, Regina Schneider, Rudy Mancuso

Director: Rudy Mancuso

Rating: PG-13

With a boring wedding, attended by a guarded woman and a spontaneous man, starting a series of shared recollections of past heartbreak, Which Brings Me to You has all the elements needed for an early aughts romcom, releasing at a time when Y2K is trending. The original novel’s epistolary format is interestingly translated into flashbacks told in one whole day, with Will and Jane visually popping within the sequences as the two get to know each other through their past heartbreaks. It’s a unique idea, but the execution feels lackluster, with the dialogue and direction that can’t be saved through Lucy Hale’s or Nat Wolff’s efforts. There’s certainly something here about romance being a possible avenue to open up, but Which Brings Me to You doesn’t build the chemistry to get there.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alexander Hodge, Avery Cole, Britne Oldford, Chase Liefeld, Genevieve Angelson, Jamie McRae, John Gallagher Jr., Laura Kai Chen, Lucy Hale, Marceline Hugot, Michael Mulheren, Mitzi Akaha, Nat Wolff, Ward Horton

Director: Peter Hutchings

Rating: PG-13

At least you can't accuse this holiday film of being generic. Combining the incredibly incompatible elements of drug busts and figure skating (and still failing to justify this crazy idea, though not for a lack of trying), Dealing with Christmas eventually begins to feel more like a series of comedy sketches making up the rules as it goes along. This definitely leads to moments of both excitement and effective humor, but its lack of consistency ultimately makes the awkward outweigh the good. Still, the audacity on display is something to be admired, and the film is just well-made enough to keep its constant experiments worth the curiosity.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Actor: Alex Lutz, Alice Moitié, Bruno Sanches, Catherine Hosmalin, Élise Hobbé, Eric Judor, Etienne Guillou-Kervern, François Vincentelli, Guy Lecluyse, Jean-Yves Tual, Jonas Dinal, Kim Higelin, Laura Felpin, Lison Daniel, Monsieur Poulpe, Nicky Marbot, Paul Deby, Philippe Lacheau, Ragnar Le Breton, Tom Dingler

Director: Arthur Sanigou

Five Blind Dates is a squeaky clean, hopelessly boring film pretending to be a raunchy romcom. Despite Lia (Shuang Hu) going on five (or four, really) dates, she doesn’t find real chemistry with any one of them. There’s no heat, no passion, no inane fun to be had, or reckless experimentation. It’s clear that what she’s after isn’t really love but a partner who accepts her traditional whims, which I guess counts as a happy ending if this were airing on Hallmark or any other wholesome TV channel. But it isn’t, and instead of embracing its true form—that is, family drama—it instead postures as a modern and exciting romcom, even though it contains zero spice. To be fair, the film has its funny moments, and I do think the first date’s premise, while played for laughs, has the potential to spark an interesting discussion about our generation’s willingness to sacrifice intimacy for financial security. But the film doesn’t really go there, nor anywhere, and remains as stale and safe as can be.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Desmond Chiam, Ilai Swindells, Jon Prasida, Rob Collins, Shuang Hu, Tzi Ma, Yoson An

Director: Shawn Seet

, 2024

When life imitates art unexpectedly, it can be thrilling, exciting, and maybe even dangerous. As dissatisfied wife Gokce finds an unpublished novel, we hoped that her eventual escapades would be similarly riveting, but sadly, Ashes isn’t thrilling. Part of it is because the first half is just dedicated to pretty images that don’t even feel particularly steamy, but mostly this stems from the fact that Ashes hasn’t formulated a coherent plotline for the manuscript Gokce was reading, so all the twists and turns in the second half feels more randomly tossed, than carefully set up as a surprise.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Actor: Alperen Duymaz, Canan Atalay, Funda Eryiğit, Gökçe Eyüboğlu, Mehmet Günsür, Nur Sürer, Seda Türkmen, Yıldıray Şahinler

Director: Erdem Tepegöz