With Valentine’s Day approaching quickly, it’s no surprise that folks may be looking for a sappy romantic movie to watch with their partner. But which movie is the most popular among Montanans? An online article recently used Google Trends to determine the most searched movies across the United States, which they interpret to be that state’s favorite romantic movie. According to that article, Montana’s favorite romance movie is Call Me by Your Name, a 2017 Italian independent film. It sounds interesting; however, the article doesn’t go into detail on individual states. I decided to break down the statewide search history using the same movies, and determine if Call Me by Your Name is the actual preferred film of Montanans.

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends is a service that allows its users to find the most popular search trends across the country and the world. You type in a search term, along with a country or region, and it tells you where it’s being searched for the most. The score that Google uses is arbitrary, and they don’t reveal how they come up with it, however, we do know that the range of the scale is from 0 to 100, with 100 being the most popular.

You can also compare searches by region, or “metro” as Google Trends likes to say it. Montana has 6 regions that Google uses for Trends; Billings, Butte-Bozeman, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula. By typing in a term with Montana’s comparisons, you can tell which region in Montana is searching that term more, and what their scores are.

So, what is Montana’s favorite movie?

Credit: Google Trends
Credit: Google Trends
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Using the same 10 movies as the original article did, I took the average search scores from Google Trends of all 10 films across all six metros in Montana. According to that average, the most searched romance movie for the entirety of 2021 is Titanic, the 1997 box office smash, with an average search score of 67.5.

Yes, none of these movies scored above that. However, it’s a more detailed breakdown, and if anything, a more popular movie makes more sense to be the favorite of Montanans instead of an indie Italian film. But, Call Me by Your Name still made the top five.

Credit: Google Trends
Credit: Google Trends
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Here are the top five based on average search scores:

  • Titanic (1997) – 67.5
  • West Side Story (2021) – 45
  • Gone With the Wind (1939) – 40.17
  • Call Me by Your Name (2017) – 39
  • Casablanca (1942) – 27.5

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