10 Reviewed Rom-Coms

I’ll be mentioning a lot of plot points so spoiler warning!

Matthew Jones, Staff Writer

The days ahead of Valentine’s Day are filled with talk of going out with friends or cuddling with a partner, but who needs that when you could snuggle up with a good movie instead? 

I watched 10 romantic comedies from all different genres. From animated rom-coms, live action films, to foreign films and more.

At number 10 is a childhood favorite of mine, Gnomeo and Juliet

This Shakespearean spin-off takes place in the backyards of Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague. The two are having an ongoing feud over whose garden is the best. Due to the rivalry of the two, the magical garden gnomes and garden decorations also despise one another. However, Gnomeo sees Juliet, and just like the original play, he falls in love with her on the spot. I really love this movie, though the animation style is dated. It was amazing for its time. It added some cute but corny elements and can be watched with your family or your friends and if it’s just your cup of tea, watch it with your partner!

Going on to our 9th on the list, we have To All the Boys: Always and Forever.

It is the third movie in the To All the Boys series on Netflix. The main character, Lara Jean, is a senior in high school now and is trying incredibly hard to get into the same college as her boyfriend, Peter.  We see Lara fawning over “promposals” and we are again reminded of how much she loves cheesy romance (but who doesn’t?). Eventually, Peter asks Lara in a way from one of her favorite movies and prom ends up being fantastic. Later on the movie turns into a rollercoaster of emotions with a reappearance of boys from the last movie, results from Lara’s college applications, and if the long term relationship will actually work out between Lara and Peter. I’ve never been one for a cheesy Netflix series, but these movies give you just the right amount to not be background noise worthy. If you have a friend who rambles on about their romance novels, you should watch this together.

Number 8 is 27 Dresses.

This movie is about a woman named Jane who has been a bridesmaid and wedding planner for 27 different people. She has an incredibly hard time saying no to her friends thus leading her to be stuck potentially planning another wedding for her sister, Tess. Meanwhile, she runs into a reporter named Kevin who sees her going from wedding to wedding and tries to step in the way to be a bit of a distraction. Unfortunately, during this time, Tess has decided to flirt with Jane’s boss, George, who Jane just so happens to be in love with (though she’s never confessed). Tess, not picking up on the fact that her sister is in love with him, goes on date after date. Eventually, Jane decides to give up and give in to Kevin’s persistence. Kevin manages to get Jane to notice how much she’s struggling for other people and extends his “help”. This movie was incredibly cute, but definitely made me want to throw something at my screen. You want to sympathize with Jane, but at the same time you want her to see things just were not made to work out between her and her boss. Overall, it was a good movie, though. I definitely recommend watching this with a friend or simply while lounging about waiting for the Valentine’s Day candy to go on sale!

Sitting at number 7, we have Alex Strangelove. 

I personally really enjoyed this movie and this was my second time watching it. Alex Strangelove is a high school student who is trying really hard to keep his grades up for college. He loves jokes about animals, spending time with his best friend, and just generally being your every-day-not-jock kid. He thinks he’s falling for a girl named Claire, who is equally as interested in dumb animal kingdom puns and nature filled things. However, when Alex runs into a guy named Elliott, his feelings start to get mixed up. The movie continues to follow Alex as he figures out his sexuality all while thinking of ways to politely break up with Claire. This movie hit really close to home for a lot of us, especially since a lot of teens are seen to be coming out lately. As well as the ages of coming out keep getting younger and younger as the LGBTQ+ has become more widely accepted. It was a great film filled with confusing high school life and learning to accept oneself. Definitely a pick for queer couples and friends.

At number 6 we have another Shakespearean related movie, 10 Things I Hate About You.  

As a lot of these movies go, a new student has just entered high school, but in this movie, it is Padua High. Cameron, the new kid, falls absolutely in love with Bianca Stratford. But, the problem is that she has never dated anyone before. Luck comes through for Cam, because Bianca is in need of a French tutor. When he attempts to ask Bianca out, she informs him that she cannot date anyone until her sister, Kat, does so. In an attempt to finally be able to get a chance with Bianca, Cam and his friend, Joey, search for the perfect fit for Kat. They find someone just as much an outcast as Kat named Patrick. It would seem that after a rough start, everything is finally working out for the two. Cam can finally make his move on Bianca but in typical rom-com fashion, issues arise with Joey. This movie checks every box for me. It has cheesy apologize-via-boombox moments, it has a cliche party scene, it has a prom, it’s got it all! You’ll enjoy watching this with your friends while talking about embarrassing moments of your own school relationships.

5 is also a Netflix original called Set it Up. 

This movie does a great job setting up a meet-cute situation. We meet Harper and Charlie, two assistants for two incredibly powerful people in the business and sports industry. Harper and Charlie are both incredibly overworked and clearly underpaid. The two run into each other one night when Harper orders her boss some food and Charlie needs to take some food back to his boss as well. When Charlie buys some of the food off of Harper, they split ways until they run into each other again. This time they are determined to find some way to get their bosses to potentially fall in love. Charlie’s boss is a hot-headed man with issues regarding his son and his ex wife. While Harper’s manager is a closed off, head web-magazine writer that talks about things going on in sports news. They both have one thing in common though and it’s thinking they’re the ones who should be sought after. When Harper and Charlie begin to get the two stuck together, gifts from one another and alone time in the office, Charlie and Harper are finally free from their jobs for the first time since they started working. Unfortunately, when things hit the fan, it’s up to the two assistants to fix their boss’ relationship. The overall humor and cheesiness of this trope will always be a favorite and definitely deserves a little more recognition. The we- set-up-our-friends trope mixed with office love was absolutely perfect. Watching this while lounging around with your partner sounds like a perfect day off from work. 

4 isn’t a movie but rather an anime called Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun.

This anime is unfortunately only one season long. The episodes are about 23-25 minutes and there’s 12 episodes total. This comes to around a 5 hours watch time. It all starts when Chiyo Sakura confesses her love to her classmate, Umetarou Nozaki, who he thinks is a fan and gives her an autograph. Her desire to be with him then leads him to invite her to his house and have her help him with drawings for his manga series. Instead of trying to correct him further, she agrees to work with him on his panels almost every day with his other assistants from school. Through the next 12 episodes we watch Chiyo try her hardest to turn this manga fiasco into a successful confession. I found this anime series to be one of the cutest I’ve been able to watch for a while. It was a refreshing experience. 

Now we’re finally in the top 3. Number 3 on the list is Crazy Rich Asians. 

Our main character, Rachel Chu, is a professor at NYU who is going with her long-term boyfriend Nick to a family wedding. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nick is a part of one of the largest business tycoon families in Korea. When Rachel finally learns about this, it’s almost as if the sky starts falling down. Jealousy breaks out from family friends, social media, and throughout Singapore. She visits her best friend to confide in her and her family, but when they find out Rachel is dating the Nick Young, they begin taking photos (like everyone else). The evening before the wedding there’s a family gathering at Nick’s mother’s home. We soon see that the biggest problem Rachel has is Mrs. Young’s grudge towards her. She believes Rachel is the reason Nick hadn’t come home sooner. The movie was absolutely perfect. When it came out in theaters I never got the chance to watch it. It was incredibly well done and it was one of the very few Asian representative movies that came out in 2018. The visual elements were over the top and I believe my favorite part of the movie was that it showcased so much culture. This is something you could watch with your friends, your dog, cat, pet goldfish, or if you feel so inclined you could watch it with your partner. It is definitely a cuddly watch!

What could possibly be a better 2nd place movie than Enchanted 

Enchanted starts off in an animated land where we see a common girl named Giselle is seen singing and dancing with her animal friends. Suddenly, a wonderful Prince sees her and it’s love at first sight. When Giselle is off to marry Prince Edward she’s stopped on her way to the Prince’s castle, his evil stepmother sends her away to where she says there are no “happy ever afters”. This place being New York. After aimlessly wandering through the streets of the busy city, she runs into Robert, a divorce lawyer. Robert is reluctant at first to help out at first but decides to give in and brings Giselle home to stay with him and his daughter.When the Prince finds out what has happened to Giselle, he immediately makes his way to find her “in the real world”. Giselle and Robert are constantly having conversations about love and how they have completely opposite views on it. Giselle tries to make Robert more of a romantic for his current girlfriend in which he hopes to marry. The more Giselle helps him, the more he wants to help her return to her prince. We watch as fairytale fiction comes to life while trying to get the soon to be princess home. Growing up I absolutely loved this movie. Especially since it changed from animation to live action which wasn’t often done before 2010. I would consider this a family movie. It’s time to bring out your crowns and plop down on the couch for a good laugh and smile. 

Finally at number 1, we have a classic, 16 Candles

Obviously I couldn’t help but end on an 80’s rom-com seeing as those were huge then. 16th birthdays are known to be over the top and extravagant but that is the exact opposite for Samantha. Her entire birthday has been completely overshadowed by her sister’s wedding. That’s not the biggest part of her problems though, not in her eyes. She has a crush on Jake, a senior who doesn’t know she exists, while the only boy to pine over her is some weird freshman named Ted. When Sam and her best friend Randy are sitting in class, she tosses a note talking about how she wants to do your typical teenage things with Jake. To her surprise, Randy is completely asleep and the note ends up in the hands of Jake. Later on at the school dance, Sam sees Jake and his girlfriend dancing together. She sees how “hot” his girlfriend is compared to her and she runs out to the gym hall to cry. No worries though, as Ted tries to come to the rescue. After Sam dumps all her problems onto Ted, he begins to explain how he made a bet with his friend to return with a pair of her underwear to prove he’s not a geek after all. She agrees and goes on her way. The next day is the wedding and low and behold Jake is there and Sam finally gets her big moment to shine. 16 Candles is truly an amazing movie for middle kids or just for people who feel like life is always out to get them. From start to finish, you can really relate to the characters whether it be Sam, Ted, Jake, Randy, or even some of the characters that got 5 minutes of screen time. It really gets you in the mood to have a candlelit dinner with your partner or say “no you hang up” for all our long distance lovers. 

No matter what this Valentine’s Day brings for you, don’t forget to watch some good movies, eat some good food and catch the holiday-after sale on candy.