There’s something timeless and nostalgic about the romantic comedy genre of movies, affectionately coined as “rom-coms.” Some are more romantic than comedic and vice versa. My personal favorite rom-coms feature strong female leads that may also fall in love. Despite their sometimes contrived and hackneyed nature, no one can deny the warm, fuzzy feeling that you get from watching the trials, tribulations and humor that accompany love. From the early 2000s trend of rom-coms, to the recent revival in their popularity, warm your heart this Valentine’s Day - and the rest of the year - with these rom-com classics and new favorites.
“13 Going on 30”
Young Jenna Rink’s (Jennifer Garner) desire to be “30, flirty and thriving” turns her world on its head when her wish is granted and she is shot 17 years into the future. She is forced to navigate a modern life she does not recall living, including the catty magazine industry as a rising magazine editor, a frivolous professional hockey player boyfriend, committing less-than-savory actions for the sake of popularity and the realization of her feelings for her currently engaged childhood best friend (Mark Ruffalo. Jenna’s innocence and young determination stemming from her desire to make some wrong things right portrays her as a fun female lead that is sure to make you want to revisit the colorful trends and simpler times of childhood.
“Crazy Rich Asians”
Based off Kevin Kwan’s phenom novel and now the highest-grossing rom-com of the last past decade, this luxurious and extravagant movie features some of Hollywood’s much-needed Asian representation to the screen in the form of a Chinese-American NYU professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) traveling to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding) for his best friend’s wedding. Little did she know the wedding is being billed as the “wedding of the century” and that her boyfriend’s family is one of the wealthiest and most influential in the country. Some decadent and humorous antics pursue, including a bachelorette party on an exclusive resort-island, enlisting the help of her best friend (Awkwafina) and stylist (Nico Santos) to find the perfect dress for the occasion and meeting Nick’s adversarial mother (Michelle Yeoh) at the family’s lavish mansion.
“Mamma Mia” and “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again”
Everyone’s favorite ABBA musical taking place in the gorgeous Greek islands returned last year to explore protagonist Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) life five years after the events of the first movie, as well as providing the backstory of mother Donna Sheridan’s (Meryl Streep) pregnancy and meeting of Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry (Colin Firth). The first movie portrays what happens after Sophie invites three of her potential fathers to her wedding; and her mother is forced to deal with seeing her previous suitors after 20 years.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”
The Netflix sensation based on Jenny Han’s novel stars charming high school student Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), as the love letters she wrote to previous crushes in order to get over them, that were never meant to be sent out, accidentally get mailed to the boy’s addressees. Equally charismatic Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) makes a deal with Lara Jean to pretend they are dating in order to spurn his ex-girlfriend, and fend off her sister’s ex-boyfriend, who she most recently crushed on. The leads’ chemistry, coupled with the novel’s and movie’s welcome addition to Asian representation for the year, lent to the film’s well-deserved popularity.
As high-profile editor-in-chief of a publishing company Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is in danger of being deported back to Canada, she blackmails her long-time assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), into marrying her so that she may stay in the country. As the two learn more about each other back in Andrew’s hometown of Sitka, Alaska, dealing with Andrew’s colorful family, his desire to distance himself from his family’s wealth and expectations and Margaret’s past, the two are bound to fall in love somewhere along the way amidst some comedic events.
The genre includes many more films that deserve mentioning, including “The Princess Diaries” and its sequel, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Bring It On,” “Love, Simon,” “27 Dresses,” “Clueless,” “Pretty Woman” and many more.
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.