Romantic movies that remain classic must-watches for Valentine’s Day

By Lucy Bridges, Staff Writer

February is filled with love as Valentine’s Day takes over media platforms. People share their love on social media, through gifts and cards, but one of the most popular Valentine’s Day traditions is watching a cheesy romance movie. Romance movies are feel good movies that center around wholesome love stories, picture perfect “meet cutes,” happily ever afters and life lessons. Old and new romance movies are popular for viewing during the season dedicated to love by people who are single, taken and everywhere in between. Romance movies, dramas and comedies ranging from 30 years ago to today are popular for Valentine’s celebrations. 

“10 Things I Hate About You”

“10 Things I Hate About You” is a well-known 1999 rom-com starring Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford and Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona. Taking place in Seattle, Washington, Kat Stratford is a girl focused on school, soccer and college, but definitely not love. But when she strikes up a love/hate relationship with Patrick Verona, the seemingly scary boy at school, her opinions change, and she goes from ignoring and loathing his presence to wishing he were around more. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, along with supporting actors Larisa Oleynik and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who play Bianca Stratford and Cameron James respectively, make “10 Things I Hate About You” a fun-loving, feminist rom-com. 

“Crazy Rich Asians”

Made in 2018, “Crazy Rich Asians” has shifted to the top of rom-com watch lists. Constance Wu as Rachel Chu and Henry Golding as Nick Young bring a modern love story to life, incorporating music, food and culture. The production and direction of “Crazy Rich Asians” utilizes music and color as a way of expressing emotion throughout the movie. The fashion, experiences and overall grandeur of the film adds glamor and intricacy to the film. With entertaining supporting characters like Peik Lin Goh, played by Awkwafina, the film incorporates humor and cleverness throughout. “Crazy Rich Asians” delivers an upbeat and warm film to rom-com lovers. 

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“50 First Dates”

Drew Barrymore is a widely known rom-com actress, having participated in countless of the type throughout her life-long career. Adam Sandler, her counterpart, has also contributed heavily to the rom-com genre, and together, they have starred in three romantic comedies. “50 First Dates” was released in 2004 and was the second romantic comedy that Barrymore and Sandler acted in together. The destination movie takes place in Hawaii, where Lucy, played by Barrymore, lives with short-term memory loss after being in a car accident, and Henry, played by Sandler, lives on the island as a veterinarian. Lucy and Henry navigate the struggles of their non-traditional relationship due to Lucy’s brain injury. “50 First Dates” is a happy-go-lucky and comfortingly cheesy rom-com.

“The Proposal” 

“The Proposal” was released in 2009, starring Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate and Ryan Reynolds as Andrew Paxton. The film resembles an enemies-to-lovers storyline, although most of the enemy plot line stems from Andrew Paxton’s hatred of his boss Margaret Tate. The pair work for a publishing company, Andrew being Margaret’s assistant, and when an issue with Margaret’s visa arises, Andrew and Margaret must act as an engaged couple. The classic sham couple trope, although predictable and sometimes overdone, makes both Andrew and Margaret lovable and unique characters. Although the film sticks to classic Hollywood romantic tropes, having the female lead in a position of power adds an element of depth to the movie. Bullock and Reynolds work as a memorable and entertaining duo in “The Proposal.” 

“Love, Simon”

“Love, Simon” was released in 2018 starring Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, Keiynan Lonsdale as Bram Greenfeld and Katherine Langford as Leah Burke. “Love, Simon” is a coming of age film that highlights the experience of a teenager, Simon, who identifies as gay, but has kept it a secret from the people in his life. The film highlights the fact that going through teenage life is already a difficult path to navigate, but Simon has the fears and unknowns of coming out to his family and friends. “Love, Simon” is a modern film that portrays multiple different coming of age experiences: online friends, being true to yourself, first relationships and, for Simon, getting to know himself as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. 


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