by CELIA BROCKER
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but movies are timeless. If you’re a sap, nothing beats curling up in a warm blanket and munching on some popcorn while watching a feel-good romance movie. Though some of them can be a little eye-rolly at times, there’s a lot we can learn from these films. Here are a couple classics we can all learn from.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
One of the best rom-coms ever, Rob Reiner’s film follows the characters of Harry and Sally over a decade, from acquaintances to friends to eventual lovers. Funny, heartwarming, and full of iconic moments ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is the perfect example of a well-told love story.
The Princess Bride (1987)
This movie is multi-genre – it’s action, comedy, sci-fi (it has a magical pill that brings people back to life and a machine that sucks the life out of you, if that’s not sci-fi I don’t know what is) – but at its core it’s a story about love. And what’s better than true love? Answer: a nice MLT.
Love, Simon (2018)
There’s not a lot of positive queer films – let alone ones targeted for a teen audience – so Love, Simon broke a lot of ground. But it’s also just a sweet story, about two young adults bonding over common experiences and falling in love over email exchanges. It’s ‘You’ve Got Mail’ for this generation, but much better.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Another more recent film, the romance between couples is present in the film but is more of a background issue compared to the task at hand – learning to love and appreciate yourself. The main character Rachel Chu spends much of the film trying to fit in with her boyfriend Nick’s insanely rich family and impress his stoney mother. By the end though, she puts her love for herself and Nick first and is rewarded for her strength of character.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ the late Heath Ledger’s character must win over the tough-as-nails, doesn’t-give-a-shit Kat Stratford so her sister is allowed to date. But he ends up in a dilemma as he inevitably starts to fall for her.
Love, Actually (2003)
This holiday classic chronicles multiple tales of love lost and love won, some more cringey than others. But they all exist independently from each other, so if you don’t like one particular storyline you can skip it entirely without missing anything important.
Notting Hill (1999)
Yeah we all wish a movie star would fall in love with us, but what would happen if they actually did? That’s what ‘Notting Hill’ is about, when a famous actress stumbles into a bookstore and sparks fly between her and the store’s owner. Will he fit into her world, and vice versa? You’ll have to watch to find out.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Based on Jenny Chan’s bestseller, the plot for this Netflix rom-com couldn’t be better. A high school girl’s love letters are accidentally mailed, one of which is for her sister’s ex-boyfriend? Fake-dating an old crush to save face? Falling for each other despite coming from completely different social circles? Beautiful.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003)
She has 10 days to get rid of him, he has 10 days to make her fall in love with him. It’s peak comedy – no matter how horrible she is to him, he not only has to stick around but he can’t get mad either.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Jane Austin’s novel is considered to be the first literary rom-com ever. Elizabeth Bennett has feelings of dislike towards Mr. Darcy, and he is skeptical of her in turn. Both must overcome their initial prejudices of each other to discover there’s an attraction they can’t quite deny.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
Not your typical rom-com, ‘500 Days of Summer’ doesn’t have your typical Hollywood happy ending. While the relationship the two leads shared is sweet, that doesn’t mean that they belonged together. If you spend all your time focused on who you think is the right person, you could miss the right one as they walk by you.
I’m going to lose some people with this one, but just because a film requires subtitles for English speakers should not make it difficult to watch. This film has everything a rom-com needs – great actors, a cute love story, and lots of humor.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Yeah yeah, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is great, but it’s got nothing on this film. Audrey Hepburn stars as a runaway princess who wants a chance to experience normal life, when a reporter stumbles upon a career-making story. Will he find what he’s looking for, or something even greater?
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Who doesn’t love a feel-good movie about going back to your roots? And it’s got Reese Witherspoon in it? That alone is enough to secure a quality film, but it has a very relatable and important message too. Sometimes we lose ourselves trying to fit into a different world, but the ones we love will help guide us home.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
If you think Shakespeare is indecipherable, check out this film by Baz Luhrmann. It’s shot in a modern setting, but still keeps the original language from the play. Starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, Shakespeare has never been more engaging.
Mamma Mia (2008)
This jukebox musical set to the tunes of Abba has one of the most entertaining plots – which of her mother’s former flames is Sophie’s father? – and will have you singing to yourself hours after the movie is over.
Before Sunrise (1995)
One of the simplest love stories ever told in film, ‘Before Sunrise’ follows strangers meeting on a train and deciding to spend the day together. Showing the beauty in simple conversation and the connection that ensues, this film inspired two sequels to catch up with the couple later on.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Kinda reaching with this one, but it is about romance. What makes this film stand out is that the couple is already broken up at the start of the film, and our main character decides the best way to deal with the pain is to erase it – literally. He obviously hadn’t seen the next movie on the list.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Set in 1980s Northern Italy, Luca Guadagnino’s film perfectly encapsulates the rush young people get from falling in love for the first time. Nothing is overdone, and the simplicity of the filming speaks volumes. Not to mention the amazing scene between father and son at the end of the movie as he advises his son to hold on to the heartbreak he’s facing, because to do otherwise would be to lose the happiness he had.
It may be old, but it’s a classic. Containing some of the best movie quotes of all time – ex. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, and she walks into mine” – and a heart-wrenching final ending, everyone should see ‘Casablanca’ at least once in their lives.