Reel Thoughts: Amazing must-watch romantic comedies for Valentine’s Day


Illustration by Ziye Wang

Here’s to the rom-coms that keep us going on Valentine’s Day.

Kunjal Bastola , Assistant Sports Editor

This piece contains spoilers.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and some of us are painfully single. But, who needs a significant other when you can just watch a romantic comedy? In honor of the holiday of love, here are some of my favorite rom-coms to watch … by myself. 

Set It Up: Who doesn’t love a good Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell crossover moment? “Set It Up” puts the comedy in romantic comedy. In an attempt to lighten their grueling work schedules, Harper Moore and Charlie Young, played by Deutch and Powell respectively, attempt to set their bosses up on a series of dates, only to find themselves falling for each other by the end of the movie. Both leads are hilarious and constantly flirt with each other sarcastically throughout the film. My favorite scene is when Harper and Charlie begin to realize they have feelings for each other — over pizza. It’s giving “awww.” While the ending is predictable, “Set It Up” is not one of those rom-coms that have cringe written all over them. It’s one of my favorite comfort movies. 

10 Things I Hate About You: Okay, so this movie is not that realistic — no high schooler looks like Heath Ledger — but it’s a great movie nonetheless. (But if films were supposed to emulate real life, we wouldn’t have rom-coms at all, would we?) “10 Things I Hate About You” is one of those movies that’ll have you wishing you had that cliche high school experience. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) begins the movie in her “I hate everyone era” (sooooo real), which sets off a chain of events that lead her to fall in love with Patrick Verona, played by Ledger. Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to go out with Kat’s sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), but he can’t take Bianca on a date until Kat goes on a date because of a condition set by the girls’ strict father. Cameron pays Patrick to take Kat out. We all know what happens next: Patrick and Kat fall in love, but she finds out he was paid to take her out … he apologizes, they kiss, you know the ending. “10 Things I Hate About You” is a classic that will have you wishing for your own Patrick Verona (minus the getting-paid-to-go-on-a-date-with-you part). 

Crazy Rich Asians: Rich and in love? My favorite combination. “Crazy Rich Asians” was too good, and I ate up every second of it. Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) accompanies her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore, where she is astonished to learn that he is part of one of the richest families there. Throughout the movie, many forces — including Nick’s mother, Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) — vie to break the happy couple up. Awkwafina, who plays Rachel’s best friend from college Peik Lin, delivers the funniest lines of the movie while helping her best friend navigate rich society. The end will have you rooting for the film’s main couple, and yes — there is a happy ending. “Crazy Rich Asians” is a heartwarming rom-com that will have you rewatching time and time again. Whenever you find yourself taking forever to find the perfect movie to watch, this film is the solution to your dilemma. 

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: I mean…this one is pretty self-explanatory. Who doesn’t love a good “we’re both lying to each other but then we fall in love and it’s complicated” trope? Add to that the amazing talent (and attractiveness) of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, and you have the essential rom-com to cure all your Valentine’s Day woes. Andie Anderson, played by Hudson, is a journalist writing a piece on all the mistakes women make in relationships. To do so, she essentially goes “undercover” and attempts to lose a guy in 10 days by making these mistakes. Her target? Advertising executive Benjamin Barry, played by McConaughey, is looking to prove to his boss that he knows enough about romance to lead a deal with a large diamond company. His objective? To make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Chaos, comedy and a wonderful parodical rendition of “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon ensue and by the end, Andie and Ben have confessed their love for each other (never forget the iconic yellow dress Andie was wearing in this scene). Watch it once, and you’ll love it. Watch it again, and you’ll be obsessed … like me. 

The Half of It: While the ending doesn’t result in two leads being in love and living happily ever after, “The Half of It” shows us what it’s like to learn more about ourselves because of love. Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) has a side business writing academic papers for her classmates. She lives with her widower father and uses the extra money she makes to help the two of them get by. Ellie is approached by Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), who wants her to write a love letter to his crush Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). Throughout this endeavor, Ellie realizes she has feelings for Aster, but she continues to converse as Paul with Aster through the letters. The end of the movie does not see Ellie and Aster riding off into the sunset, but rather Ellie leaving town to go to college with a set of good friends and hope for what the future may bring. It’s inspiring and hopeful and shows us that a happy ending in a romance movie may not always entail finding someone else, but rather finding yourself. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

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