14 Days of Love Day 2: Rom-Com Rundown: The Best Rom-Coms for Every Relationship Status

Jasmine Judge, Design Editor

Whether you are single or taken this coming Valentine’s Day, what better way is there to celebrate love than a good romantic comedy? While the movie genre as a whole may seem fluffy and superficial, many well-known and sophisticated films contain plot points that deem them as “rom-coms.” Likewise, the category has a niche for every viewer’s taste and relationship status; below are some of my personal favorites:

1. 10 Things I Hate About You (single)

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” “10 Things I Hate About You” follows sisters Kat and Bianca Stratford as they navigate through high school dating with an overprotective father who has a strict no-dating policy. While Bianca has a significant desire to start dating, her older outcast sister, Kat, holds no apparent interest in male/female interaction. Their father develops a new rule to satisfy Bianca’s protests and maintain his current boy-free household: when Kat decides to start dating, Bianca then can too. This movie perfectly encapsulates the “enemies to lovers” romance trope and is undeniably one of the best classic rom-coms of the 90s. 

2. Flipped (falling in love)

Though “Flipped” fits into the stereotypical girl-next-door, coming of age rom-com, it never fails to warm my heart. “Flipped” tells the story of eighth-graders Bryce Loski and Juli Baker, who despite having nothing in common, start to develop feelings for each other. Baker falls in love with Loski the moment she lays eyes on him in second grade. The feeling was never reciprocated until six years later when Baker starts to doubt her love for Loski. While the plot itself seems a bit cliché, what makes this movie so well-written and touching is the individual character depth Bryce and Juli both possess. Many rom-coms miss out on the chance to expand characters beyond just romance, which ends up making the film lack-luster and unrelatable. “Flipped” not only displays the growing relationship between love interests but also their individual familial and personal struggles.

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (just broken-up)

Based on the original comic book also entitled “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” this movie shows a distinct take on the rom-com genre. It depicts Scott Pilgrim, the bass guitarist of an up-and-coming rock band, as he falls in love with the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers; in order to win her heart, he must defeat her seven ‘evil’ exes. What makes this rom-com unique is that the viewer is not meant to idealize Pilgrim and Flowers’s relationship. It falls under the “manic pixie dream girl” trope, in which the male lead obsesses over the cool and attractive female love interest, whose sole purpose is to boost appreciation of the male protagonist. However, Pilgrim’s romanticized image of Flowers begins to unravel as he faces her exes and discovers more about her past. While the truth behind their romance depicts quite a pessimistic take on love, its engaging plot and captivating cinematography make it a fan favorite.

4. Silver Linings Playbook (in-love)

“Silver Linings Playbook” demonstrates how romance can act as a major factor within a film without stifling individual character development. The movie follows Pat Solatano Jr., a recently discharged mental hospital patient, as he comes to terms with divorce and a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Along the way, he meets Tiffany Maxwell, his best friend’s sister-in-law, who not only shares Solatano Jr.’s fragile mental state but was also recently widowed. Together, they form a love/hate friendship built on the concept of pushing one another to achieve their own separate goals. While Pat and Tiffany’s romantic progression serves as the central focus, it does not shine light away from the serious issues each character faces, such as grief, jealousy, anxiety and depression.