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Spoiler alert: This review contains spoilers for the movies Friends With Benefits, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Legally Blonde!

I watch a lot of movies. Especially romantic comedies. The girly, hopeless romantic side of me can’t get enough of them. Although they are almost never realistic, they still typically come with a lesson. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned through a few of my favourite rom-coms.

Friends With Benefits Will never work (Friends With Benefits)

Everyone thinks they can do it… until they do it. Friends With Benefits focuses on Jamie and Dylan, who after many failed relationships decide it’s time to stop being serious and just have fun. They become super close friends who have casual sex.

I think we all know how this ends.

Initially, Jamie is hurt after confessing feelings toward Dylan. Of course, because this is a movie, they still end up together and live happily ever after. Typically in real life, it ends at the hurt and pain, and somebody always catches feelings.

In my experience, it is much easier to be straight up about how you feel in the beginning rather than trying to do the whole “no feelings involved” thing.

Just go for it (To all the boys i’ve loved before)

You’ll never know if you don’t try. Unfortunately, Laura Jean in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before learned this the hard way. She spent her days writing love letters to the boys she liked, but they were not made to be seen. Her letters are then revealed to all of these boys, one that later sparks a relationship with her crush, Peter Kavinsky.

Long story short: if this didn’t happen, Peter and Laura probably would have never had an actual conversation.

If you admire from afar and never take action into your own hands, nothing will come from it. Make friends with them and see where it goes from there! The worst possible scenario is that there are no sparks between the two of you and life goes on. So, just save yourself the struggle of secret love letters being found.

know your worth (legally Blonde)

This one is super important. In Legally Blonde, Elle Woods goes through a breakup and begins a mission to impress her ex-boyfriend so that he will want her back. This leads her to Harvard law school, where (to her ex’s surprise) she becomes extremely successful. On her journey to success, she meets people who look past stereotypes and see her intelligence and inner beauty.

This movie teaches viewers that you should never chase validation from a significant other. Those who truly love and care about you will see how special you are without having to prove it.

So, as cringe-worthy as romantic comedies can be, there will always be at least one lesson you can take away from them. Just promise me one thing: Don’t listen to Grease or She’s All That, where the message is literally to change yourself for a relationship.

Emma is a third year communication and media studies student at Carleton University. She is often found talking about pop-culture, or trying the newest Starbucks drink. She also loves musical theatre, collecting vinyl records and is a huge Ariana Grande fan. Social media and marketing director for the 2021/22 Her Campus Carleton team!
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