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Are 2000s Rom-Coms Making a Comeback?

Y2K fashion has taken the world by surprise in recent years. Everything from low-rise jeans, Juicy Couture tracksuits, baby tees and butterflies have seen a comeback. But fashion trends aren’t the only things that rose from the dead. Old-fashioned rom-com meet cutes are creeping their way back into Hollywood with several 2000s-inspired romantic comedies slated for release in 2022. And I, for one, cannot wait.

Marry Me, releasing on February 11, stars Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to spending my Valentine’s Day in the cinema hall with a large popcorn watching JLo back in action. Although Jennifer Lopez never really left the scene, she definitely seemed to have left cheesy romance in the past. Known for movies like The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan, Lopez started her music career soon after and eventually took up acting roles more mature and complex than a romantic lead. Wilson on the other hand has always been a versatile actor, with a few rom-coms in his filmography. The Marry Me trailer gives us everything we need to know about the new film’s plot. Kat Valdez (Lopez), a mega pop star, sets to marry Bastian (Maluma) on live TV but gets publicly cheated on and impulsively decides to marry a stranger from the crowd: Charlie (Wilson). Insistent on following through with her decision, Kat and Charlie stay married and try to get to know each other despite all the backlash they face. Judging by the trailer, the cinematography, soundtrack and storyline are definitely reminiscent of the feel-good romance films of the 2000s.

Spring 2022 brings us another romantic comedy with a stellar cast. The Lost City, directed by brothers Aaron and Adam Nee, is not only a rom-com but also falls under the genre of action and adventure. It is a story about an antisocial romance novelist Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) who gets kidnapped by billionaire Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) to find a treasure in the lost city—similar to the one she wrote in her novel. When her delusional book cover model Alan (Channing Tatum) shows up to her rescue, the group is forced into a crazy jungle adventure. Bullock, having several rom-coms under her belt, is prepared for the role –  especially with her iconic Miss Congeniality falling under the same genre of action/rom-com. Tatum plays the pretty boy that the lead couldn’t help but fall for, much like his own past romantic roles. Apart from the already star-studded cast, Brad Pitt makes a cameo as well. What more could we ask for? 

The fall of 2022 begins with America’s sweetheart, Julia Roberts, making a comeback as a romantic lead alongside George Clooney in Ticket to Paradise, directed by Ol Parker. Having played romantic leads in box office blockbusters like Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and my personal favourite, Notting Hill, Julia Roberts can do no wrong in the romance genre. George Clooney played few comedic roles and has gravitated more towards action movies in his career. But there is no doubt in my mind that he would do justice to a charming love interest. In Ticket to Paradise, Roberts and Clooney play a divorced couple that fly out to Bali to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they think they made years ago. Although the trailer isn’t out yet, the plot, cast and crew have sold me. Who wouldn’t want to watch the queen of romantic comedies back at it again?

I don’t know about you, but as a hopeless romantic, I cannot wait to travel back in time and relive the cheesy romance of the early 2000s.

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Khyati Chawla

Dalhousie '24

Khyati is a second year film studies student at Dalhousie University planning to work in the film industry after graduation. In her free time you will find her making extremely specific playlists, reading romance novels, or obsessively watching sitcoms.
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