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Culture > Entertainment

Valentine’s Day is the Perfect Time to Get Into Rom-Coms

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate love in all its forms. Most commonly, people believe that the day must be about romantic love and participating in consumerism. I mean, stores really do sell the cutest things during this time of year. However, the love-filled holiday also provides an excellent opportunity to explore different kinds of media, such as romantic comedies, no matter your relationship status. 

Romantic comedies have a reputation for instilling unrealistic expectations of romance to their viewers. How often does the concept of a meet-cute occur in real life? Despite this, rom coms have so much to offer. Whether you want to admit it or not, love is a large part of life. Of course the media is going to reflect that. 

One of the great aspects of romantic comedies is that they rely on strong characters and solid chemistry between the two leading actors. It is not an easy task to establish a believable relationship on screen or sustain comedic timing throughout. Many rom-coms from the late 90’s and early 2000’s were experts at this, but a few recent additions to the genre that capture similar energy are must sees as well. 

10 Things I Hate About You Julia Stiles Heath Ledger
Touchstone Pictures

There are what seems to be millions of romantic movies to choose from and it can be a little hard to decide where to start. Some follow teenagers and first love, others are made for an older audience and explore complex themes. High school rom coms like the late 90’s 10 Things I Hate About You and the more recent To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before are wonderful introductions because of their charismatic casts and entertaining storylines. Films with slightly older characters such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Set it Up represent these likable qualities while still bringing something new to the table. Not to mention they’re set in New York city, which is arguably the best place for a romantic comedy to be based in. 

The lack of diversity and queer representation is an issue that modern romantic comedies have proven to make steps toward fixing. There are so many stories left to be told, but films like Crush, which follows two queer teen girls, and Crazy Rich Asians, which has an all-Asian cast, demonstrate how much the genre is growing. 

Crazy Rich Asians
Color Force

Romantic comedies are about the characters falling in love and for the audience to swoon, laugh, and immerse themselves in a little escapism. With all these options, why not enjoy the movie version of love during this time of year?

Alyssa Gordon

UC Riverside '24

Hi, I'm Alyssa! I'm a fourth-year Media and Cultural Studies major with an English minor. I love anything pop culture and baking related. When I'm not writing, I can be found reading or rewatching episodes of my favorite 2010's sitcoms.