5 Movies That Taught Me About Love

Throughout my twenty-one years, I have had many ideas about what I thought love was or what it was supposed to be. We were taught from an early age about princesses and their happily ever after, and as we get older, we evolved to rom-coms. They shift the glamorized introduction of a glass slipper being left at the ball to a personal item being left after a hookup. While what really makes a rom-com memorable is the message of the film, it depends on how it resonated with you and if it added another layer of how you define love. Because of how much romantic films have shaped my idea of love, I had to share which ones have made me a sappy, maybe a little bitter, very optimistic individual. Maybe, you too can even force your significant other to watch one this V-day. Here are 5 films that taught me about love!

1. He’s Just Not That Into You

Maybe you’ve seen this film when it plays on E! because it literally plays every week I  think. This film is definitely not a great rom-com, but it has a very enlightening, important message that should be taught to every person in singledom. Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) finds herself wondering and waiting forever for a call back from a love interest. We’ve all been here and wondering what we did wrong. The experience of wondering if he doesn’t want to seem desperate and if he likes you, or if he really just doesn’t like you because there could be something wrong with you. And, if you’re truly wondering and he gives mixed signals, it means he’s just not that into you (no pun intended). And while it can hurt your ego, its not personal. The film de-stigmatizes rejection with dating and how communication, or lack thereof, is a great message within itself. Being left on read is not a big deal, it just means you have to keep swiping. 

2. Crazy Rich Asians

This movie was insanely beautiful and taught so much about love and culture. In all honesty, if you weren’t full on ugly-crying by the ending mahjong scene, did you even watch Crazy Rich Asians? As brave as Rachel Chu was, she did back down because it was the profound thing to do in her situation. The fight against her mother-in-law had no happy ending. and her love story didn’t deserve a resentful conclusion. Family issues do impact love, and this rom-com had a very realistic approach to this topic. Resentment can disintegrate a happy relationship because love has to be nurtured without the harboring of negative feelings. 

3. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

The film takes us on a Christmas Carol themed adventure of the past of Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) that consists of learning all about his failed relationships. He ends up realizing how his player ways left him lonely and pining away for his old flame Jenny (Jennifer Gardner). While not all of us can have a revisit with all our exes, we should be able to reflect and understand what went wrong and how we can learn more about ourselves to give more to our current and future partners. Past relationships should be looked at as less of failures and more so as experiences. 

4. Her

After watching Her, you might realize that it’s a super weird movie. It has weird tendencies, but it has a very important message about love that can transcend with anyone. In the film, we watch Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) struggle with love and then find himself intertwined with his AI (AKA artificial intelligence, like Alexa). We see how his lack of emotional openness kept him from having an emotionally intimate relationship with humans, and instead, he has one with a technological device. With how distracted we are with technology, this film isn’t too far off from what could really happen, and it shows how important it is to not be afraid of intimacy. Fear of Intimacy is now seen as very common and something that many can’t overcome, which can become a major contribution to problems within a relationship.

5. Irreplacable You

​​Irreplacable You is a romance that takes a very realistic approach towards cancer patients and their relationships. Abby (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) looks for women for her fiancé to date after she loses her battle with cancer. She puts her selfishness aside to know that her fiancé, Sam (Michiel Huisman), won’t be alone, and she will have comfort in knowing the next woman he would spend his life with. While she believes she’s doing the right thing, she fears that he will end up easily dispose of their relationship. Abby’s thoughtfulness is something that every relationship should have, but rather than trying to put a band-aid on Sam losing her, she should embrace their time left together. Memories from a loved one are not replaceable fixtures in our lives, they are something that makes them more amazing. We will always compare our present loves with our past, and they will always impact the future ones.