Everything I Loved About Rom Com Fest This Year

If there is one genre that stands above the rest, it would be romantic comedies. From the oldies-but-goldies classics like She’s Out of My League and Legally Blonde, to new rom coms in the 21st century like Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, it is safe to say that rom com movies have held a special in all of our hearts. With the really cute OTP (one true pair) that we shipped since the beginning as well as that big kiss finale, rom coms are a guilty pleasure. So when Her Campus at UCLA was invited to the first annual Rom Com Fest, there was no hesitation for us to say yes.

On June 23, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the last day of Rom Com Fest at the Downtown Independent Theatre! I got to watch one of my all-time favorite rom com films, 10 Things I Hate About You, alongside rom com fanatics who all squealed at the sight of young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was also followed by a Q&A panel with the brilliant minds of the writers, Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, who have worked on numerous projects after 10 Things I Hate About You such as Legally Blonde and She’s the Man.

McCullah and Smith shared their appreciation for the fans whose infinite impressions and love for the movie make it truly iconic. 20 years later, they are still mind-blown by the great responses they receive. But what really makes this movie and all the following films that they created special is that they believed in the power of a strong female lead. McCullah said, “This will give birth to a new genre." In 10 Things I Hate About You, Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) was a brilliant, DGAF type of girl who knows that she doesn't have to conform to what society thinks. She finds a charming young man, Pat (Heath Ledger) who respects her spunk and strength. In Legally Blonde, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) might be pretty in pink, but she did not like being underestimated. “She was smart about things she wanted to be smart about and she never saw being undermined as an obstacle,” said Smith. In She’s The Man, Shakespeare’s adaptation of the Twelfth Night, Viola Johnson (Amanda Bynes) joins a boarding school in replacement of her twin brother and proves that she could be just as strong and talented as him.

They also gave advice to aspiring screenwriters: Read a lot of screenplays. Lots. Don’t spend years rewriting your first script, just keep going. Never throw out old ideas. And lastly, Margarita is the perfect writing juice.

Dessert Goals also made its promised appearance and gave us a little taste of what we can hopefully expect at the next LA and NY festival this summer! Yum! It’s crazy to think that Miraya Berke, the founder of Rom Com Fest and Dessert Goals Festival, just thought of this new festival about eight months ago, and is now seeing it come to fruition and gathering all rom com lovers around LA. Now, it is a home where rom com lovers can unite and just celebrate love while seeing their favorite 90s guilty pleasures for the millionth time.

We cannot wait for all the love and success that Rom Com Fest will harness in the years to come. Thank you so much for having us!