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I have always unabashedly loved a happy ending. 

For me, watching a movie is all about relaxing, escaping, and feeling better than you did before you turned it on. I tend to avoid horror, thriller, and action films for this reason alone. There’s too much to worry about! 

In the past, I’ve been made to feel basic, boring, or silly for preferring romantic comedies over other genres. But earlier this week, I began to feel increasingly justified in my love of such films, after seeing a discussion from Twitter user @vnbrkl that read:

“Can’t stop thinking about how women are ridiculed for enjoying romance novels and movies (where actual good things happen to women) and are told that they should enjoy other genres (where women are often not mentioned or killed to serve as a plot device for the male lead)”

I mean… that pretty much sums it up. 

In rom-coms, yes, the world is an ideal — but that makes it all the more pleasant to watch. I can be sure that good things will happen in the end, and even if the lessons are hard, the characters will be happy and end up where they’re meant to be. 

So without further ado, I would like to share with you six of my current favourite rom-com/feel-good movies that you can enjoy shamelessly!

  1. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

Okay, so even though this isn’t a comedy, it’s quickly become one of my all-time favourite films, so it’s going on the list! The costuming and cinematography are beautiful, and the story is so sweet and moving. It’s based on a novel of the same name, and it does an incredible job of world-building and establishing it’s characters.

Best to Watch: On a rainy Saturday afternoon with a warm cup of tea.

Synopsis: In 1946, a London-based writer begins exchanging letters with residents on the island of Guernsey, which was German-occupied during WWII. Feeling compelled to visit the island, she starts to get a picture of what it was like during the occupation.

  1. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

I mean… are you surprised? This Jane Austen adaptation is beautiful and a cult favourite — for good reason! Romantic, clever and satisfying, the story is a classic, and the images of the rolling green fields of the English countryside are the perfect escape from the current harsh winter. 

Best to Watch: On a cold winter’s evening, wrapped in at least 8 blankets. 

Synopsis: Elizabeth Bennet lives with her mother, father and sisters in the English countryside. As the eldest, she faces mounting pressure from her parents to marry. When the outspoken Elizabeth is introduced to the handsome and upper-class Mr. Darcy, sparks fly. Although there is obvious chemistry between the two, Darcy’s overly reserved nature threatens the fledgling relationship.

  1. The Princess Diaries (2001)

This one is just pure nostalgia for me at this point. It was my tradition to watch it in elementary school whenever I was home sick. It’s a cute, funny, and easy-to-follow story about family, friends and navigating young adulthood. What’s not to love?

Best to Watch: When you’re feeling off or a little bit down, while eating yummy treats!

Synopsis: Shy San Francisco teenager Mia Thermopolis is thrown for a loop when, out of the blue, she learns the astonishing news that she’s a real-life princess! 

  1. Set It Up (2018)

An unexpected good time! I really enjoyed this modern rom-com, since it incorporated a lot of ideas and themes from other films of the genre, and it was quirky and refreshing to watch. You don’t have to think too hard or focus too much — it’s just fun and cute vibes. 

Best to Watch: On a Friday night with some friends, after complaining about your day jobs, of course.

Synopsis: Two overworked and underpaid assistants come up with a plan to get their bosses off their backs by setting them up with each other.

  1. Mamma Mia! (2008) (and the sequel, 2018)

Listen, I don’t care how many times you’ve seen it, or how cliché you think it is. THIS. MOVIE. NEVER. GETS. OLD. ABBA (or at least ABBA cover songs) forever. Super easy to watch, and I mean, who doesn’t want to imagine themself living on a beautiful Greek island? My friends and I saw the 2018 sequel in theatres, and had just as much fun. 

Best to Watch: Probably on a cruise ship deck somewhere. Good luck with that. 

Synopsis: Donna, an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile, Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.

If you’re not too keen on any of my choices, you can always check out Marie Claire’s list of “The 75 Best Rom-Coms of All Time” if you’d like! All 75 are amazing, I’m sure. Happy watching!

Emma Johnston

Waterloo '22

Hi! My name is Emma, and I am completing my Bachelor of Arts in English Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communication at the University of Waterloo. I love journaling, peanut M&Ms, and collecting fashion magazines from around the world!
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