It’s February, which means love is in the air, stores have an endless supply of candy (like those conversation hearts everyone buys and never eats), and Hallmark is counting down. annual until Valentine’s Day with a collection of corny and unrealistic romantics. movies. Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” more than a couple who accidentally meet (don’t like each other at first), then fall in love and live happily ever after in their perfect new life. However, Hallmark isn’t the only company guilty of setting our love expectations ridiculously high and making us feel like we’ll never find the perfect match.
Romance is overemphasized in Hollywood. Indeed, it seems like every movie has at least one romantic plotline, and for some movies, one too many. So why is love almost always at the forefront of cinema? Maybe it’s because love is one of the strongest emotions to connect to and one that will resonate with audiences. Or, maybe it’s because it creates a feel-good vibe that makes us feel happy and warm (unless of course you just had a bad breakup, in which case avoid anything traditionally romantic). However, if you’re looking for a sentimental, cheesy, sappy, and romantically unrealistic movie, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are five of the best/worst.
“I dreamed of a real love kiss. And I hope a prince comes with it. That’s what makes eternity so happy.” Pass the cheese, please. In the bustling fairytale kingdom of Andalusia, Giselle leads a happy and magical life and dreams of finding her true love. Her dreams seem to come true when she meets the handsome and dashing Prince Edward. However, on her way to marry the prince, her evil stepmother pushes Giselle down a well, transporting her to the wild and mad world of New York. Now Giselle is about to find love in the most unlikely places when she meets widower Robert and his lovely daughter Morgan. However, Robert is already in a relationship and hopes to plan his own wedding with his girlfriend, Nancy. Of course, none of that matters, and the love eventually ends, with Nancy marrying the fairytale prince and returning to Andalusia in Giselle’s place, while Giselle stays in New York to found a family with Robert and Morgan. In the end, it’s all, well, Delighted.
4 You’ve got mail
Ah, the joys of online dating. Love it or hate it, nowadays many of us have tried it and got mixed reviews. In You’ve got mail, two switched daters begin a virtual relationship only to find they know each other and are actually rival bookstore owners in real life. So, naturally, things go perfectly and the couple are thrilled to learn each other’s identities and begin a real-world relationship. Besides the story’s corny and predictable plot, there’s something to be said for the chemistry between its two main performers, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The pair work incredibly well against each other, having previously played love interests in Joe against the volcano (1990) and Insomnia in Seattle (1993). Still, if you’re looking for some dated, sentimental ’90s nostalgia, there’s almost no better place to turn.
3 To all the boys I’ve loved before
In To all the boys I’ve loved before, Lara Jean Covey’s dreams turn into nightmares when her sister Kitty takes her secret love letters and mails them to her crushes. Now Lara is up against several of her crushes, including her older sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. He approaches her one day and Lara freaks out by kissing another of her crushes, Peter, who happens to be nearby at the time. Peter is confused and later confronts Lara, who confesses the truth. Surprisingly, Peter agrees with Lara’s actions and suggests that he and Lara fake a date to make his ex-girlfriend and Lara’s ex-best friend jealous. Lara agrees and the two form rules and regulations for their new deal. Now, things are perfect in their fake relationship, and it’s not like they’re actually developing feelings for each other, is it? While utterly predictable and filled with eye-rolling dialogue, the film is notable for highlighting people of color as lead roles in a rom-com, which is sadly rare.
2 The kissing booth
Is it love at first sight or the first kiss? High school teen best friends Elle Evans and Lee Flynn have the perfect friendship. They do everything together, including eating, doing homework and playing their favorite arcade game dance dance revolution. The only problem with their friendship is Elle’s secret crush on Lee’s older brother, Noah. As a fundraising idea for their school, Elle and Lee decide to hold a blindfold Kissing Booth at a town fair. After Lee kisses a girl from school, he happily leaves to enjoy the fair with her. Meanwhile, a blindfolded Elle takes center stage in the kissing booth and sparks fly when Noah kisses her. Now, Elle tries to maintain her friendship with Lee while secretly dating Noah. Will the relationship last after just one kiss? Well, it must somehow, like the kissing kiosk triggered two sequels The Kissing Booth 2 in 2020 and The Kissing Booth 3 in 2021, for some ridiculous reason, as the film is even more cheesy than its title suggests.
1 When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally follows twelve years of chance encounters in New York City as Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) cross paths on several occasions. While surprisingly popular and beloved, rewatching it reveals a very predictable film that spoils within the first few minutes. When they first meet, Harry and Sally discuss their different views on relationships. Sally voices her idea that men and women can’t just be friends, because “the sexual part gets in the way”. Now, according to Checkhov’s Gun theory, that means it’s inevitable that the two will become friends, have sex, and fall in love, which is precisely what happens. As well as being extremely predictable (and having a smarmy and crude acting from Crystal, in hindsight), the film has what is considered one of the most famous and awkwardly uncomfortable scenes, with Meg Ryan faking orgasm in a restaurant. “I’ll have what she has,” unless it’s more of that cheese.
Cozy up with your partner for a star-studded feast of love with this list of romantic movies to watch with your partner on Valentine’s Day.
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