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Rom-Com Blast from the Past

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

by Jaqueline Riddle

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, coronavirus isn’t the only thing that’s in the air. Romance movies have been produced for decades, giving teenagers unrealistic expectations for love.

New rom-coms are being released yearly, but the old ones still take the cake; they really don’t make movies like they used to. There are many great old romance movies out there, so here are a few notable ones.

Sleepless in Seattle, the oldest of the list, came out in 1993, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks’ character, Sam Baldwin, a recent widow, moves to Seattle with his son, striving to start over. Sam’s son, still trying to cope with the loss of his mother, calls a radio program, attempting to find a new potential wife for his father. Meg Ryan’s character, Annie Reed, starts to fall in love with Sam from over the phone, despite her current engagement. Sleepless in Seattle depicts the love story of two strangers who fall for each other through a call-in radio. This movie hits all the needed spots to make this a sappy romance movie.

The next one is You’ve Got Mail, a film that came out in 1998, yet again starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly and Tom Hanks as Joe Fox are the main characters, acting as competing bookstore owners. Kathleen is a small business owner, while Joe owns a corporate bookstore. Out on the street, Kathleen can’t stand to look at Joe but talking online is a completely different story. You’ve Got Mail is a movie that emphasizes the somewhat ironic motto of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

10 Things I Hate About You is a more well known rom-com. This beautifully put together film came out in 1999, starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. Julia plays Kat Stratford, a beautiful and intelligent high schooler who consistently speaks her mind. Her younger sister, Bianca, isn’t allowed to date until Kat finds a boyfriend, making her think outside the box. Patrick Verona, played by Heath Ledger, is subtly put into Kat’s pathway, making her question her next moves. The plot of 10 Things I Hate About You is the teen romance every girl dreams of, making the audience empathize with each character.

5 years later, 50 First Dates came out, showing that love isn't always easy. Henry Roth, played by Adam Sandler, is a playboy trying to win over Lucy Whitmore, played by Drew Berrymore, who is diagnosed with short-term memory loss. Henry falls in love with Lucy, a somewhat demanding task. Everyday Lucy forgets the day before, forcing Henry to make her fall for him day after day. 50 First Dates keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, while casually pulling tears from our eyes.

The Proposal is the last on the list, as it is the most recent, coming out in 2009. This movie starred Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds as Margaret Tate and Andrew Paxton. Margaret Tate, an intense and completely professional book editor is faced with the possibility of deportation. Her only choice is to get engaged to her assistant, Andrew, who doesn’t necessarily like her. This movie takes us on an adventure of an unlikely love story while making us laugh till our stomachs hurt.

With social distancing protocols compromising any extravagant Valentine’s Day plans this year, binge watching rom-coms in bed may be our best option. Wasting the day away watching movies, whether it be alone or with a companion, seems to be a way to fill the empty space in our hearts.


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