I miss good rom-coms

Alex Hopper, News Editor

Why don’t they make rom coms like they used to?

As Valentine’s day just came and went, I’ve spent a good portion of my free time in the last week rewatching my favorite romantic movies. 

“10 Things I Hate About You,” “27 Dresses,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” The classics. 

During my marathon, I also watched the latest installment in the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” trilogy. 

It was bad. Very bad. 

Instead of the warm, satisfied feeling I got from watching all my old favorites, I exited the Netflix app with a serious want for more – or a wish that I had never watched it in the first place. 

Part of it was the weird acting. I don’t know if it was the actor’s fault per se, as the awkward script would have been tough for any actor to make natural. 

Either way, I felt so uncomfortable every time the main couple, Lara Jean and Peter, were on screen together. 

I don’t think that is a good tenant for a romantic comedy. 

The other contributing factor was the superficial nature of it. That is the only way I can think to describe the recent bout of Netflix rom-coms. Something about them feels empty. 

I know that these types of movies aren’t gunning for an Oscar, and so they shouldn’t be analyzed too heavily for their content. But, some of my favorite romantic movies – though some of them may have lacked a certain production quality as well – made up for it in heart.

Something about them could take the most predictable plot and somehow make it interesting and heartwarming every time. 

Movies like “Dirty Dancing,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Footloose” all have predictable endings. Switch out the heartthrob, the setting, the romantic conflict and you arrive at the same happy ending.

However, when watching them something just feels different than anything made recently. They have taken time and care to unfold these relationships, build their world, and the ending seems warranted. 

Maybe it’s the rose-colored frame of nostalgia but, at the risk of sounding like my dad, I just think they did it better back then. 

Another reason I don’t like romantic comedies today is that they are made with the intention of a sequel. Nothing can stand alone anymore. And it is reflected in the amount of effort they put into each individual movie. 

The first “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” wasn’t bad, I was entertained by it at least. 

You can see the effort they put into this movie, as they had to make the audience invested enough to make their sequels. 

The second and third feel phoned in. 

However, audiences will watch them because there is no barrier for entry. 

I’ll watch almost anything on Netflix or any other streaming service because it asks nothing of me. I don’t have to pay for each individual movie. I don’t have to drive to the movie theatre. It’s easy. 

Rom-coms like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”  that Netflix seems to really enjoy making are all the same. They churn them out one after the other with almost no care. 

One day I am going to run out of all old rom-coms to watch and then what will I do? One person can only rewatch “The Prince and Me” so many times. 

I’m not saying every single romantic movie post-2010 is bad but, it just seems that type of movie isn’t being made as much today with the same fever that it once was; and I think they should be. 

The world needs a little bit of heartwarming, cliche-ridden and sappy love stories. They leave you feeling content and no one can tell me otherwise. 

There are too many depressing movies being made; The world needs happy endings. 

I thought now I’d give some recommendations of the sort of movie I am hoping to see more of.

First and Foremost – “About Time.”

Warning, I’ve never cried so much in a movie before. However, despite any tears, it is one of my favorite movies that always leaves me with a new lust for life.

Secondly, “Love Rosie.” 

This one is a bit more weighty. If you’re someone who thinks rom coms are stupid than this might be an option for you. 

Lastly, “Crazy Stupid Love.”

This movie really has it all – it’s funny and it’s emotional. It’s always a good option for any movie night.

I hope these sorts of movies will come back. I think the world needs them. 

Though they don’t seem like much, an uplifting rom com has been the solution to many of my bad days.

Though I don’t think they compare to my favorite rom coms, I guess in the meantime movies like “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” will be a nice placeholder until Hollywood comes to their senses.