Romantic movies are one of my guilty pleasures; and nothing can lift my spirits quite like a good old romantic-comedy can. Why are they a guilty pleasure you ask? Most romantic films set such unrealistic expectations for us women. The truth is, real life men just aren’t THAT great (not hating or anything, just stating the truth). Romantic movies have taught us that men will always be our knight in shining armor, and that they would do basically anything to make us women happy. Raise your hands if you have ever been with someone like Noah from The Notebook. Anybody? Didn’t think so. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t understand why so many women create an almost impossible list for the description of their dream man; we are not perfect either ladies (but I guess it is true what they say – we do always want what we cannot have). The best thing to do is to just find someone whose flaws you can live happily ever after with, trust me.
A romantic flick is not always about showing us ladies what we cannot have; it can sometimes teach us a thing or two about romance. I hope that you have been taking notes while watching; but, if not, I have got you covered. I compiled some of my – and basically everyone’s – favorite romantic movies of this generation; and through this list, we will learn some valuable lessons you can certainly use in your personal life.
With your best friend next to you and a bowl of popcorn within reach, you are now ready to go through this list of life lessons!
Warning: If you haven’t seen these movies, well, spoiler alert. I suggest you still go through the list anyway, because I’m awesome.
15. Don’t Take The One You Love For Granted (If Only)
The romantic-fantasy film (which has always, ALWAYS made me cry) is an all time favorite of mine; especially because Jennifer Love Hewitt stars in it. If Only is a love story between Ian (Paul Nicholls), a businessman, and Samantha (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a music teacher. Despite the fact that all-American girl Samantha moved all the way to the UK for Ian, he still usually managed to put her at the very bottom of his list of priorities. Due to such unfairness, the universe decided to teach Ian a lesson that would forever change his life; what seemed like an ordinary day turned into the worst day of his entire existence. Samantha ended things with the ever-so-busy Ian (I would have done the same, seriously) and got in a cab; not knowing that that would be her final words to the love of her life.
I bet you are thinking “Okay? What’s so special about this film?” You see, this is where the fantasy part I was talking about comes to play. Brokenhearted Ian awakens the day after the accident and relives that day from the very beginning. He of course freaks out and gets overwhelmed with confusion – you know, the expected. After he realized that he had a second chance, he treated Samantha the way he should have from the very start. So there you go, lesson number one: don’t take anyone for granted. Oh and, he takes Samantha’s place in the cab and dies instead (sobs heavily).
14. Fight For The One You Love (The Five Year Engagement)
Talk about stalling! The Five Year Engagement is exactly what the title states – five long years of staying engaged. Tying the knot for Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) and Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) was a long and complicated ordeal. Though ALMOST perfect for each other, life decided to throw the couple a rough patch; maybe to test their waters? They were perfectly happy in San Francisco until, one day, Violet got a job offer – only it was in Michigan. Like the weather conditions of each place, their relationship quickly went from hot to cold. Tom grew unhappy, which made Violet feel the same; this of course led to the lovers’ break-up. However, their hearts just couldn’t stay away from each other. Despite their long, long way down, they fought through, got back together, and finally got hitched. When it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
13. Never Change For Anyone (The Ugly Truth)
If you are anything like me, there was a time in your life where Katherine Heigl movies were your absolute to-go-to chick-flicks. She totally dominated the world of romantic-comedies! Today, we will keep our focus on a great film – The Ugly Truth. In this movie, Katherine partners up with yet another hunk, Gerard Butler (can I get a daaaaamn?). Gerard plays Mike Chadway, a TV correspondent who pushes unconventional theories on relationships and love; while Katherine plays Abby, a morning show producer who cannot seem to get love right. Although appalled by Mike’s ideas and ways, Abby builds an odd relationship with him – she takes his advice on how to get her dream man, her neighbor Colin (Eric Winter), who happens to be a very attractive doctor. Mike of course succeeds, but in the process, he falls in love with Abby and vice-versa. Where is the lesson you ask? You see, to catch Colin’s attention, Abby had to change who she was. That should never, ever be the case. Instead, fall for your own Mike; someone who will love you for who you are, till death do you part.
12. You’re Worthy (Bridesmaids)
This totally hilarious flick will have you shaking your head at Annie (Kristen Wiig) and rolling on the floor laughing up to the very end (who remembers the part where the bride-to-be takes a dump on her wedding dress in the middle of the street? Big LOLs). The entire film revolves around the competition between Annie and Helen (Rose Byrne) with regards to who can take on the title of “best friend of the year.” The lesson however, is wholly based on Annie and her horrible decisions when it comes to men and relationships. In the beginning of the film, she is involved with Perry Harris (Andy Buckley) – a total douchebag who treats Annie like crap. As the film progresses she meets Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) – a total sweetheart. Like a lot of women, Annie still leans toward the A-hole – until she learns her (and our) lesson, that is. Ladies, please know your worth. Train your heart and brain to go for the nice guy instead of the douche who we all know will just break your precious heart.
11. Look No Further For “The One” (He’s Just Not That Into You)
He’s Just Not That Into You is a movie of interconnecting stories about life, love, and everything in between. However, for today’s lesson, we are focusing on one particular story; that of Alex (Justin Long) and Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin). Gigi, a woman desperately looking for love, finds it in a friend who is the complete opposite of her – Alex. He had always been her confidant; telling her how and what to do in the world of relationships. What Gigi didn’t know is that she didn’t have to look too far for happiness, because it was under her nose the whole time. Same goes for you, my friend. Sometimes, the person you want and need has always been right next to you.
10. Love Does Not Expire (Love Actually)
Love Actually is as realistic as it can get; it is a movie about experiencing love in all its glorious forms – no matter what age or social background. It is set during Christmas time in England, giving every character in this flick some hope of magic. Some are falling in love, and some out of it. Others are looking for an affair in search for some excitement. Throughout the movie, you will also feel some sense of anger. Love actually is all around us, letting us know that no matter what, love is right around the corner. It may not be seen or touched, but if you are open to it, that special someone will land right on your lap when you least expect it.
9. First Impressions Don’t Always Last (What Happens In Vegas)
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? Unfortunately not for these two. Career driven Joy McNally (Cameron Diaz) meets – and gets super drunk – with not-so-career-driven Jack Fuller (Ashton Kutcher) in the land of possibilities – Vegas. They drunkenly get hitched and luckily win a huge amount of money. As reality set in, they were forced to face the consequences in their hometowns – New York City. The couple had to live together as a married couple in order for one of them to cash in the enormous check – hating every second of course. What ending can we expect from a rom-com? They end up together of course; proving that first impressions don’t always last. So give that supposed loser another date. You’ll never know, he might turn out to be cooler than you.
8. Seek Advice (Hitch)
WILL SMITH AND EVA MENDES, period. Hitch, another one of my personal favorites – I am going to be honest with you, you will hear (or basically read) me say “one of my favorite” about 15 times on this list – is about a date doctor named Alex Hitchens (Will Smith) – popularly known as Hitch. By date doctor, I mean that he helps other men get dates (who better to get advice from than Will Smith himself, right?). He helps clumsy and goofy Albert (Kevin James) get the woman of his dreams; the beautiful and successful Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). Sara (Eva Mendes) is a columnist for a New York City tabloid, and a stunning one to say the least; so why wouldn’t Hitch have his eyes on her? It gets messy as hell when Sara gets assigned to get scoop on Allegra. Fast forward to the end, Hitch won Sara over, and Albert got his dream woman. How? By following advice given by someone who cared about them – each other. There is your lesson folks.
7. Throw That Check List Away (Ruby Sparks)
I will never forget Ruby Sparks. It is one of those films that totally draws you in; it is marvellously different and it surely taught me a valuable lesson – which I am now passing onto you: embrace your partner’s flaws and your differences, because you can never mould another human being into becoming perfect (perfection is so overrated anyways). In the movie, a novelist named Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) writes about a female character, Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), who he thinks will love him. He creates her from scratch, and somehow wills her into existence (I know, I know. You want to watch this movie so bad now). Having created what he thinks is the perfect girlfriend, she grows clingy, dependent, and extra-attached to Calvin; and I am sure no man wants that! I don’t really want to go into further details, because I want you to watch this genius Indie film, so you can too learn that what you think is perfect, usually isn’t.
6. Don’t Be Afraid Of Long Distance Relationships (Going The Distance)
I have never met anyone who has been a fan of long distance relationships. They’re difficult, messy and, most of the time, painful – but here is the thing, what relationship isn’t? With the right person, you can go to hell and back, and be stronger than ever before. Going The Distance proves just that. Erin (Drew Barrymore) gets in a relationship with Garrett (Justin Long) six weeks before leaving for San Francisco. Their undeniable connection pushed the couple to go the distance, and even though they went through many, many downs, they fought through it and won the ultimate prize – love. No matter how cheesy that may sound, it is the truth. If you are both committed and fight hard enough, distance will never be an issue.
5. Spend Quality Time (Date Night)
This action-filled rom-com highlights all the things that could happen to a sleeping marriage. Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey) are an old – and slightly boring – couple from New Jersey. News of their friends’ divorce shook their own marriage; which is why the couple decided to get out of their box and go to the city of New York for date night (I told you they were boring). What they didn’t know is that their innocent night-out would quickly turn into a nightmare that would bring them closer to one another. No matter how long you have been with your significant other, please don’t get comfortable and fall into the sex-on-Tuesday-at-6 life. Remember to always have fun and venture in new and exciting things. You only live once, and you’re the one who chose who to live it with, so do it right!
4. Time Doesn’t Measure Love (One Day)
One Day is a love story between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess). The lovers’ paths meet every July 15th 1988 up to 2011 – but this story doesn’t have a happy ending. Yes, yes, they do not get a happily every after. Through the years, the couple shared a magnetic bond; and even though they didn’t end up together, if you’ve seen the movie, you’d agree that it was a relationship well worth it. Thirteen years of going back and forth isn’t a joke, so this is where the lesson comes in. It doesn’t matter how long or short you’ve been with your partner. Love isn’t measured by time. This confusing and beautiful feeling we all look for grows uncontrollably.
3. Look Forward To The Future (What’s Your Number?)
Anna Faris plus Chris Evans equals an awesome romantic-comedy filled with pure sexiness. The story follows Ally Darling (Anna Faris), a young woman who looks back at the men she has dated in the past in hopes of sparking-up a new flame with one of her exes. She did this because a magazine told her so – duh. If you are thinking that Chris Evans – who plays Colin Shea in this chick-flick – was one of her exes, you would be wrong, sorry. Colin is Ally’s super sexy neighbor (who of course is a ladies’ man). They made a deal: Ally would drive away his one night stands the morning after, while Colin would help Ally find the one that got away. It Is pretty obvious how the movie ends; Ally and Colin of course fall in love – which brings us to yet another life lesson. Stop dwelling on the past, girlfriend. What’s done is done. Move on, do some squats, and look forward to a future hopefully filled with your very own Chris Evans.
2. Don’t Let The Fire Die Down (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
Crazy, Stupid, Love, a movie fully and spectacularly equipped with a fun cast, is a great addition to this list. It is one of those films that has a lot going on, but manages to blend every single story together brilliantly. Let us start with Cal Weaver’s (Steve Carell) marriage to Emily (Julianne Moore) – well, it goes down the drain when Emily cheats on poor Cal. Devastated, he unexpectedly gets advice from Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a one-night-stand kinda expert, after an encounter at a bar. He magically transforms Cal into a more fashionable and confident being, which totally catches Emily’s attention. Introducing another character, Hannah (Emma Stone) – who is daughter to Cal and Emily – is a young woman who finds love in a hopeless place with Jacob (Jacob doesn’t know that Hannah is his buddy Cal’s daughter). So many other things happen throughout the film, but the focus was on Cal. He neglected and pushed his wife away; and once he was left all alone, he woke up and realized that the flames in his marriage did in fact die down. The lesson I learned from this rom-com is to never lose sight of why you married your other half in the first place. Continue to go on dates and always try new things. Don’t water down the fire in your relationship, because sooner than later, someone will look for hear someplace else.
1. Love Yourself (Sex And The City)
For the lovers of sex, New York City, and all things fashion – this one is for you! Sex and the City is one of every woman’s favorite films ever. It just speaks to us in literally all levels. The film’s honesty, practicality, joy, and tears represent basically a whole bunch of chapters in our lives. Plus, the movie is based on the TV series – who wasn’t obsessed with Carrie Bradshaw?! Writing about the show actually makes me want to watch it all over again for the 4726th time, truly. For those who haven’t seen the this flick (I AM JUDGING YOU), it is about the ups and downs of four very different women, who are of course bestest of friends. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the fashionable hopeless romantic writer. Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), the freak in the sheets but lady on the streets. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), your typical house-wife except way more awesome; and finally Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), a career driven woman who has (or had) no time for men’s BS. All these women represent self-love. No matter what type of bullsh*t they went through, they always remembered to put themselves first.
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