Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five rom-com recommendations for Valentine’s Day

Movies to make you believe in love again

Sleepless in Seattle

Image courtesy of IMDB.

“Sleepless in Seattle” is the quintessential romantic comedy. Written and directed by Norah Ephron, the plot follows recently widowed Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) and his 8-year-old son, Jonah, as they relocate to Seattle in search of a fresh start.

Jonah calls into a radio talk show on Christmas Eve, with a Christmas wish for his dad to find love. In Baltimore, journalist Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) hears his plea and falls in love with Sam, despite being engaged.

The movie follows their journey to find each other despite missed encounters and other partners. Hanks and Ryan have incredible chemistry; when I think of a rom-com couple, I think of them.

The supporting cast is star-studded, with the likes of Rosie O’Donnell, Rita Wilson and Bill Pullman. “Sleepless in Seattle” relies heavily on the plot of another classic rom-com from the 1950s, “An Affair to Remember.” The film is referenced multiple times throughout the plot, and because it’s so heavily involved, this movie feels like a love letter to the genre itself.

There are cheesy and unrealistic moments, as there is with almost any rom-com, but they add to the charm. “Sleepless in Seattle” is whimsical, hilarious and it allows for the audience to believe in love at first sight (or first sound) if only for a moment.


When Harry Met Sally

Image courtesy of IMDB.

“When Harry Met Sally” often appears on every “best rom-com” list, and for good reason. Written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner, “When Harry Met Sally” was destined for greatness from the start.

The film follows Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) as they strike up an unlikely friendship on the ride to New York, after graduating college. The plot follows the pair through the span of 12 years and explores the question, “can men and women ever just be friends?”

The slow burn chemistry between Crystal and Ryan is impeccable; the lingering looks and meaningful confessions pull at my heartstrings every time. The humor is witty and charming, the dialogue smart and sharp.

The chemistry between the whole cast, including supporting characters played by Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, exudes through the screen. The movie makes you believe in love again. That’s really all you can ask a rom-com to do.


Notting Hill

Image courtesy of IMDB.

“Notting Hill” is the perfect mix of everything a rom-com needs: a meet-cute, a hilarious supporting cast and love confessions that leave you breathless. Written by Richard Curtis, the film follows English bookstore owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) as he runs into Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), a world-famous American actress.

“Notting Hill” imagines the popular fantasy of meeting a celebrity and having them fall in love with you. The film follows their budding relationship as the pair tries to balance the world of fame, along with their infatuation with each other.

If there was an award for most charming rom-com, I’d give it to this movie. Roberts and Grant are a sight to behold; their chemistry is easy, sweet and simple. Not only does “Notting Hill” get you invested in the main story line, nearly every member of the supporting cast engages in a romance themselves.

With the likes of Rhys Ifans, Hugh Bonneville and Emma Chambers, the supporting characters are truly the heart of the film. They’re witty, and a bit raunchy, but the love they find and feel for each other is beautiful.

In addition to the chemistry and humor, the film has an amazing soundtrack with features from Al Green, Bill Withers and Elvis Costello. If you’re looking for a hilarious British rom-com, “Notting Hill” is for you.


About Time

Image courtesy of IMDB.

“About Time” is the only movie on this list that may not classify as a straight romantic comedy, but this movie needs to be watched. The plot is about a family in England, in which the men older than 21, can time travel. The main character, Tim (Domnhall Gleeson) decides to use this ability to find love in his life, specifically, a girlfriend.

The movie ends up being an examination of love itself, and the ways we experience it during our lifetime. Love with family, love with friends and even love with strangers.

With a cast including Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, it’s no wonder this movie is incredible. At its core the movie is a rom-com, but every person I’ve watched this movie with has cried by the end.

Even though it may not deliver the laughs, or the passionate romance found in other films, this movie will move you in the end.


My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Image courtesy of IMDB.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is the most playful and lighthearted film on this list. The movie follows a Greek woman from a big family, Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) on her self-love journey.

After finally becoming someone she’s proud of, she falls in love with Ian Miller (John Corbett), who is not Greek. Her family takes offense to this and shenanigans ensue. The movie has a sitcom feel, and it’s pretty cheesy on the surface. But, beyond all the Greek word puns and cheesy one-liners, love is at the heart of this film.

Miller converts himself to the Greek Orthodox church, learns facts and Greek words, and does everything he can to impress Toula’s family. He truly loves her and would do anything for her. That’s all anyone ever wants.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is unique in the rom-com genre, in that the main character transforms herself before ever meeting a man. She changes her look, enrolls herself in college classes and finds a job, all without the motivation of a man. The motivation is herself.

Shannon Moore can be reached at [email protected].

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