Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, September 20, 2018

RomCom Extravaganza: Five shows and movies to add to your Netflix queue this week in honor of Valentine’s Day

After a long week, or when I want to escape, I find relaxation in sitting down and watching a romantic comedy. Some may argue that romantic comedies play into stereotypes, like falling in love too quickly with someone, and are made for teens and have no significant value. Despite these claims, romantic comedy is still a fun genre to indulge in when you want a laugh, a cry or a charming and kindhearted plot. I want to dedicate this week to shows and movies you watched while in high school, where you spent your days daydreaming about the perfect partner and extravagant life. Watching romcoms also a perfect Valentine’s Day activity!

  1. Gossip Girl, 2007-2012

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As a student in middle school (and admittedly while in high school) I watched Gossip Girl for its ridiculous drama, funny moments and upper class luxurious lifestyles. The sheer over-the-top nature of the show makes it ideal for days when you want to experience a life and drama that is far from your own. But, despite the disconnect between the character’s lives and the viewers’ lives, most people can relate to the show’s situations. “Gossip Girl” blends the unrealistic and the relatable and forms quite the interesting show.

2. The Vampire Diaries, 2009-Present

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Vampires may be totally overrated and overdone by now, but if you’re looking for quality drama, romance, a bit of a dark feel and history, give “The Vampire Diaries” a shot. At first glance, the show seems superficial and like every other vampire romance out there (and I’m not saying that description is wrong). But as the show progresses, it delves a lot deeper into the supernatural world of witches, ghosts, werewolves and more. You get a good dose of stereotypical dramedy/romcom themes, since the romantic staple of love triangles permeates the show. Melodramatic and overblown at times, Vampire Diaries still remains addictive and has a real knack for keeping your mind off the real world and responsibilities.

3. Drive Me Crazy, 1999

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Before I even start to explain this movie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch stars in it, so what more motivation to watch it do you need? ;) But, moving on, if you’re in the mood for your stereotypical high school drama about finding the perfect date to the school dance, look no further. And don’t forget the ever popular “girl likes popular boy, ignores sweet nerdy boy, nerdy boy finally gets girl’s attention, and they fall in love.” Along with these run of the mill romcom elements, the movie does go a bit more in depth than that, and, in some ways, seems a bit more realistic than most movies of the same genre. There are times when the film does seem a bit outrageous, but it manages to pull itself together to produce an interesting teen film, that goes a little bit deeper than surface level.

4. Hart of Dixie, 2011-2015

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You may recognize the star of this show, Rachel Bilson, from the popular early 2000s TV show “The O.C..” She’s back, and this time, instead of the California sunshine and teen drama, she’s a doctor in a small town in Alabama. Of course, there is still lots of romantic drama to enjoy (and not surprisingly, many, many love triangles), but also a lot of heartwarming family moments. Unlike some of the other shows on this list, “Hart of Dixie” maintains a fairly sweet and innocent style. You can’t escape the scheming plans and drama of characters in these types of shows, or the “will they won’t they” of the romantic couples. But I can assure you “Hart of Dixie” will not leave you on the edge of your seat with hands clenched because of stress from all the drama. So if you want a more mild romcom, with lots of romance and less big drama, give this show a shot.

5. Jerry Maguire, 1996

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“Jerry Maguire” remains one of my favorite movies of all time. Although it fits the status quo of a romantic comedy, I’ve always felt that it has a substance and charm that make it something more. Of course cheesy one liners like “you complete me” dominate moments in the film, and some messages such as “do what you love and love what you do” are overdone. But, I personally think the witty comedy, sweet romance, and heartwarming family scenes outweigh the run of the mill romantic comedy themes. If you’re in the mood for a sweet film with a bit of backbone, consider “Jerry Maguire.”

jevans@theeagleonline.com


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