It’s raining and your plans to step outside the house are canceled. You make a hot cup of coffee, curl up on your sofa get cozy in your blanket and start playing one of the classic rom-coms, ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’.
You sense a feeling of contentment while getting engrossed in their soon-to-be-turned-romantic bet. Swooning over how Benjamin Barry missed the winning shot to get ‘diet’ coke for Andie Anderson.
You initially planned to stop after one movie, but then you notice that the next movie in the queue is ’13 Going on 30.’ Before you know it, you’re caught in a loop, indulging in a comforting vibe through all the late ’90s and early ’00s rom-com classics.
There is something weirdly satisfying about these rom-coms. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching them for the second or forty-eighth time. These movies always give you a feeling of comfort.
The themes explored in these rom-coms—love, friendship, self-discovery and personal growth—are timeless. They resonate with audiences of all ages which makes them easy to relate to.
No doubt that modern rom-coms are more than just movies. Rom-coms have recently explored more diverse and complex themes like issues related to gender, sexuality and cultural diversity.
However, the simplicity of the older rom-coms is what makes them still relevant today. It’s the concept of familiarity and knowing there’s no uncertainty giving us the comfortable feeling.
You know how it’ll go: A guy who’s popular in high school, a girl who’s not and isn’t smitten by the guy, she thinks he is high-headed while the guy is “neutrally” nice. Then you have boy meets girl, gets swooned by her and boom! They are soon dating.
It’s how Matt Flamhaff makes Jenna Rink feel heard when she’s lost and confused in ‘13 Going on 30.’ The way Jenna feels familiar with Matt is exactly how we feel when we watch the ‘90s rom-coms.
Noah Flynn was indeed protective towards Elle Evans in ‘The Kissing Booth,’ but his anger issues? A big no-no. It’s weird how we have suddenly started feeling attracted towards the red flags.
Noah was not even sure about his career whereas let’s talk about Andrew Paxton from ‘The Proposal.’ Not only was he supportive towards Margaret Tate, but was very passionate and ambitious towards his work. An instant green flag.
The modern movies have grasped the concept of splitting the films into different parts. This led to the birth of the infamous love triangles and multiple love interests.
This has caused a common phenomenon of asking “Whose team are you on?” as seen on ‘The Twilight Saga,’ with Team Edward or Team Jacob.
From the very beginning, we knew Nick Mercer and Kat Ellis in ‘The Wedding Date’ would definitely end up together. There won’t be an introduction of a second love interest to ruin their “meant to be” trope.
Apart from us, the audience, the directors of the modern films are feeling the differences too as you can now sense an attempt to shift back to the older rom-coms by using direct references to them.
It’s how Peter Kavinsky used the Boombox for Lara Jean Covey in the ‘To All the Boys’ trilogy, as a direct reference to how Lloyd Dobler did for Diane Court in ‘Say Anything.’
Whether it’s the swoon-worthy romantic gestures or the relatable themes of love and friendship, these films never fail to provide a sense of familiarity and warmth. That is why I am always ready to watch ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ even for the forty-ninth time.