It’s an exciting time for rom-com fans. Over the last year, we’ve seen a revival of the genre — from 2018’s CRAZY RICH ASIANS and LOVE, SIMON, to this year’s ISN’T IT ROMANTIC and the upcoming LONG SHOT, starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.
These movies turn rom-com tropes on their heads with refreshing storylines and inspired casts. Even so, there are certain moments we have to see to give us those warm and fuzzy feelings. Here are 10 classic elements we love in rom-coms, from different perspectives.
1. The Eccentric Best Friend
There’s always a free-spirited best friend who’s the total opposite of the protagonist. They’re the goofy sidekick, offering comedic relief in the midst of romantic tension — and yet, they’re also somehow the voice of reason to our love-struck lead.
2. The Unexpected Love Interest
We all love and root for the underdog, though in rom-coms, they don’t always get the girl or guy. (Sorry, Duckie.) But when they do — when the switch flips and our hero finally notices the nerd in glasses — it’s magic, even if it is a total cliché.
3. The Near Breakup
That moment in every romantic comedy when we fear our idyllic couple might actually not end up together. We can see the fallout coming from a mile away, and we know deep down it’s temporary, but we hang onto the drama because it makes the reunion seem even sweeter.
4. The Grand Gesture
Rushing to the airport at the last second, standing outside the window with a boombox blaring “In Your Eyes” — is there anything more romantic than a big, preferably public display of love, one last-ditch effort to win someone over? Gets us every time.
5. The Happily Ever After Ending
In rom-coms, love always wins. Sure, there are bumps along the journey, but in the end, life is as it should be — the way we want it to be in real life. Rom-coms give us hope that a happily ever after ending is possible!
6. The Ex Who Gets in the Way
We love to hate these characters when they pop up. And yet, a rom-com doesn’t feel complete without a ridiculously good looking ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who shows up at the least convenient time and makes things difficult for our lead couple.
7. The Beautiful Setting
Down-to-earth rom-coms are cute, but the best ones transport audiences to wildly gorgeous locations that we normally can only visit via the big screen. Think of how beautiful locations like Italy, Ireland, New York City, Hawaii and the quaint neighborhood of Notting Hill have looked in some of our favorite classic chapters in the genre.
8. The Concerned Parent
Mom and Dad always know best. And rom-coms usually do an outstanding job of casting a seasoned character actor as the paternal figure ready to dispense life advice when our down-on-their-luck star needs to hear it most.
9. The Rain Scene
Why does romance look better in the rain? We’re not certain. But whether it’s Ryan Gosling hugging Rachel McAdams in a rain storm or Tobey Maguire kissing Kirsten Dunst upside down in an alley, movies have shown that passion sizzles when wet.
10. The Epic First Kiss
Usually saved for the final scene of a rom-com, the kiss — when it arrives — is the reason most of us come to a movie like this. It has to be earned. It has to deliver the feels. And we have to hope that the first magical kiss leads to many more for the couple in question.
Don’t miss the romantic comedy LONG SHOT when it opens at AMC May 3.