Five romantic comedies for Valentine’s Day

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Chocolate and moves, perfect … Unless you’re lactose intolerant. Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Tis’ the season for love

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, now is a perfect time to watch some great romantic comedies. Here are five films worth checking out because not only do many of them have a great soundtrack, but they also demonstrate the perfect blend of humour and romance, without coming across as stupid, or overly cheesy.

13 Going On 30 (2002)

Angry, and humiliated by her ruined 13th birthday party, Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) spontaneously wishes to be thirty, the age she considers to be fabulous. Although Jenna’s birthday wish comes true, she quickly realizes that being thirty is not as great as she originally thought. Despite having a boyfriend and a successful career as an editor for Poise Magazine, she is not happy with her life, or the person she has become. Desperate to figure out what has happened Jenna seeks out Matt (Mark Ruffalo), her best friend from when she was a teenager. When she finds Matt she learns that he is engaged and has no idea what she is talking about, since they haven’t been friends since her  birthday party.  After discovering that Matt is now a successful freelance photographer, she persuades him to help her with a major magazine photoshoot. As they spend more time together, they start to fall for each other and Jenna begins to regret letting go of possibly the sweetest guy in the world. Unfortunately, Jenna may have to accept this regret, unless she can figure out a way to change the past and have the life she has always wanted.

Chasing Liberty (2004)

For Anna Forester (Mandy Moore), having a love life is practically impossible as the president’s daughter, since she is constantly surrounded by several secret service agents, even while out on a date. Although these individuals are there for her protection, they are a major obstacle. Not only do they limit her freedom, but they are also unsurprisingly a major turnoff for most guys. After asking her father for less protection, Anna is finally given permission to attend a concert with her friend, Gabrielle (Beatrice Rosen), with no secret service agents while on vacation in Prague with her parents. However, irritated after her father goes back on his promise, Anna runs out of the concert desperate for some freedom. Soon afterwards she meets Ben (Matthew Goode), who helps her get away.  As Anna and Ben travel together throughout various European cities, they begin to fall in love. Despite Anna’s belief that she is free for the first time, she later realizes that this is not the reality after she discovers the truth about who Ben is. Although Anna hates that Ben lied to her, it is difficult for her to move on since she can’t get Ben out of her mind or forget the time they spent together.

50 First Dates (2004)

Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is a well-known womanizer, content with his bachelor lifestyle. However, this contentment dramatically changes the day he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) at the local diner where he goes one morning for breakfast and the two hit it off. Unfortunately, the next day when he sees her, she has no idea who he is and appears genuinely freaked out when he insists they met yesterday. Confused by Lucy’s strange behavior, Henry asks the diner owner and learns that because of a tragic car accident almost a year ago, Lucy suffers from short-term memory loss. As a result, Lucy can’t remember anything long term, only what happens that day. Each morning she wakes up with a blank slate, with no memory of anything that happened days earlier. Despite these challenging circumstances, Henry is not willing to give up on Lucy, especially since she is the first woman he’s ever truly fallen in love with. Pushing past years of relationship commitment issues, Henry attempts to not only find creative ways to get Lucy to fall in love with him, but also a way for her to remember him and their relationship when she wakes up the next day.

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Seven years ago, Melanie Smooter (Reese Witherspoon) left behind her small childhood town of Alabama wanting more out of life. Now she is not only regarded as one of the best fashion designers in New York City, but also engaged to Andrew Hennington (Patrick Dempsey), the son of New York’s mayor. However, in order to get married, she must first formally get divorced, which sends her back home to Alabama to confront her past ex-husband and former sweetheart, Jake Perry (Josh Lucas). Despite Melanie’s belief that a divorce will be easily obtained, she is soon proven wrong because Jake initially has no intention of signing the papers legalizing their divorce. The longer Melanie stays in her childhood town, the more fond memories of her past come flooding back to her. Even though Melanie gets what she wants when Jake finally signs the divorce papers, she has to consider whether who and what she left behind was truly worth it and if she can do the same thing again.

The Wedding Singer (1998)

While Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) enjoys his work as one of the most popular and entertaining wedding singers, this changes after his girlfriend stands him up at the altar, deciding she simply can’t marry a wedding singer. Afterwards Robbie is left heartbroken, evident when his wedding songs demonstrate extreme pessimism and gloom, instead of the same happiness and enthusiasm as before. However, his life begins to look up again when he meets Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), a waitress at a wedding they are both working at. The more weddings Julia and Robbie work at together, they discover they have a lot in common and get along really well. Unfortunately, Julia is romantically off limits, since she is engaged to her boyfriend, Glenn Guglia (Matthew Glave). Despite this situation, Robbie can’t help fall for Julia and has to decide how to stop her from marrying a complete asshole, when he is completely head over heels in love with her.

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