FilmOpinion

Top 5 Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix This Valentine’s Day

Emma Giallongo ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The season of hearts and chocolate has begun once more which means that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. With Valentine’s Day comes the overwhelming urge to watch movies that’ll speak to your inner romantic. Of course, what’s romance without a little humor? So, without further ado, this month’s Top 5 List is the Top 5 Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix This Valentine’s Day.

  1. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Finnes in Shakespeare in Love. Photo Credit: Miramax.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love. Photo Credit: Miramax.

Imagine the Shakespeare everyone knows and loves: a true wordsmith, a genius in the world of playwrights, except now imagine he’s hot. Also, pretend he falls in love with Gwyneth Paltrow and writes Romeo and Juliet as a result. That’s what happens in Shakespeare in Love.

Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is trying desperately to write his next play in order to bring in income for himself and his producer but he lacks a muse to inspire his words. Enter Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) disguised as “Thomas Kent.” She auditions for Shakespeare as Kent because women aren’t allowed on stage. Shakespeare loves “his” performance and begs “Kent” to play Romeo in his developing play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. Viola accepts the role and is delighted to finally be on stage and away from her rude fiancé, Lord Wessex (Colin Firth). Shakespeare soon discovers that Thomas Kent and Viola de Lesseps are one in the same, and the two fall in love.

Shakespeare in Love follows the pair as they try to weasel their way out of being caught and Shakespeare’s play evolves into the beloved Romeo and Juliet. This film is full of silly one-liners and physical comedy, along with dancing dogs and Judi Dench as the oddly witty Queen Elizabeth. Also, Ben Affleck is there for a bit. So, if you like historical fiction with a touch of comedy and heaps of romance, give this film a try!

  1. Clueless (1995)
Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Adapted from the Jane Austen classic, Emma, Clueless follows Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) as she navigates her way through high school as one of the most popular girls in school. Her mission is to help those who she views as beneath herself socially, like the new exchange student, Tai (Brittany Murphy), along with the help of her other friend, Dionne (Stacey Dash). Along the way, Cher talks her way out of problems, plays matchmaker, and nearly kills her driving instructor when the drama in her life becomes overwhelming. To help her through these struggles is her ex-stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd) who is always there for her, despite their frequent bickering sessions.

This 90s classic is sure to make you smile with its silly one-liners and Cher’s good intentions gone wrong. The film’s relatable coming-of-age theme will spur delight as well as maybe some discomfort as it gives a look at life in high school and trying to find your place. If you like heartwarming stories full of humor and character development, then this is the film for you!

  1. Leap Year (2010)
Matthew Goode and Amy Adams in Leap Year. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.
Matthew Goode and Amy Adams in Leap Year. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Though this film is centered around a different day of the year, Leap Year is a romantic comedy that is fun and incredibly sweet. Anna (Amy Adams) wants to get married. The only problem? Her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) isn’t getting the message no matter how many hints Anna drops. When Jeremy sets off on a business trip to Dublin, Anna decides to follow him, knowing of an Irish tradition allowing women to propose on February 29th. Unfortunately for Anna, she ends up on the wrong side of the country and enlists the help of a local, Declan (Matthew Goode), to guide her to Dublin. What follows is a hilarious stay in a stranger’s home, a crashed wedding, and silly bickering between Anna and Declan.

Both characters will capture your heart as they get to know each other through their silly bickering and as they navigate their way through the Emerald Isle with more or less success. This movie is perfect if you want to feel good and enjoy delightful Irish accents. There are plenty of them.

  1. Kate & Leopold (2001)
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold. Photo Credit: Miramax.
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold. Photo Credit: Miramax.

The year is 1876 and Duke Leopold Alexis Elijah Walker Gareth Thomas Mountbatten of Albany (Hugh Jackman) is viewing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when he spots a strange man with a strange device lurking around the scene. He chases him down but loses track of the man until later that night at a ball. This time, Leopold is able to track him down and accidentally travels to the future; 2001 to be exact. Leopold learns that this man, Stuart Besser (Liev Schreiber), found a rift in time and traveled through it to 1876, only to return back with Leopold to 2001 New York with Leo by mistake. Stuart’s downstairs neighbor and ex-girlfriend, Kate McKay (Meg Ryan), soon meets Leopold and believes him to be a fraud and not actually the Duke of Albany. With the help of Kate and her brother, Charlie (Breckin Meyer), Leopold begins to learn the customs of the modern world and he, in turn, teaches the McKay’s a thing or two about his own time period before he must return to 1876 for good.

This film is full of hilarious miscommunications, adorable acts of chivalry, and very odd early 2000s fashion choices. If you like feeling warm and fuzzy, and like the classic “historical figure in the modern day, trying to figure things out” trope, Kate & Leopold is worth a look.

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Renee Zellweger in Bridget Joness Diary. Photo Credit: Miramax.
Renee Zellweger in Bridget Joness Diary. Photo Credit: Miramax.

Meet Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger): a woman in her early 30s on a quest for love and escape from a dreaded future as a lonely spinster. On her quest, Bridget unwillingly meets the handsome yet stern lawyer, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), whom she grows to dislike the more she interacts with him. Also on her quest, the boss at her publishing company, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), whom she’s had a crush on for years. Chaos and hilarity ensue as Bridget tries to figure out where she belongs in the romance world and how to find her happy ending. Both Diary and The Edge of Reason are on Netflix, and both have the same cast, so why not list them both?

The films are silly and heartwarming and viewers will often find themselves relating to Bridget’s misfortunes on a deep level. Probably. Either way, these films are romantic comedies for a reason, as they are both full of romance and gags. And if you like these, go find Bridget Jones’s Baby, the hilarious finale to this saga where Bridget can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and give you another reason to laugh.

There you have it! The Top 5 Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix This Valentine’s Day. Hopefully, these movies will provoke some sort of feeling from deep within you, or maybe they won’t. But either way, have a fantastically sappy day! Someone out there cares about you.

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