The Best Rom-Coms to Watch This Valentine’s Day



A composite image of all of the posters of the listed films. From the top left poster going clockwise, it shows the posters for Dirty Dancing, 50 First Dates, The Wedding Planner, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Crazy Rich Asians.

Madison Austin, Photojournalist

Valentine’s Day, as always, is approaching faster than anyone expected. Although it seems as though Christmas was just last week, in a few short days, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone with many Americans unsurprisingly unprepared. With little time left, and one exciting holiday to celebrate, last minute Valentine’s Day preparations are currently at their once-a-year high. Flowers, chocolates, and greeting cards are purchased now, more than ever, and restaurant reservations are obsolete.

While Valentine’s Day remains a beautiful holiday to celebrate the love between you and your better half, not everyone has that better half to share their day with. In fact, a Statista Research Department study published on February 3rd highlighted that only 53% of Americans even plan on celebrating this holiday of love. Only 53% of Americans claim to have someone special to spend the day with (

That leaves the other 47% of Americans stuck dreading a day where love should reign supreme. It almost seems as though it’s an American tradition for the singletons of the nation to wallow in tears and eat unhealthy amounts of chocolate in a day that’s meant to represent utter happiness. In clear contrast to its intended purpose, many Ameirans use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to complain about their lonely life without love. 

Somewhere along the line, however, that sentiment changed. Singletons turned the feared day around into a day of self-love and proud proclamation of the joys of single life. For all of the solo-riders of the United States, Valentine’s Day has come to represent the happiness from within rather than the loneliness without. Phrases like “Galentine’s Day” and “I’m my own Valentine” began to gain popularity, and now more than ever, Valentine’s Day will be praised by those without their own valentine.

Some choose to go out to an expensive breakfast with their close friends to celebrate Valentine’s day alone. Some choose to spend the day with their families, celebrating a different type of love. The lucky few are privileged enough to celebrate the day alongside their true love. Whichever one you are, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to lay back and enjoy true love in one of its purest forms: in cinema. The entire rom-com genre of film media is chock-full of fun yet tear-jerking movies that serve as an excellent reminder of why we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Without further adieu, here are 5 Rom-Coms that you have to check out this Valentine’s Day.

5. The Wedding Planner (2001) The Wedding Planner tells the story of a single, Italian-American woman  who lives in San Francisco and works as an award winning wedding planner. She swears that love isn’t in the cards before, however, that all changes when she meets a handsome pediatrician who saves her life after she tripped and fell into a busy street. Much to her surprise, her mystery pediatrician happened to be the groom in the upcoming wedding she’s planning. With Jennifer Lopez and Matthew Mconnahey starring as the leading couple in this rom-com, The Wedding Planner is a fan-favorite that remains popular to this day. Molly Polomsky (12) is a proud fan of the film, going as far as to say that she “can’t think of any other films that remind [her] of true love as much as The Wedding Planner does.”

4. 50 First Dates (2004) In 50 First Dates, Adam Sandler gives a trademark performance as Henry Roth, a marine biologist bachelor who falls in love with a hawaiian local, Lucy Whitmore, played by a young Drew Barrymore. The only catch, however, is that Lucy has been diagnosed with a terminal short term memory loss, an illness that causes her brain to press restart every single night. This illness makes Lucy virtually incapable of falling in love, as she loses all memories of the day before. 50 First Dates unveils the beautiful Story of Henry attempting to make Luxy fall in love with him, time after time again. A goofy brother, hilarious sea animal tropes, and a number of guest star celebrities combine to make this one-of-a-kind rom-com an instant classic. Lexi Broadwater (12) believes that 50 First Dates is one of the best romantic comedies of all time. “You laugh, cry, cheer, and smile, all within the hour and 45 minute movie” she admitted. “What’s not to like?”

3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) In this modern romantic comedy, 17-year-old high school junior Lara Jean finds herself in a pool of hot water when she writes 5 intimate love letters to her 5 school-girl crushes. Although Lara Jean is completely inexperienced in the world of high school boys, she shares every detail of passion, love, and adoration for the boys in each of her letters, but she makes the unchangeable mistake of including a stamp and address. Much to her surprise, the letters are sent out, and Lara Jean suddenly has a surplus of boys and a love life that’s far from boring. As she navigates through this uncharted territory, she finds herself learning lessons of love, loss, and heartbreak for the very first time. This film was released on Netflix during the fall of 1028, and its two main actors, Lana Condor and Noah Cavinsky, received critical acclaim for their performances. Nicole Philips (12) claims that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is her favorite film of all time, elaborating that “it feels so relatable yet far-fetched at the same time.” She continued the sentiment, sharing that she “loves how she can watch it anytime and feel that same sense of awe”.

2. Crazy Rich Asians (2018) In 2018, Jon Chu rocked the world with his romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. This film has a star-studded cast, and tells the story of the wealthy Singaporean Young family and all of their family affairs. The story mainly focuses on the oldest son, Nick Young and his girlfriend, Rachel Chu, respectively played by renowned Asian actors Henry Golding and Constance Wu. Nick and Rachel had been dating for a year and a half in New York City when Nick was invited to his best friend COlin’s wedding. Little does Rachel know that Nick Young is Singapore’s most desirable bachelor, and he comes from a world famous family. Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of Nick and Rachel navigating love and loss through the crazy life of Singapore’s high rolles. Alexandra Herrada (11) claims that Crazy Rich Asians tells one of the best love stories of all time, and that watching Crazy Rich Asians makes you, “fall in love with Nick Young every single time”

1. Dirty Dancing (1987) Last but not least, Dirty Dancing is the best rom-com to watch this Valentine’s day. A classic film from 1989, Dirty Dancing tells the story of Francis ‘Baby’ Houseman and her time at Kellerman’s lodge in the summer of 1969. At the lodge, she meets a mysterious and handsome staff member, Johnny Castle, who is responsible for teaching the dancing classes and entertaining the guests in the dancing shows at the lodge. Uncontrollable circumstances force Baby and Johnny to spend weeks together, and almost overnight, they enter a whirlwind romance. Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic romance movies of all time, and Eloise Franklyn (11) recalls her first time watching the film as “such a good time.” Her first time watching the film was at a drive-in movie theater in 2021, and she claims that the film is “such a good reminder of true love and what it really feels like to love someone”.