Rom-coms make a comeback thanks to Netflix


Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Credit: Netflix

Romantic comedies give us hope that we’ll find the one to spend the rest of our lives with and everything else will be perfect. Superheros and psychological films have pushed rom-coms to the side and true love stories have been stale. Most studio productions have been dull and lazy. There were few choices when it came to watching movies about falling in love like Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” that came out in 2015 and “How To Be Single” in 2016. Most movies consist of guy meets girl, one of them fixes the other and they fall in love.

This Hollywood staple is on the rise again, giving us a break from reality to dream about finding the perfect partner. Say hello to Netflix. The streaming service started in 2007 and has been pumping out romantic comedies this year like it’s their job to make millions of people fangirl over what they consider to be relationship goals.

Netflix kicked off the summer by releasing “The Kissing Booth” on May 11 and then released their original movie “Set It Up” on June 15. The success of these two movies allowed Netflix to capitalize and the positive feedback promoted more movies for the hopeless romantics. These are not the first rom-coms Netflix has released but they are a breath of fresh air.

“The Kissing Booth” is not a Netflix original but the on-screen chemistry did not disappoint. The movie is about Elle Evans, an awkward teen who falls in love with her best friend’s older brother Noah, and the forbidden romance ends with a dramatic airport scene that gave everyone all the feels. They have to keep their relationship a secret from her best friend Lee — but when the secret inevitably comes out, everything falls into place. “Set It Up” is about two assistants who come up with a plan to set up their bosses to lessen their workload and end up falling in love. There’s no meet-cute, it’s just two people figuring out their careers and there’s no hard decision of choosing between work and love.

Netflix recently released “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Sierra Burgess Is A Loser.” These two movies are adored by fans all over social media; they can’t stop talking about the new heartthrob Noah Centineo, who stars in both movies.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” was such a huge success that fans want a sequel as soon as possible. The story is about a teenager named Lara Jean who wrote five love letters to her crushes that were sealed and placed in a special blue box. Her five lover letters were mailed, and it’s extra cringe-worthy because one of the letters was addressed to her sister’s ex-boyfriend. One letter was to Peter Kavinsky, her seventh-grade crush who dated the school’s mean girl. Add in an outspoken best friend and a fake relationship that ends with Lara Jean finally confessing her feelings to Kavinsky and fans get a tender love story.

“Sierra Burgess Is A Loser” is Netflix’s latest rom-com and it’s another success for the company. Burgess gets a late night text from Jamey who plays football at another school, but he meant to text Veronica, the school’s snotty but beautiful head cheerleader. This movie is sort of about catfishing the cute boy but bringing the gorgeous cheerleader into the plan to help trick him. But the movie is deeper than just a girl catfishing some guy. Sierra Burgess appeared self-confident but then she started to feel that she couldn’t compete with Veronica’s looks. She soon gets stuck between continuing to trick Jamey or finally revealing herself. One thing to take away from this movie is the beautiful friendship that forms between Sierra and Veronica.

While Hollywood is aiming for Oscar awards, Netflix is meeting the demands of rom-com lovers and teens who are content with watching a movie that relates to them. Hollywood isn’t spending much time producing romantic comedies when big studios are investing more money into big-budget franchises than mid-budget franchises. Do big studios want to take a chance on two people falling in love?

Favorite superheroes and villains are a priority over audiences watching two people experience the “meet-cute” moment. Studios know that rom-coms isn’t a box office hit overseas and I’m pretty sure they lost touch with what young audiences consider a good love story. With the latest horror boom, it’s unlikely that studios will jump on the rom-com bandwagon.

Some would disagree with Netflix making the move to push out this genre of movies. The promotion of unrealistic love might bother some, like critics, but Netflix saw an opportunity that Hollywood continues to ignore.

These romantic comedies are films to indulge in, not to analyze every little detail just to find something wrong. Some are now trying to find their own version of Peter Kavinsky or Lara Jean. These pop culture hits are telling different people’s stories and many fans will be spending their free time rewatching rom-coms and tweeting about heartthrob stars.