By: Rebecca Sikarev | February 14, 2023
1) Joel and Clementine (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Summary: After Joel and Clementine break up, Clementine decides to undergo a procedure to completely forget her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. After finding out Clementine is attempting to erase her relationship, Joel decides to undergo this procedure as well.
Commentary: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is by far my favorite romance drama and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest romance films of all time. This is one of my favorites of Jim Carrey’s performances as it shows his range as an actor. Despite being a primarily comedic actor, he excels in this more dramatic role. The combination of drama, science fiction, romance as well as its nonlinear narrative make it one of the most unique romance films on the list. Despite the sci-fi aspects of the film, Joel and Clementine’s relationship feels very real and honest. They’re not unrealistically happy and they do not get a magically happy ending. They’re a very good representation of two people with their own issues and hardships trying to make their relationship work.
2) Kat Stratford and Patrick Verona (10 Things I Hate About You)
Summary: Abrasive and sarcastic Kat Stratford isn’t interested in conforming to the social rules of her high school. Unfortunately, for her popular sister Bianca, her house rules state that she can only date once her Kat does. To find a way out of her situation, Bianca schemes to find her sister a date. After some carefully laid plans are put into place, Kat crosses paths with Patrick Verona, and her guard might finally come down.
Commentary: 10 Things I Hate About You is my favorite rom com. Kat and Patrick have the perfect enemies to friends to lovers relationship and their scenes together will always be iconic. Patrick Verona’s rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” while serenading Kat from the bleachers will always be my favorite romantic scene. The movie takes classic (and somewhat cliché) romance and movie tropes such as the bet, the popular girl and the nerd, the popular sister vs the unpopular sister, the jerk jock, and the mysterious loner, and then puts a humorous spin on all of them. Julia Stiles’ Kat Stratford is one of my favorite characters in fiction and her sarcasm and wit is something we can all only aspire to.
3) Noah and Allie (The Notebook)
Summary: In 1940s South Carolina, working-class Noah and wealthy Allie fall in love. Allie’s parents, however, don’t approve of the relationship, and when Noah goes to serve in World War II, it seems that their love affair has come to an end. While Noah is away, Allie becomes involved with another man but when he returns to town, it becomes clear that their feelings for one another never really went away.
Commentary: The Notebook is one of the most iconic romance films of all time. From their iconic kiss in the rain to their dancing in the street on their first date, Noah and Allie’s relationship is full of emotional and adorable moments. Despite all the hardships and challenges they faced, you know they’re just one of those couples that you know will end up together in the end. After all, Ryan Gosling (Noah) and Rachel McAdams (Allie) won an award for the best kiss for a reason. Noah and Allie have an enduring love and neither war or disapproving parents can keep them apart.
4) Hazel and Augustus (The Fault in our Stars)
Summary: Hazel and Augustus are two cancer patients who meet at a cancer support group. They bond over their similar sense of humor and love of books and when Gus scores an invitation to meet their favorite author, they embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
Commentary: The Fault in our Stars is one of the most tragic love stories I have ever seen. Fair warning, this movie is best watched with a tissue box nearby. The ending never fails to make me cry and I find myself completely emotionally invested in their love story.
5) Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’ Hara (Gone With the Wind)
Summary: Gone With the Wind follows Scarlett O’ Hara’s life during the Civil War and Reconstruction of the South as well as her complex love affairs with Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler.
Commentary: While Gone With the Wind has many problematic themes and character depictions, Scarlett and Rhett’s romance is still considered as one of the classics. Their turbulent relationship is one of cinema’s greatest as it shows the darker and more complex sides of love. They’re incredibly toxic and their relationship was downright painful at times but that’s what made them all the more interesting to watch. Scarlett’s instability and Rhett’s emotional aloofness was a recipe for disaster. The Rhett-Scarlett-Ashley love triangle was just the icing on the cake and doomed the already doomed relationship even further.