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Movies That Will Give You Butterflies

by Ananya Panchal

Trees have lost almost all their leaves and Starbucks just began serving their red cups again. This can only mean one thing: It’s officially cuffing season. I know—not the answer you were expecting. But, what can I say, after all I am a hopeless romantic. Or, as the kids these days would call it, a “simp.” I enjoy watching rom-coms all year round, but something about the genre just hits differently right now––sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.

So grab your glass of wine or mug of hot chocolate, get a blankie and cozy up with a friend or significant other (if you can convince them). Turn on your TV and let yourself live vicariously through all the meet-cutes, dramatic airport scenes, midnight kisses and quintessential “I love yous” that these 10 iconic rom-coms—released in the past decade—have to offer.

10. “Just Go With It" (2011)

Adam Sandler as a plastic surgeon and Jennifer Anniston as his secretary go to Hawaii. What more could you ask for? Best friends who fake a relationship and then catch feelings for each other realizing what they were missing out on this whole time—a cliche love story. But, still bound to make you laugh and feel giddy.

9. “Blended" (2014)

Another Adam Sandler classic: Dorky dad of two teenage girls meets a beautiful blonde, but ends up with Drew Barrymore, a mother of two boys. They travel to Africa together and fall in love; a hilarious and wholesome movie that is extremely predictable, but in the best way possible. Also, can someone tell me why Adam Sandler movies always feature exotic locations? It’s kind of irksome, especially since I can’t travel right now. But, anyway, I have seen this movie at least four times, and I love it just as much each time.

8. “Friends with Benefits" (2011) andNo Strings Attached" (2011)

Speaking of predictable, is there anything easier to see coming than the no-feelings, just-sex-turned-no-sex, just-feelings plot? I know I’m kind of cheating by giving you two movies to watch, but they are essentially the same, and I genuinely can’t pick a favorite. Maybe if Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were to recreate their respective movies together, now that they are in a successful five-year marriage with two kids, that would be the winner.

If you haven’t seen this movie, either you have an immense amount of sense control and do not conform to pop culture peer pressure, or you live under a rock. I’ll be honest: I had very low expectations for this movie before I watched it but I have now seen it three times and loved it more and more each time. Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) is an absolute girl-boss and her love interest, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), was America’s teen-heartthrob for a good four years. If that’s still not enough to convince you to watch this movie, Centineo won three awards (MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and Kids Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor) in 2019. Unfortunately, the sequel, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” (2020) did not live up to its predecessor.

6. “Crazy Stupid Love" (2011)

No amount of explanation will do the ingenious plot of this movie justice. I suggest just watching this scene that has become one of the most iconic rom-com scenes. I also should mention the phenomenal cast of this movie including Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. “Crazy Stupid Love” really puts the “comedy” in romantic comedy.

5. “The Big Sick" (2017)

This movie is an honest and heartfelt representation of real problems couples from vastly different cultures face. Kumail Nanjiani is a struggling comedian with a feisty traditional Pakistani family who expects him to have an arranged marriage. Emily Gordon (Zoe Kazan) is a free spirit who comes down with a serious mysterious illness. The two navigate their complicated and messy on-and-off relationship and the result is a wholesome and realistic movie that actually makes you believe love is real. As a fellow brown person, I really enjoyed this one.

4.Love Simon" (2018)

Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson (a personal favorite of mine), is a closeted teenage boy coming to terms with who he is while juggling academic, family and social pressures. Unlike other teenagers, he is also dealing with a blackmailer who threatens to expose him to his whole school and trying to discover a mysterious classmate he has fallen in love with online. The movie is based on Elizabeth Berger’s novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and is, in my opinion, the most wholesome rom com on this list. While it is a win for the LGBTQ community and features lead roles played by people of color, representative films like this should be the norm, not an anomaly.

3.About Time" (2013)

This is my absolute favorite rom-com. It has the perfect amount of romance, comedy, drama and fantasy. I cry each time I watch it at least once a year. Rachel McAdams is as charming as ever and Domhnall Gleeson’s British dorky charisma complements her perfectly. Their two characters Mary and Tim find themselves in a blind-date turned cliche love story that involves a bit of time-traveling.

This is another movie I have watched at least once a year since it came out 10 years ago. It’s hilarious and witty and endearing and more about female friendships than romance. Abigail Scanlon (Raven-Symone) and Parker Wald (JoAnna Garcia) attempt to not only break up a marriage, but get revenge on their ex-friend who happens to be marrying their best friend’s ex-boyfriend. Complicated? I know. But worth every second.

1.Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)

If there’s only one movie you watch on this list, it has to be this one. A huge win for Asian-American representation and a gorgeous movie with an extremely attractive cast (Constance Wu, Henry Golding), engaging plot and lovely soundtrack. “Crazy Rich Asians” is based on a 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film made more than $230 million, making it the highest-grossing rom-com of the decade. “Crazy Rich Asians” was nominated for several awards including Golden Globe Best Motion Picture and Best Actress and the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Picture.

Honorable Mentions: Romantic Dramas

La La Land" (2016)

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are back at it again in this musical drama about an aspiring actress and pianist who navigate the dating and professional scene in Hollywood. This film with an incredible and award winning soundtrack portrays the reality of love getting in the way of your dreams and vice versa.

"Stuck in Love" (2011)

Ah, another classic romance movie that is perfect for the holidays. This movie follows three separate and messy love stories—of people in different age groups—over the course of one year. It’s a real tear-jerker with an amazing cast including Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Nat Wolff, Kristen Bell, Logan Lerman and Liana Liberato.


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