Love, Sex and Romance...?
Our editors’ favourite rom-coms!
We’ve done our fair share of dabbling in the beloved romance genre
When The Eye’s editors aren’t hard at work at the office, we’re probably snacking or watching a movie (Shrek 2 seems to be the office favourite for now). We’ve done our fair share of dabbling in the romantic comedy genre—some of us might even be qualified enough to be dubbed connoisseurs of the rom-com. Ranging from the classics of the ‘90s that shaped our little hopeful hearts growing up, to the hidden gems that we stumbled upon later in life, we’ve compiled our editors' best rom-com picks.
Confessions of a Shopaholic — Stephanie Davoli, features editor
Not only is this my favourite rom-com, it may also be my favourite movie of all time (no, I’m not exaggerating). This film chronicles the trials and tribulations of Rebecca Bloomwood, an obsessive shopaholic and journalist who's trying to get to her dream job at the biggest fashion magazine in New York City. “Obsessive” may actually be too casual of a word for Bloomwood’s shopping addiction as she is literally drowning in debt—and a ridiculous amount of clothes, shoes and accessories—at the beginning of the film. Ironically, as she attempts to climb her way out of her pit of financial despair, she lands a job as a columnist for a savings magazine and eventually falls in love with her cute, British boss. Is that a major HR violation? Of course, but it doesn’t matter! The movie is so funny, so sweet and above all, as an aspiring journalist with a minor shopping problem, I find myself relating to Bloomwood in more ways than I’d like to admit. But hopefully those ways will never include the whole drowning in debt problem.
The Parent Trap — Madeline Liao, online editor
The Parent Trap is my ultimate comfort movie and it just so happens to be a romantic comedy! The film is about two twins who were separated at birth when their parents split up. When the two coincidentally meet at summer camp 11 years later, they devise a plan to reunite their family. Silly twin shenanigans, nostalgia and a happy ending—what’s not to love? Not to mention the iconic handshake scene, which makes me think that maybe there is good in the world after all. While a rom-com, The Parent Trap also explores the love between family and how that bond can bring people together. This film just feels like a warm hug encapsulated into 128 minutes of a young Lindsay Lohan talking to herself with a British accent.
Heart and Souls — Shaki Sutharsan, arts & culture editor
This is a slightly more obscure rom-com but one of the best ones out there nonetheless. With that classic, cozy ‘90s rom-com vibe and a familiar cast (see: Robert Downey Jr., Alfre Woodard and Kyra Sedgwick) this movie has been my go-to pick-me-up for years. It starts off pretty wild—a bus falling off a bridge into a river as a baby is born in a car nearby. The bus crash effectively binds the four souls of the passengers who died to the baby until he can help them accomplish their last wishes so they can move on to the afterlife. The baby, who grows up to be the dapper-businessman-workaholic Robert Downey Jr. (pre-Iron Man) wants nothing to do with the ghosts that only he is able to see and talk to. Along the way, he realises the importance of love, friendship and facing your fears. Classic stuff but such a gem. After you finish this movie, you’ll definitely have Walk Like A Man by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons stuck in your head!
Knocked Up — Jack MacCool, sports editor
Coming from someone with a not-so extensive knowledge of movies, Knocked Up is a romantic comedy masterpiece. Written and directed by Judd Apatow, the movie has the perfect mix of hilarious personalities and romantic character development. It follows the journey of reporter Alison Scott, played by Katherine Heigl and Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) after a one-night-stand between the two ends with Heigl’s character getting pregnant. The two battle through relationship turmoil and judgement from friends and family as they try to make their sudden dynamic work in preparation for the incoming child. The movie shows audiences that love can always find a way and can sprout from even the most barren ground— even if you rescue your bong during an earthquake instead of your pregnant girlfriend.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (book) Liane McLarty, General Manager/Publisher
When Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding was published in 1996, it blew a giant hole in the publishing industry. Taking on just about every talking point the patriarchy used to make young women feel like shit, it gleefully sent up those smarmy bastards. Using humour as a sharp blade, it took apart the accepted norms of the day. The Uncle Jeoffery character who represented society's expectations for what women should be doing was, upon a closer read, a handsy old shit who should have kept his gob shut. Considered the ur-text for contemporary chick lit it introduced—deft humour, chosen family and doing the expected shit badly as an art form. It also gave us rating the day, measuring the sins and not always spelling out the whole word but figuring it out through context. V exciting. 14/10 would read again.
Set It Up — Racy Rafique, News
Of modern rom-coms, I gotta say it—Netflix's Set It Up is one of the best. I mean, aside from the stacked cast, which includes Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell, Set It Up has all the tropes that are near and dear to my heart. Enemies to lovers. Forced Proximity. Shallow man that learns to love through the help of an optimistic wacky girl. Set It Up belongs up there with The Proposal and 10 Things I Hate About You. The movie follows two overworked assistants as they scheme to get their bosses off their backs by setting them up with each other. Of course, the only people that end up falling in love are the two schemers themselves. One of my all-time favourites, the pizza scene, is straight out of a cheesy fanfic. And I will NEVER stop using the phrase "over-dicked around" (when you arrive too early to something so then you "dick-around" to waste time but actually end up wasting too much time and end up being late) thanks to this masterpiece of a film.
Bride and Prejudice — Zarmminaa Rehman, Fun & Satire
Based on Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, BRIDE and Prejudice is a 2004 British-Indian Bollywood-esque adaptation featuring popular Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachan as Lalita Bakshi/Elizabeth Bennet and New Zealand actor Martin Henderson as Willam Darcy/Fitzwilliam Darcy. Who would think to add musical numbers to an already perfect story but alas, it wouldn’t be a Bollywood movie without a few choreographed dance numbers. The push-pull, hot and cold dynamic of the couple will entice you to keep watching until one of them confesses their love because you can’t hide your affection behind the banter forever. With the feature song of this movie, Balle Balle , already making its rounds on TikTok, you should strap yourself in to watch a Bollywood edition of a classic novel where two idiots fall in love and make a fool—mostly Darcy—of themselves.
Love, Rosie — Negin Khodayari, Communities
Although Love, Rosie may be a little more rom than com (and drama) compared to some other cult classics, it’s a must-see nonetheless. The 2014 movie adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s novel Where Rainbows End is set in England and stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin—that alone should have sold you. The story follows the two as they navigate their lives together from childhood best friends to more complicated adults. Their relationship starts as an innocent friendship but gets caught in the serious realities of growing up. Will they stand the test of time? Love, Rosie is heartfelt and colourful and is bound to leave you laughing out loud within just minutes of shedding a tear or maybe even screaming at your screen.
Crazy Rich Asians — Jake MacAndrew, News
I've never been into romantic comedies but I've seen a few. Out of my limited portfolio, one of my favourites is the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians. Funnily enough, the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan is one of the few fiction books I've read in the past four years—and there haven’t been many. I find many rom-coms follow the same plot—the couple meeting, breaking up and finally getting back together in the end. Don't get me wrong, this film has a similar storyline. Still, it is layered with messages of class differences, tradition and friendship. Although this is a Hollywood film and there is much more to East-Asian culture than a single storyline in Singapore, it is a great introduction to multicultural rom-coms in the mainstream Western media. Hopefully, we will see a sequel very soon!
The Holiday — Gabriela Silva Ponte, News
The Holiday is definitely my favourite romantic comedy! I’m a big fan of the actors, with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz perfectly embodying their characters, Jude Law matching Diaz so well and Jack Black being the entirety of the comedic part of the movie. I like the plot because so many of us just need to get away from it all, especially during the holidays. The two main characters do so by moving to a different country for a couple of weeks, during which they find that life can actually be very enjoyable.
Notting Hill — Youdon Tenzin, Media
You can’t discuss romantic comedies without mentioning the queen herself. Julia Roberts shines in Notting Hill as Anna Scott, a famous actress who falls in love with bookstore owner William Thacker, played by Hugh Grant. The plotline follows the two always *almost* becoming an item, torn apart by the glitz and glam of Hollywood. While the ending is very predictable (it’s a rom-com! Of course there’s a happy ending), it makes for a great date night movie or just simply to watch by yourself because you need to gawk at the chemistry between the lead actors. The iconic line Roberts says, “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her” should’ve won Notting Hill a Best Rom-Com award. It’s the stuff all fanfiction readers dream of. Hugh Grant is simply Y/N in this Julia Roberts fanfic. It has heart, it has comedy AND it has 1999 Hugh Grant, so what’s stopping you from watching?
Lady Bird — Kinza Zafar, Photo
Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird unexpectedly subverts the rom-com genre by equalising romantic and platonic love. The coming-of-age film implements iconic rom-com moments with twists that showcase a loving friendship and a tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. These connections are intimately displayed and given more importance than Lady Bird’s (Sairose Ronan) stereotypical girl-meets-boy encounters that result in pivotal heartbreaks. One of the most romantic grand gestures is when Lady Bird shows up at her best friend’s house to take her to prom, reminiscent of Say Anything. Another is when Lady Bird’s mother comes back to the airport to see her daughter off to college. The film romanticises life’s imperfections while presenting a whole, multi-faceted story. The tenderness of love and the joy amongst growing pains are artfully yet honestly packaged in Lady Bird, making it a favourite comfort film that is sure to stand the test of time.
How To Steal A Million — Natalie Vilkoff, Business & Technology
Audrey Hepburn. Paris. A million dollar heist. A wholesome, engaging and funny film, How to Steal a Million is the best romantic comedy in existence. Charles Bonnet has a flair for forgery but when he gives a forged sculpture to a Paris museum, he is informed that an expert will be coming to verify its authenticity. Before their secret is uncovered, his daughter Nicole must steal the sculpture back. She teams up with a local art thief, and what ensues is an adventure that will make you laugh and which is surprisingly full of insight into the human condition. You will want to root for the characters, and it's a film that you (or me, anyway) can watch over and over again.
Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok-joo — Abeer Khan, Editor-in-Chief
In the winter time, without fail, I always find myself re-watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo, a Korean drama first released in 2016. Set at a sports university, this drama is a slice of life and childhood friends-to-lovers story that follows weightlifter Kim Bok-joo as she learns to balance her love for her demanding sport with her desire for romance. In the drama, she begins to crush on Jung Jae-yi, the older brother of her childhood friend and swimmer Jung Joon-hyung. As the story progresses, she eventually begins to fall in love with Joon-hyung, who goes from being a pest around her to being her loving and caring boyfriend. What I like about this drama is that it doesn’t focus just on the romance—there are lots of other layers. A main plot line in the drama is Bok-joo contemplating whether she likes weightlifting or if she just does it because she’s good at it and wants to make her dad proud. Watching her fall back in love with weightlifting and learning to love herself in the process always makes my heart feel warm. And her wonderful relationship with Joon-hyung is the icing on the cake. As a plus, the actors also dated in real life, so their chemistry is through the roof. If you’re ever feeling down, definitely give Weightlifting Fairy a watch.