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The Best Rom-com and Romance Movies for Valentine's Day: Staff Picks, by RedHawk Radio Writers

This Valentine’s Day, the RedHawk Radio Staff is making it mandatory to indulge in a good, sappy, tacky, utterly amazing rom-com or romance film. Are you struggling to decide which rom-com or romance film you should watch? Have no fear! RedHawk Radio is here to save the day with our suggestions.  

What If (2013), directed by Michael Dowse

Pick from Jocelyn Gale 

This movie uses the friends-to-lovers structure in a way I find particularly quirky and heartwarming. The main love interests have an unexpected chemistry that feels warm and genuine. I could watch this movie over and over, never tiring of its indie-artsy rendition of a classic rom-com trope.

When Harry Met Sally (1989), directed by Rob Reiner 

Pick from Abby Adamson 

When Harry Met Sally is my all-time favorite rom-com classic — Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s chemistry is unmatched and their happy ending always leaves me in tears. The friends-to-lovers trope mirrors real life with the relationship’s highs, lows and in-betweens, making for a realistic yet sappy story. Plus, a Harry Connick Jr. soundtrack? Yes, please!

Pick from Lauren Tolliver 

There is something about the New York City scenery, chunky sweaters, and sparkling connection between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan that makes this film hard to resist. It’s a classic for a reason! If you need me this Valentine’s Day, you can find me on my couch watching When Harry Met Sally on repeat with a tub of lactose-free ice cream!

Leap Year (2010), directed by Annand Tucker

Pick from Karla Garcia 

This movie perfectly illuminates the need to let go and let fate take its course! Amy Adams effortlessly plays a misguided girlfriend who, in the end, finds true love in Ireland. If you enjoy a good laugh and cry — not to mention plot twists, check out Leap Year. 

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa 

Pick from Megan Harrison 

This lighthearted romantic comedy with a star-studded cast (you could say this built the foundation for “La La Land,” with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s characters) is perfect for any audience. It’s easy to enjoy a movie that perfectly combines all aspects of love with day-to-day awkwardness and tomfoolery. Movies with multiple stories and character arcs intertwining need to make a comeback!

Emma (2020), directed by Autumn de Wilde 

Pick from Eleanor Prytherch 

A playful, pastel adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, it stands as one of the first original rom-coms. Anya Taylor Joy’s scheming Emma plays cupid for the people in her life, with many unintended consequences. Full of giggling, swooning and ornate botanical aesthetics, this movie is perfect when you’re in the mood for a period romance yet still wanting something with modern whimsy. 

Let It Snow (2019), directed by Luke Snellin 

Pick from Ethan K. Poole 

What’s better than one Christmas romcom? Three, all going on at once, and each affecting the others. Each storyline is a classic trope of the genre, and together, they’re perfect to give you the rom-com experience you already know you love.

La La Land (2016), directed by Damien Chazelle

Pick from Emma Rudkin 

One of my favorite movies of all time, La La Land, captures the range of the human experience. It lures you in with its charming music, stunning actors, and striking visuals, showing the true beauty of falling in love. But of course, as in real life, this fantasy doesn’t last — a heart-wrenching truth that the film doesn’t ignore.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012), directed by David O. Russell

Pick from Rachel Watkins 

There’s something so hopeful and healing about watching two people fall in love over the fact that they are falling apart. Pat, played by Bradly Cooper, and Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, find each other at the perfect time. This movie showcases the restorative healing powers love can offer. 

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