I was never into celebrating Valentine’s Day.
In fact, I have ranted a time or two (or fifty) about how it’s a Hallmark holiday designed to get Americans to spend money on cards and flowers that end up in the trash a couple days later. Not to mention the splurging on overpriced extravagant jewelry.
Forced romance? No, thank you.
And then I fell in love.
Yes, romance is best when spontaneous. OF COURSE it should come from the heart. And love is something to express year-round, not a checkbox to mark off one day a year.
But getting a ready-made excuse to act as sappy as humanly possible and shower your honey in over-the-top expressions of your love?
SIGN. ME. UP.
No, wait a second – can we have that every month?!
And I’m not talking bonbons and bling.
Now that we have two little ones, we take advantage of any opportunity to stay connected as a couple – no matter how small.
For Valentine’s Day, we’ll celebrate by popping in a romantic comedy after the girls go to bed. (And okay, maybe some bonbons too.)
But Here’s My Problem
My feelings toward the typical romantic comedy are a lot like my feelings toward 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight. Or Diet Coke. I knew they were crap, but some unspecified addictive chemical in them kept me reading/drinking.
So just like I cut out Diet Coke, I want to cleanse myself of movies like The Ugly Truth and What’s Your Number.
Not because romantic comedies are by definition crap. That is definitely not the case.
“Stop saying ‘chick flick’ like it’s ‘pile of rotten meat’ and stop saying ‘chick lit’ and ‘chick book’ and ‘chick movie’ and anything else that suggests that love stories are less than war stories, or that stories that end with kissing are inherently inferior to stories that end with people getting shot.”
No, I want to make room for “chick flicks” that will speak to me, a modern woman.
Show me a strong woman who is capable of solving problems on her own. A woman who isn’t magnetically drawn to the most chauvinistic man she’s ever met. A woman who has real life struggles beyond deciding which Manolo Blahnik to drop a whole paycheck on this week.
Because you know what?
We’re better than that.
We deserve a sweet, funny love story that doesn’t ask us to check our badassness at the theater door.
12 Romantic Comedies You’ll Fall in Love With
It was actually Ty’s idea to embark on a quest to find good quality romantic comedies. So we’ve been watching one romantic comedy just about every night since the new year.
Our little project doesn’t come close to this doctoral research, but we did find some amazing little gems.
We started out with two criteria*:
- The female lead must take an active role in solving her own problems, i.e. not wait around for a man to swoop in and save the day
- The male lead must not be a stereotypical chauvinist, for example his interests must extend beyond eating steak and watching porn (sorry, Don Jon)
It’s no Bechdel Test, but it helped us weed out the ridiculous movies.
Here are the 12 films we loved most.