Crazy stupid rom-com rankings

Olivia Guy and Jana Isern

Hey guys, it’s Jana and Olivia. If you don’t know us we are both seniors in the IB program here at PA. Olivia is the editor of The Page and Jana is one of the assistant editors.

O: So basically, I edit and lead the paper and Jana gets my coffee.

J: Yes, and right now she’s got me running around for chai lattes with two pumps of pumpkin sauce. It has to be two otherwise she’ll chuck it at my head. She rules with an iron fist….

O: Okay kidding she gets my coffee and pastry. Truly it’s very helpful.

J: Well and you know also keeping a cool and collected poise while she’s on the side stressing about her “important duties”

Anyway, we are trying something a little different with this article and will be talking in dialogue for most of the story.

O: So Jana and I are serious rom-com experts. From 1990 rom-coms to present-day rom-coms we have watched almost every one out there and definitely have some strong (and at times polar opposite) opinions. If you know me this obsession is pretty out of character, but hey we all have our things.

J: We came up with a list of 10 rom-coms we believe to be the most memorable. Just so we’re all aware, we probably spent a good hour trying to narrow it down to 10 spots so please don’t come at us with a stick if yours isn’t on there. Take a deep breath and it’ll be okay. So, here are the 10 finalists (in no particular order): “Set it up”, “Just Go with it”, “Clueless”, “10 Things I hate about you”, “Crazy Stupid Love”, “Life as We Know It”, “Holidate”, “No Strings Attached”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, and “Love and Basketball”.

O: I also want to go ahead and issue the disclaimer that this was nearly impossible and even number 10 is a top-tier rom-com. We are also going to try to keep spoilers to a minimum but we don’t promise that there won’t be any vague innuendos. Don’t sue us.

Olivia’s ranking:

1. “Crazy Stupid Love”
2. “Clueless”
3. “Love and Basketball”
4. “10 Things I Hate About You”
5. “No Strings Attached”
6. “He’s Just Not That Into You”
7. “Just Go with It”
8. “Holidate”
9. “Life as We Know It”
10. “Set it Up”

O: Okay now for the much-needed explanation:

“Crazy Stupid Love”:
This movie is just top-tier. I love the cast and I love the split-plot lines. The intertwined storylines add to the perfectly-crafted relationships and writing dialogue. Don’t get me wrong at times the movie is definitely cringe-worthy but in the best possible way. It’s the perfect blend of everything a rom-com embodies.

Paul Rudd. That’s it. That’s the explanation. Okay, I’m half kidding. This is one of my favorite movies, rom-com or not. I understand this is a little bit of a controversial take. And I get that. I do. The step-sibling aspect is a tiny bit uncomfortable. But in my defense, they didn’t grow up together and they didn’t live together. It’s not that weird. It’s not. Plus, I’m a sucker for the movie’s unrealistic portrayal of high school.

O: Spoiler alert- the “Clueless” ranking is what almost ended my friendship with Jana. Putting it anywhere other than the top three is simply a crime.

“Love and Basketball”:
I REALLY wanted to put this in first place. It almost deserves first place. This movie was so cute. I love love love a classic friends-to-lovers trope mixed with another classic slow-burn romance. BUT the movie was knocked down a couple of spots because of my disgust for Q (the guy character in the movie). Throughout the entire movie, he gaslights her to think she is the one screwing up their relationship, and then goes and CHEATS on her. But the actors must have been doing something right, because I still fell in love with their relationship. I also love a good time jump to close out a movie.

O: Fun fact I forced Jana to watch this with me one day when I found out she had never seen it – obviously it did not have the same effect on her as me.

“10 Things I Hate About You”:
Another great unrealistic high school romance. The storyline was just so cute. I am definitely going to have to keep a word count of how many times we say cute in this story. This movie is relatively old, with its release year being 1999, and I truly believe that this was a genre-defining rom-com. And adding another great trope, 10 Things I Hate About You is the perfect enemies-to-lovers romance.

“No Strings Attached”:
This ranks #1 for the best pick-me-up movie on this list. It’s comforting, sarcastic at times, and earns bonus points for a happy ending. Character development is also top-tier from both the male and female perspectives. The scenes are also perfectly crafted, each with the perfect mixture of cuteness and romance.

“He’s Just Not That Into You”:
This is the perfect middle-of-the-road movie for me. It’s one of the movies with a seemingly perfect cast (although I am partial to anything involving Jennifer Aniston and Scarlett Johansson) but still falls a little flat. It’s one of those movies where I can’t seem to remember the specifics of the middle of the movie. However, I do love that this movie works to denormalize the idea that it’s acceptable for a guy to be mean to a girl if he likes her. Like just be nice please.

“Just Go with It”:
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how I feel about this semi-low ranking. I quite enjoy the subtle passive-aggressiveness that is present throughout the movie, and not to mention the hilarious comedic aspect that Adam Sandler brings to the movie. I have to admit though the movie could be awful and the pairing of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston just automatically makes it better. To clarify though the movie is definitely not awful.

While Holidate finds itself closer to the bottom of the list, I have to say it definitely earns a higher ranking for the “com” in rom-com. “Holidate” has a great mix of on-screen chemistry and comedic relief to make it the entertaining movie it is. And with the release year of 2020, I believe this is the most recent movie on our list. I think this furthers my philosophy that movies were all-around better 10-20 years ago. It’s good, but not one of the greats.

“Life as We Know It”:
Despite the somewhat dark premise of the movie (which I don’t necessarily hate) it has a sweet feel-good plot. However, with that being said, the traditional gender roles and characteristics taken on by the characters are off-putting for me. It’s not bad, but it’s not very creative either.

“Set it Up”:
It physically and mentally pains me to see the number 10 by “Set it Up”. It truly isn’t a bad movie, I would still recommend it to anyone. I actually think that now is a good time to mention that I hate the generic Hallmark movies that play during the holidays. Like I won’t watch them. And this movie was refreshing in the way that the plot line isn’t too generic. The timeline is not too fast, not too slow, and is engaging throughout the whole movie. However it earns the last spot, simply because when I think “Best rom-coms over the past two decades,” “Set it Up” is not my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth (cough cough Jana’s ranking), seventh, okay you get it, thought.

O: That’s all for my explanations, now on to the wrong ranking
J: Well that’s a little rude don’t you think? Clearly the pumpkin sauce has affected your judgment.

Jana’s ranking:

“Crazy stupid love”
“He’s just not that into you”
“No strings attached”
“10 things I hate about you”
“Set it up”
“Just go with it”
“Love and Basketball”
“Life as we know it”

J: Okay clearly there’s a difference in taste… Obviously mine is better
O: Just because you type it Jana doesn’t make it true.

“Crazy Stupid Love”:
Absolutely amazing in every way. Love love love intertwined stories but most of all I am in love with Jacob and Hannah (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone). Probably my favorite rom-com couple. I could fall asleep listening to Emma Stone talk and Ryan Gosling… well let’s just say I could dream about him after having fallen asleep to Emma Stone’s voice.

J: I will admit, I’m glad this is number one for both of us otherwise I’m sorry to say that this friendship would’ve ended right here. No hard feelings.

“He’s Just Not That Into You”:
I love this movie mostly because it’s realistic. Yes, obviously they end up together in the end and yes, I wish I could have their love story. But, it shows the raw reality of relationships and the compromise that needs to be reached between both individuals. I really like that it has different stories showing different types of relationships and not all of them end in a happy ending, they simply end in a realistic and non-idealized way. Also, Jeniffer Anniston is in it so that bumps it up a few spots.

“No Strings Attached”:
I love the plot and I love the characters. Especially Ashton Kutcher’s character Adam. He brings humor, sarcasm, and wit to the love story like when he shows up with a bunch of carrots when asked not to bring flowers to the date… Shhh you didn’t hear it from me. Keep reading and don’t tell Olivia I spoiled a tiny tiny part of the movie. Anyway, it’s a fun, relatable, and adorable love story that definitely deserves a spot in the top three (unlike Olivia’s Love and Basketball….)

Okay I am walking on thin ice here. This is one of Olivia’s favorite movies so I need to watch my words if I want to keep being her passenger princess. Kidding I value my friendship a lot more than her car…. To be honest I have nothing bad to say about this. It’s a really really good movie, one of my comfort movies for sure. Paul Rudd is all I live for in this movie and Cher makes me laugh with her moral epiphanies. Definitely a movie I could watch on repeat.

“10 things I hate about you”:
I love this movie so much, mostly because of the music in it. I have a playlist with all the songs from the movie and every time I hear “Can’t take my eyes off of you” I break out into Heath Ledger’s famous bleacher dance. I also just recently realized that in one of the scenes Kat is reading “The Bell Jar” which is one of my favorite books so that in itself earned the movie a solid spot on the list. It’s an unrealistic high school love story and I won’t complain about it (I would kill to have Patrick Verona take me out).

“Set it up”:
I love this movie. It’s funny, it’s got everything to look for in a rom-com. The meet, the friendship, the confession of love, the conflict, and the make-up except for this one also has a less stable relationship to compare it to making it all a lot more unrealistic and lovey-dovey (which if you haven’t picked up the pattern yet, I’m a fan of). I also love any climbing into the window to eat pizza scenes.

“Just Go with it”:
You can never go wrong with a classic Adam Sandler and Jeniffer Anniston Rom-com. They’re hilarious and their friendship is so strong it’s visible through the screen. It’s a feel-good type of movie perfect for bad days. I really like it but the reason I have it a little lower on the list is that it’s a little predictable, which yes I know is the whole point of rom-coms and some will argue (Olivia) that others on my list like Set it Up are generic and slightly predictable. She’s having issues with that particular selection….

“Love and Basketball”:
I truly love this movie, actually the first time I watched it was with Olivia (she forced me to watch it) but I won’t say that it’s a bad movie because the plotline is engaging and I absolutely love the ending. However, there is something inside of me, an itch, that makes my hand curl up in a fist every time I see Q’s face. I want to punch him in the face so hard he flies off the screen. He is probably the only reason why my ranking for this movie is so low.

J: I also have dignity and self-respect, unlike someone and I simply cannot say that this movie earns a top three spot when Q is the epitome of cheaters and gaslighters. You would think by being such a huge Taylor Swift fan she would learn a couple of things….

This is probably the only recently released movie that deserves a spot on this list. It’s fresh, relatable, and encompasses today’s love stories extremely well. The comedy side of this movie is absolutely amazing, I mean I was laughing through the second half of the movie. The only reason it gets a low placement is because it just simply can’t compare to the 2000s rom-coms that have shaped my unrealistic definition of love. Regardless, I would recommend this movie.

“Life as we know it”:
This breaks my heart. It was a hard selection. I think this is probably the first rom-com I ever watched. They used to play it every summer when I went to Barcelona, so I was in a bit of shock the first time I watched it in English (the Spanish version did not do it justice). However, something about it I can’t quite put my finger on, just doesn’t feel like it deserves a spot over any other movie. I still love it and I would watch it again any time.

J: Phew! That was long….
O: At least mine was relevant…

We also wanted to include some notable mentions that slipped our minds when creating the list: “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days”, “13 Going on 30”, and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

J: I actually just found out the “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” was scratched out without my knowledge. Tsk tsk tsk Olivia….
O: I told you that in confidence. Plus I was kidding…

Now that our friendship has been destroyed… hopefully this was entertaining to read. If you have any opinions or thoughts on the ranking feel free to share.

J & O: That last section was very professional of us…. Let’s be clear, only right opinions are welcome.