Rom-com-athon: comfort films for Valentine’s Day

‘500 Days of Summer,’ starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zoey Deschanel challenges the status quo of romantic comedies with a female-centered plot. It is a must-see romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day. // Photo courtesy of Hulu

There is an attitude among romantics to continuously watch the same romantic comedy (rom-com) every time a minor tragedy occurs.

With this sentiment at heart, the Technique is proud to present our top picks for comfort movies for the Valentine’s Day weekend.

These three movies each take existing plot formulas from the romantic comedy genre and add unique twists and premises to make for a refreshing while still familiar experience.

The ‘Teenager Finding Her Voice’ story: ‘Dumplin’’

This movie has everything: Dolly Parton music, drag queens and a message of self-acceptance. 

In this coming-of-age drama, Willowdean Dixen (Danielle MacDonald, “Patti-Cakes”) is an overweight teenage girl competing in her Texas town’s beauty pageant because “there’s nothing in the rules that says big girls need not apply.”

The development of the relationships between Millie and this ensemble cast of her friends and mentors takes center stage with a thoughtful romantic plot building throughout.

It is available to stream on Netflix.

Favorite Line: “I think you’re beautiful — to hell with anyone who has ever made you feel any less than that.”

If you enjoyed this movie you might also like: “The Duff,” “Sierra Burgess is a Loser,” “Clueless,” “9 to 5.”

The ‘Workaholic Traveling’ story: ‘Falling for Figaro’

In “Falling for Figaro,” successful financial advisor, Millie Cantwell (Danielle MacDonald), quits her job to pursue her lifelong dream of opera singing. This movie follows her travels to the Scottish Highlands to train and compete in an opera competition.

It is a somewhat surprising premise, but this movie is refreshing in its authentic execution and homage to opera.Unlike many presentations of confidence in this trope, Millie is highly aware and capable; her confidence is not used as a punchline. 

This cleverness is countered well by the gruff awkwardness of her romantic interest played by Hugh Skinner (“Fleabag”). This movie is available on Hulu.

Favorite Line: “You spoiled brat. Do what you like.”

If you enjoyed this movie you might also like: “Leap Year,” “Set It Up,” ” Big Business,’’ “The Proposal,” ‘’When In Rome.”

The ‘Anti Rom-Com Rom Com’ story: ‘500 Days of Summer’

This classic sleeper hit romantic comedy film “500 Days of Summer” follows a man (Joseph Gordon Levitt, “10 Things I Hate About You”) retrospectively looking back on his relationship with Summer Finn (Zoey Deschanel, “New Girl”).

The film, and accordingly Summer, break the mold of many of the male-centered romantic comedies that were released in the late 2000s when this film was made, including the trope of the “manic pixie dream girl.”

The film openly points out the flaws of its characters and their perspectives and makes for a uniquely honest and cathartic watch. This movie is available on Hulu.

Favorite Line: “Because I wanted to.”

If You Enjoyed This Movie You Might Also Like: “Mr. Right,” ‘’The Big Sick,” “Plus One,” “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore.”