Frankie Mancini / Gavel Media

The Gavel Guide to Rom-Coms

Love is in the air! Or for some of us, at least it’s on our screens. While romantic comedies are the perfect flick any time of the year, we at The Gavel would like to share some of our favorite rom-coms for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re coupled-up this season, fantasizing about that special someone in your Zoom class, or happily alone, these movies will not disappoint.

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

My friends and I have a rom-com ranking system, and we’ve decided this is as good as it gets. Meg Ryan (my queen) delivers the perfect performance as Sally, beyond just her famous diner... moment. The film is centered around whether or not men and women can really be “just friends,” and it takes over 12 years to finally reach its conclusion. I would also watch this simply for the setting (dreamy 1980s New York) and for Meg Ryan’s effortless style and unapologetic “this is who I am” nature. Billy Crystal is also great as Harry but, if it’s not glaringly obvious, I am obsessed with Meg Ryan (you should watch "Sleepless in Seattle" too). This is the perfect movie if you’re looking to check all your classic rom-com boxes.

Bridget Clark, Culture and Opinion Staff Writer ‘22

Definitely, Maybe (2008)

This rom-com centers around a father retelling his love story to his young daughter; while it provides an entertaining plot of romance, the relationship between the father and daughter ends up being more important. The non-linear plotline of the movie makes it feel slightly less formulaic than most rom-coms, while still having that feel-good element you are looking for in a movie of that genre. Rotating between hilarious and emotional, “Definitely, Maybe” has everything you could want out of a rom-com. 

Sofia Gillespie, Culture and News Staff Writer ‘24

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

This is one of those movies that never gets old and never fails to put a smile on my face. It follows an eclectic bunch of characters as they come to terms with what love means to them and how it fits into their lives, in a film that features a heavy dose of comedy along the way. There is a scene toward the end where several different parts of the movie come together that has the entire room laughing hysterically no matter how many times we've seen it. The cast is also stellar (this mainly means me staring at Ryan Gosling for two hours). Everyone gives memorable performances and you find yourself rooting for every character. This movie is one we always turn to in my house for its perfect blend of being heartwarming, uplifting and absolutely hilarious.

Isabella Peitz, Culture Staff Writer ‘23

Love, Rosie (2014)

I love that there's always a chase between Alex and Rosie. You both root for and are frustrated with the two best friends at different points in the movie as the years go on and the characters grow up. It's really relatable and makes you fall in love with the ups and downs of finding love. Made me believe that some people really are meant to be!

Grace O’Hare, Culture Staff Writer ‘22

Notting Hill (1999)

It’s Hugh Grant's moody sexiness for me. His gorgeous hair gets me every time. The british politeness is also so charming. I love how Julia Roberts’ character had control over the relationship the entire time. She didn't depend on him like many female characters do with their romantic counterparts. The line "Don’t forget I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her" is such a classic. The way that she was unafraid to ask, to be vulnerable is something that I’d like to be one day. 

Stella Si, Culture Staff Writer ‘23

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)

Perfect 2000s vibes, Lindsay Lohan, feels like my life, great soundtrack....hits all the boxes.

Frankie Mancini, Creative Manager ‘22

About Time (2013)

Combining the unique elements of science fiction and romantic comedy, “About Time” begins after the main character, Tim, discovers his ability to time travel and uses it to find love. This underrated rom-com has become one of my favorites for its witty banter, portrayal of genuine connections and overall reminder  to appreciate relationships in the moment. Ultimately, “About Time” is a charming, sweet and uniquely sentimental film.

Julia Blessing, Culture EA ‘24

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This is a creative retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in high school, for when you get sick of all the “Romeo and Juliet” stories. Also, Heath Ledger singing “Can’t Take my Eyes off of You” through a loudspeaker while evading campus security reminds me that the bar should not be in hell.

Minji Jeun, Copy Editor ‘24

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Krull the Warrior King, dude. Krull the Warrior King.

Sarah Tham, Associate Opinions Editor ‘23

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Right now, this is my favorite rom-com because there is so little Asian-American representation in Hollywood, especially within the rom-com genre. Ali Wong and Randall Park evoke that middle-class love story relatability but with nuance regarding Asian-American and immigrant experiences and cultures. 

Carmen Chu, EIC ‘22

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Sandra Bullock in any rom com is amazing, but her as an activist working for a corporation is top tier. Including trying to save the community center, there’s also a tennis match battle, copious amounts of Chinese food, an appearance by Trump (the worst part of the movie, sorry!), and a CSOMer who learns to have a heart. Plus the last lines of the movie really sell it. 

Sophie Lodes, News Editor ‘22

Some people call me the third member of the Scranton Trifecta (Michael Scott, Joe Biden, me)