From the long hours of sitting in front of a computer to the endless class requirements, online classes have taken a toll on my mental health. As someone who always wanted to be productive, online classes have given me the pressure to perform at my best and the need to always be active by accomplishing all the modules and answering all the discussion boards. At the same time, the shift to semestral setup (balancing six different classes, with thesis included) added more to my online-class stress. With this grind attitude that I have, it made me prone to high stress and burn out.
To manage the stress and to overcome it, I’ve resorted to watching rom-com movies during my study breaks. Personally, I have enjoyed watching rom-com movies ever since, and it is my go-to genre. Rom-com movies gave me a sense of peace and allowed me to take a pause from reality. Watching rom-coms during my study breaks helped me release the academic pressure because I just have to focus on a plot that I am interested in. And, it also helped me stray away from the thought that I have to be ~productive~ even during my breaks.
Nonetheless, the light and *kilig* factors of rom-com movies became the escape I needed from online-class stress. Likewise, when watching rom-com movies, I don’t have to stress over whether the characters will end up together or not because it’s a rom-com movie—main characters get their happily ever after.
So, I’ve listed down a list of rom-com movies that helped me get through some of my peak online-class stress moments. Btw, these movies are all available on Netflix!
Rom-com films that helped me overcome online-class stress:
1. Notting Hill
First up on the list is one of my favorite rom-com classics from 1999, Notting Hill. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant portrayed the leading casts, Anna Scott and William Thacker. The plot revolved around William, a British bookstore owner, meeting and falling in love with Anna, a famous American actress. Their relationship wasn’t easy due to their different social statuses, but they overcame the hurdles later in the movie.
Tbh, I enjoy watching movies that revolve around a famous personality falling in love with a regular person. As romanticized as the story in Notting Hill, I find it amazing how people with different backgrounds manage to be together because of their love for each other.
2. Miss Congeniality
Next on the list is another vintage film from the early 2000s, Miss Congeniality. Gracie Hart, played by Sandra Bullock, is a tomboyish detective assigned to be undercover as the Miss United States after her department heard that an anonymous bomber would bomb the beauty pageant. While undercover, she became close with the other girls in the beauty pageant.
Movies like Miss Congeniality are another rom-com type that I enjoy because of the character’s development. Despite being forced into the beauty pageant role, I like how Gracie Hart discovered more about herself through it and gained new friends along the way. It also reminded me of how I am protective of my friends.
3. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Another rom-com movie that easily makes me smile is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. Andie (Hudson) is a magazine writer, while Benjamin (McConaughey) is an advertising executive. For Benjamin to get the advertising campaign signed under him, his co-workers challenged him to fall in love with a woman in 10 days. On the other hand, Andie has to write an article on how to lose a guy in 10 days. Not knowing their reasons, Andie and Benjamin met each other and eventually fell in love.
Outside of the cute yet cliché plot, the characters’ occupation is something that I also love about the movie. As someone who writes for a magazine and formulates marketing campaigns as a training professional, I resonated a lot with both the characters. Their passion and drive are some of the things I admire about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
4. What a Girl Wants
Moving away from a typical romantic-centric plot, What a Girl Wants is a more heartfelt movie. The movie revolved around the story of Daphne, an American teenager who didn’t grow up with her father by her side. She later discovers that her father is a prominent politician in the UK and decides to see him. Due to the differences between the Americans and English culture, Daphne wasn’t immediately accepted by her father’s political advisors, which also stood as a barrier to the father-daughter relationship.
This movie really touched my heart due to the close relationship that Daphne and her father had. Although she didn’t grow up knowing her father, one can tell that they have a special bond. Overall, the unconditional love that was shown by the characters in What a Girl Wants made it a feel-good show.
5. Bride Wars
Last but not least on the list is the movie Bride Wars. Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson played the main characters, Emma and Liv. The film is about two childhood best friends who planned their dream wedding together. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, they became each other’s enemies as they raced over each other to fulfill their dream wedding.
Watching Bride Wars always gives me a good laugh, especially at the things that Liv and Emma did just to achieve their childhood dream wedding. But, what made me like this movie more was Liv and Emma’s friendship. After going through different challenges, at the end of the day, they remained close friends. Their friendship served me as a reminder of the realities of a friendship––we fight with our friends and then makeup, and can still have the same kind of closeness.