There are countless lessons to be learned vicariously through some of our favourite on-screen personas. Most of those trials and tribulations come from the one category that makes all women swoon (openly or secretly), and many men cry (openly or secretly). That's right, we're talking about the "romantic comedy". Whether we like it or not, the following chick-flicks boast some savvy street smarts; we thought we'd share some of the lessons we learned while hovering over a bowl of popcorn and a box of kleenex. Happy reading (and watching)!
The Lesson: Don’t give a sh*t about what people think of you.
The best way to endure the already buzzing rumour mill? Embrace and embody it! Take after our girl Olive; buy an assortment of corsets, embroider a “Scarlet A” on each of them, and debut your controversial-meets-undeniably-sultry look by strutting through a sea of the most influential gossipers you know—Remember: Not with a fizzle, but with a bang. Prove a point and own it; confidence and sass make for a totally foolproof combo that’ll be sure to leave your enemies speechless and entirely overwhelmed with jealousy.
SHE'S THE MAN
The Lesson: Impersonating a guy, gets you the guy.
Yup; believe it or not ladies, bringing out your inner dude can actually be highly beneficial! Trade in your push-up bras and pounds of make-up for a pair of sweats and a fresh face, and voila! —You’re already halfway there. By channeling your inner “bro” through both attire and personality, you enable yourself to be perceived in a different light than your typical girlie counterparts, and can get to know your potential beau on a more personal and uncensored level. Perhaps you shouldn’t go quite to the extreme that Amanda Bynes does, but if you successfully comply with the above, you may just end up with your very own Duke Orsino (And who wouldn’t want that?!)
SHE'S ALL THAT
The Lesson: A quirky hipster trumps a bitchy Queen Bee.
A total rom-com classic, this irresistibly cliché-filled chick flick exposes us to the beginnings of a flourishing movement that is in full swing today—the Rise of the Hipster. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, hipsters have come out of the shadows and are progressively taking over the world—and Laney Boggs can be thought of as one of its Founding Mothers. Being an unconventional (and attractive) art freak is socially acceptable, and to many, is far more appealing than a one-dimensional Barbie doll. Different is good—so don’t be afraid to go against the norm!
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
The Lesson: Serenading a girl is the key to her angry feminist heart.
Seriously...It’s infallible. Notably the best scene of the entire movie, Heath Ledger shows his utmost affection for the rebellious, opinionated, man-hating Julia Styles with the age-old “grand gesture”—and it’s a total success! A guy willing to endure extensive public humiliation by performing a musical number as a means of apologizing to you? How could that not melt your heart? It just goes to show that a handsome, genuinely apologetic guy (with a super sexy accent to match) telling you that he “can’t take his eyes off of you,” in front of an entire crowd can melt even the iciest of queens.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
The Lesson: Acknowledge the redeeming quality.
If there’s one thing to take away from this rom-com (aside from the undeniable fact that Jennifer Lawrence is the most amazing actress on earth), it’s that your ability to find and acknowledge the positivity in every screwed up situation is worthwhile. Although originally an unlikely match, Pat and Tiffany come to realize that they are the solution to each other’s crazy—and had it not been for their crappy pasts they would have never met. If you make plays out of what you’re given and embrace the craziness inside yourself, you’ll find unyielding optimism to be way more rewarding than you thought.
HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS
The Lesson: Mind games are never the answer (even if it’s for journalistic purposes).
We’ve all been guilty of sending a guy (or girl) mixed signals as a means of getting him/her to submit to what we want. But no matter how appealing and seemingly effective it may be, mind manipulation is always (and we mean, ALWAYS) an awful choice. All it’ll ever do is extensively piss you off, drive you crazier than you already are, and place you in a tedious battle for the sought-after “upper hand”. Our advice? Cut the bullshit and be straight up! Doing anything otherwise will only cause unnecessary (and sometimes irreparable) damage— and as demonstrated by Andi and Ben, a sloppy and belligerent public confrontation may ensue as a result (see video).
The Lesson: A Bromance is love in its purest form.
Okay, now bear with us; we recognize that this is a totally unconventional pick, but a bromance like Seth and Evan’s? Way too epic to go unnoticed. Let’s fast forward to the sleeping bag scene—in spite of all the chaos and confrontation that ensues on their quest to get laid, by the end of the night, Seth and Evan drunkenly profess their overwhelming love for one another while sharing an intimate (and completely ‘awwww’ worthy) embrace. The take home point? Bromances are awesome and shouldn’t be undermined— so the next time your guy wants solid dude time? Encourage him! Just think of Seth and Evan in the above photo, and remember: you’d be terrible to deprive him of a quality, bro-tastic snuggle sesh.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
The Lesson: It is destined for failure.
A strictly platonic friendship that consists of constant intimacy? …PLEASE. JT and Mila break it down plain and simple— whether you’re emotionally unavailable, emotionally damaged, or whatever the hell it is, “beneficial friends” can never stay just that. The cliché, inevitable truth? Said member of this stable agreement will end up wanting more than just the physical aspect of it all, and you’ll both end up breaching the terms of your so-called “emotionless, non-relationship”. Regardless of your efforts—be it by swearing on a Bible app or dating a douche bag doctor to emphasize the lack of emotional commitment; strings will always be attached.
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
The Lesson: Ryan Gosling is a total stud.
Okay, you have to be crazy not to agree with us on this one. Perhaps it’s that chiseled jawline, those seemingly photoshopped abs, the perfect smile, the charming attitude…we could go on forever. The Dirty Dancing number? Swoon. The whole superficial-womanizer-turned-perfect boyfriend-material thing he’s got going on? Dying. The fact of the matter is that this rom-com makes all of our Gosling dreams come true (i.e. being shirtless for practically half of the movie), and if you hadn’t already come to terms with his babe status, consider this your wake-up call!
The Lesson: The sweetest declarations of love are conveyed through the use of cue cards and a boom box.
Unarguably, the most romantic (and tear-jerking) scene of this Brit-flick is when Andrew Lincoln surprises Keira Knightley at her doorstep with a boom box to pose as carol singers, and professes his unrequited love for her using a series of cue cards: “To me, you are perfect—and my wasted heart will love you until you look like this...” If there’s one way to get your best friend’s wife (or hell, any woman) that you’ve been in love with all along to finally notice you, pouring your heart out in a romantic but heart-wrenching manner at her front door is one way of doing it!