What better way is there to pass the time than to watch a classic '90s romantic comedy? These types of movies provide everything from laughter to tears — and occasionally unintentional laughter at how cringeworthy they can sometimes be. This genre is simply overloaded with tropes to the point that there have been countless parody movies tackling the rom-com genre and all its formulaic cliches. With the '90s being responsible for some of the best romantic comedy films of all time, here are five tropes from these movies we can't stop loving, and five we are just not a fan of.
10 LOVE - CONFESSIONS IN THE POURING RAIN
Who doesn't love a good old romantic confession in the middle of the pouring rain? This has been a common beat in cinema for decades, but it has gained popularity for a good reason. There is something so satisfying about the Hollywood-style dramatization of it all and these romantic confessions often make us feel hopeful and giddy inside. When the characters finally profess their love for each other, a handful of us hopeless romantics end up shedding tears, reflecting these beautiful onscreen relationships onto our own love lives.
And even if our love lives are so dry that there are tumbleweeds passing by in the deepest chambers of our hearts, these moments found in '90s rom-coms give us a glimmer of hope that we will one day meet that special person who will give us their very own pouring rain confession.
9 DON'T LOVE - UPTIGHT WORKING WOMAN WHO NEEDS TO BE SAVED BY LOVE
One of the most common tropes from '90s rom coms is the "uptight" working woman as the love interest, who needs to be fixed from her "masculine" ways by finding true love. These characters are usually extremely one-dimensional and tend to be regarded as monsters because they are at a point in their lives where they care more about their career than their romantic lives. In the idea of most '90s rom-coms, women are incomplete without a man in the picture, and these films seem to promote the belief that the only thing women should really want out of life is a future husband.
8 LOVE - BEST FRIENDS FALLING IN LOVE
It is not an unheard-of premise, this idea of two best friends eventually realizing that the one they wanted all along has been right in front of their eyes this whole time. We love the concept of two friends realizing their feelings for each other because some of the best romantic relationships started out as friendships.
The reason these relationships tend to work in the long run is because the romance often isn't based on surface-level reasons such as physical appearance, and is more often rooted in a genuine love for the other person's company.
7 DON'T LOVE - THE CLUMSY FEMALE
It is such an overused trope that the female love interest in rom-coms almost always happens to be a total klutz. This is a technique that writers use in a poor attempt to make the leading lady seem "relatable" to fans. It is a cheap way to bring her down to earth — literally — with her physical actions, rather than actually making the effort to write her as a multidimensional character. It is done to "humanize" a woman onscreen who might be coming across to viewers as too strong, too beautiful or — heaven forbid — too put-together.
6 LOVE - OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Although we have seen it many times before, we can't help but loving the idea of two total opposites discovering their romantic feelings for one another. Whether it's a popular cheerleader making it work with an introverted goth dude with scissors for hands or a leather-jacketed bad boy falling for the straight-A student , there is something very appealing about this unexpected dynamic.
It feigns from the predictable nature of most couples we encounter in our everyday lives and it makes the pair feel unique to us. People can learn a lot from their opposites and grow to find a balance among each other, as we have seen from these movies.
5 DON'T LOVE - GIRL NEEDING A MAKEOVER TO IMPROVE HER LIFE
We see this unfortunate film trope way too much. In these movies, the female character must go through a makeover montage in order to get everything she has ever wanted out of life. (Usually, she is written to only desire a man who she barely knows). In countless rom-coms, the woman isn't considered beautiful or classy or sexually appealing enough by the rest of the world's standards because of her appearance.
Since she doesn't meet the right beauty standards, she must go to great lengths in order to change herself along with the clothes she feels comfortable in, just to please her crush. It's sad because we never see this done with male characters, who are usually given the freedom to simply accept themselves just the way they are.
4 LOVE - PERSONALITY COUNTS THE MOST
The best romantic comedies revolve around relationships that focus on each other's personalities rather than relying on physical or superficial qualities. In the '90s, there were a handful of rom-coms that proved these characters really loved each other for their inner personas, rather than their pretty smile or gorgeous eyes. These particular movies show that real love is about getting to know someone deeply, inside and out. It isn't just about infatuated lust.
3 DON'T LOVE - STALKERISH BEHAVIOR CONSIDERED ROMANTIC
This has always been a problematic issue in rom-coms where stalker-like behavior is somehow considered romantic rather than acknowledging it for what it really is — criminal behavior. It is honestly remarkable how common this occurrence is in romantic comedy films, and it encourages young men to engage in this kind of possessive behavior in order to "prove their love." Usually in these movies, the women are perfectly okay with the stalking, and if anything, they are moved by it. This just isn't how the real world works, where instead of receiving true love's kiss, these guys are more likely to get hit with a restraining order.
2 LOVE - GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURES
Everybody loves a grand romantic gesture in the world of cinema. These gestures are usually made during the film's climax and are often regarded as the most memorable moment in the whole movie. Whether it's the "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" performance done in 10 Things I Hate About You or Tom Cruise telling Renée Zellweger "You complete me," in Jerry Maguire, it's hard not to swoon over these over-the-top moments.
1 DON'T LOVE - ABDUCTION CLASSIFIED AS ROMANTIC
Yeah. It's a thing. We have frequently seen this nauseating film trope where a man abducts a woman, holds her against her will, and she ends up falling in love with her captor along the way. Yet when the roles are reversed, it is a lot like Rob Reiner's film adaptation of Stephen King's Misery. These tropes represent textbook forms of Stockholm syndrome and should never be romanticized.