February is here, and as that delightful and dreaded day comes closer, we at Grok are getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit. For the next four weeks, we will be posting our favourite film recommendations for the romantic season. If you are looking for low-budget date night ideas, great picks for Galentine’s Day or just a sweet story to sink into, these weekly instalments are the perfect place to start.
Since romcoms have not garnered much attention over the past decade, we have decided that this week’s list would celebrate the best of the 2010s. Whether they involve EDM soundtracks or dating sites, mistaken identities or celebrity cameos, these modern classics will keep you entertained all month.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
A rom-com/drama film written, co-produced and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, this is one of the most amazing sequels to ever land on screens. This second instalment came just 14 years after the first, but you won’t regret the wait as the cast assembly itself would’ve taken years, and all actors deliver unrivalled on-screen chemistry. I mean, if you are looking for an all-in-one opportunity to laugh, cry and appreciate life and friendships with your best mates, this is a good movie to get the popcorn ready for.
Man Up (2015)
Man Up tells the story of 34-year-old Nancy, a perpetually single pessimist whose half-hearted quest for love has hit a dead end. When 40-year-old divorcé Jack mistakes her for his blind date, however, Nancy decides to follow the advice of her sister and take a chance—playing along with Jack’s mistake. A slightly hokey premise, maybe, but this film works to make the most of its misguided characters and 24-hour timeframe. Remarkably, the evening that Jack and Nancy spend together is enough to secure our confidence in their impending relationship. They are charmingly relatable and entertaining to watch, portrayed brilliantly by Simon Pegg and the underrated Lake Bell. Directed by Ben Palmer and written by Tess Morris, this rom-com is sweet and funny without feeling like it’s trying too hard.
We Are Your Friends (2015)
Remember Zac from High School Musical? Oh yeah, he plays the lead role in this! If you are a big fan of music, especially EDM, you would appreciate this. It gives you an inside perspective of the life of an aspiring DJ trying to break through Hollywood. It is filled with lots of emotions, drama, and music that makes you want to dance and embrace a festive mode. This is one obvious and predictable film but the energy of the cast and the soundtrack would shock you into finding pleasure in the sweetness of the romance the director has to offer.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan and written by Ali Wong, Randall Park and Michael Golamco, Always Be My Maybe is yet another underrated Netflix original. The film follows childhood friends Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Park) as they abruptly part, unexpectedly reunite and inevitably fall in love. Although some have criticised this premise for lacking in originality, the deceptively simple plot makes room for outrageous side-characters and well-rounded protagonists. Park is as likeable as ever, and his chemistry with Wong is only surpassed in entertainment-value by his hilarious dynamic with Keanu Reeves, who portrays himself. Unlike some romcoms, this film mostly avoids underwhelming and inconsistent humour, choosing to be unabashedly comedic without sacrificing its wholesome charm.
Love, Guaranteed (2020)
Do you know the saying that you find love in the most unexpected ways? Well, this movie is a perfect example of ‘accidental love’. It is an absolutely charming and light rom-com movie with a well written and ‘cute’ screenplay. Love, Guaranteed stars a lawyer and her client, who is trying to sue a dating website for falsely promising love after going on several dates. We will leave you guessing how many dates he went on…