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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Poll: Most romantic on-screen couples

Julia Stiles sits in a chair in front of Heath Ledger in the movie poster for “10 Things I Hate About You.” Stiles’ and Ledger’s characters are one of several swoon-worthy on-screen couples. (Courtesy of Flickr)

From “13 Going On 30” to “The Twilight Saga,” pop culture has been intertwined with the imaginary love lives of romantic movie characters. These on-screen couples make the idea of love seem real and attainable to a hopeless romantic audience. 

Romantic comedies typically stick to similar plots of two characters meeting and growing affection for each other before an obstacle separates the characters. Once each character realizes the love they have for each other, they reunite. 

These films typically focus on using characteristics like the charm of a dreamy or funny guy and a girl who is considered a “bombshell” with fierceness and intellect. 

“50 First Dates” – HENRY AND LUCY

“50 First Dates” features Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) as a womanizer who lies to women about his past to get them to sleep with him. Roth is a young veterinarian who is not looking to settle down any time soon. After meeting Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) at a local diner, Henry takes Lucy on a date and sleeps with her. When she awakes, she has no recollection of Henry. A year prior, Lucy was in an accident causing her to lose her short term memory. Henry records and re-enacts their first date everyday in hopes of Lucy one day remembering what happened. 

“Henry and Lucy’s love was so pure. He only wanted her to remember their time together. When Henry created the videos for her, I screamed because it was so cute. I can just imagine a guy caring so much about me to re-enact our first date 50 times,” said Victoria Garlisch, a senior nursing major. 

“Pretty Woman” – EDWARD AND VIVIAN

“Pretty Woman” features Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) as a prostitute in the heart of Hollywood. Vivian is hired as an escort for Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) who allows her to live in his Beverly Hills Hotel. Edward falls in love with Vivian’s quirky personality and laid back nature, while Vivian is taking a break from the grueling reality of being a prostitute. Edward works to transform her into the “perfect class” of woman that he needs to be seen as socially acceptable. While complete opposites, the two fall madly in love with each other. 

This classic film captures love that crosses classes. Edward’s love for Vivian never dies or settles down because of how others view her. Her job as a prostitute never made him love her less.

“10 Things I Hate About You” – PATRICK AND KAT

“10 Things I Hate About You” features Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) and Kat (Julia Stiles) Stratford as they attend Padua High School. Walter, the girl’s father, is strict and won’t allow Bianca to date until her rebellious older sister, Kat, gets a boyfriend. Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is new to the school and has a crush on Bianca. This leads to him scheming a way to get Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the school’s bad boy, to ask out Kat. Patrick is paid to take Kat to prom, only realizing after she finds this out that he actually loves her. Kat in a class poem titled “10 things I hate about you,” confesses she is still in love with Patrick. 

“Patrick and Kat are the definition of a rom-com. The mean jock gets with the awkward girl. It is so cliche, but they are the cliche. I think that movie was my introduction into that genre really,” Ethan Charvet, senior nursing major said.

“Love & Basketball” – MONICA AND QUINCY

“Love & Basketball” features Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) as they become new neighbors and share the love of the game of basketball. In the first quarter of the film, Monica and Quincy start as kids with a friendly rivalry over a game of basketball. The film progresses over four quarters of the pair’s life as they must navigate rising to collegiate and pro league athletes but also fall in love over their lifetime. The two bond because they are the only people in their lives with a true love and talent for basketball. 

This film lets you watch young love grow, flourish, die and come back to life. The frenemies-to-lovers trope never gets boring in this film. Their love for each other only grows as they fall more in love with their sport. 

As cliche as they appear, romantic comedies keep their audiences coming back with the chemistry brought by the actors. The genuine looks of admiration and undeniable passion draws hearts in and keeps audiences grasping for more.

This poll has ended.

Which on-screen couple is the best?


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