At this point, you’ve seen every possible variation of the romantic comedy at least a hundred times. Boy and girl meet-cute and fall in love. The woman is usually impossibly chic, adorably awkward, works in PR, and somehow manages to afford a closet that would rival Vogue and an apartment that no one could ever afford on their own (they should show the parents co-signing). The gentleman caller is always tall, dark, and 9/10 an architect (rom-coms make me think I should just start trolling architecture firms for potential suitors). After a wide variety of trials and tribulations, the music swells, the credits roll, and two obscenely gorgeous twentysomething “teens” live happily ever after.
While rom-coms are a welcome departure from real life, most seem to skip over the college years altogether (maybe because of the absolute absence of any romance in an underage bar where college football plays in the background). Unfortunately, a typical meet-cute in college would read better as a Craigslist missed connection. These are the romantic comedies we might not want, but we need:
In this Blockbuster hit, Jenny, played by Anna Kendrick, sets out for a night of fun with friends at the campus bar. After a few too many vodka Red Bulls, her dance floor make out spirals out of control and she wakes up in a fraternity house, next to campus bad boy Luke (played by Alex Pettyfer). She tries to quietly sneak out of his room before he goes for round two, but she’s foiled by his fraternity brothers, who applaud as she leaves. Jenny reeks of Axe body spray and regret, and because of last night’s mixer she’s wearing a hula skirt in the dead of winter. Jenny tries to avoid making eye contact with Luke on campus by looking at her phone, but her plans are foiled when she realizes she left all of her jewelry in his room in a drunken haze. Find out if Jenny finds Yurman, along with love, this Christmas.
Jennifer Lawrence plays an adorably awkward undergrad looking for love in all the wrong places — fraternity houses, the nearby bar, and even the quad after midnight (but that was just that one time, okay?). At the insistence of her sorority sisters she downloads Tinder, only to swipe right on the man of her dreams, med student Ted (Shia Labeouf, of Even Stevens fame), who greets her with “hey what’s up.” Will Ted be her Prince Charming, or just another catfish in the river of love? Find out on Valentine’s Day 2014.
The Frisbee and the Frat Star
In FFS, Shailene Woodley stars as River (real name Rebecca), a hippie who doesn’t wear shoes in your school’s dining hall. She meets the love of her life, that one guy who always has a guitar, when she joins her school’s frisbee club. After a whirlwind courtship that mostly involves disgusting amounts of PDA on their way to class, a love triangle develops when River meets frat star extraordinaire Nick (played by the smaller Franco brother). As the staunchly liberal River begins to abandon her tie-dye Birkenstocks and free campus t-shirts for Lilly Pulitzer and Nike shorts, you have to wonder — who will she choose? Wagon Wheel is the only song that plays (spoiler).
The Exchange Student
In this indie, British exchange student Alastair (Danielle Radcliffe) charms the Hanky Pankys off of every girl in America in a single semester. There are rumors that he’s secretly a royal, but those rumors were started by him. Aubrey Plaza plays Lane, who naively believes she can resist his foreign charms. After a night of pre-gaming with Blue Raspberry Burnett’s and leftover Powerade, she falls hard for the foreigner. After a month of drunken hook-ups that exclusively happen after midnight, Lane starts planning their wedding on a secret Pinterest board. Unfortunately, she’s forced to come to terms with the fact that she’ll never see Alastair again, unless she moves to England. It’s later revealed that he was faking an accent the entire time, much like Lane was faking herself. The soundtrack is performed by a British band you’ve never heard of.
Channing Tatum plays Chay Tates, a man who just won’t give up on the victory lap. A former frat star, he spends his time drinking Natty Light and convincing freshman girls that he’s older and wiser, when he’s really just creepier and more disease infested. Unfortunately, all collegiate girls are susceptible to this particular brand of mental torment, and as such, all must have a run-in with their school’s Chay Tates at some point in their lives. When Chay meets Jem, played by Miley Cyrus, she believes she’s different, and that she can change him (mostly because she’s been binge watching Chuck and Blair episodes on Gossip Girl). She is wrong. The soundtrack is provided by Taylor Swift exclusively.