GFF21 Young Selectors - Films that will satisfy your appetite for romance after watching Sweetheart


By Maya Nyamakanga 

It’s no secret that quirky coming-of-age movies are a guilty pleasure of mine, so when a new film filled with awkward first loves, unconventional main characters, and an unrealistic yet fulfilling happy ending arises, it’s only right for me to binge watch every epic love story ever. Therefore, in celebration of cheesy, over the top, in-your-face teen romance, here are my top 10 favourite rom-coms. Get your tissues ready. 

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1. Everything, Everything (2017) 

Based on the exceptionally touching and emotional novel written by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything is perhaps my favourite love story yet. It tells the classic ‘girl meets boy’ storyline, except in this version, 18-year-old Madeline Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) sees Olly Bright (Nick Robinson), — her totally cute new neighbour — for the first time through her bedroom window. However, due to her life-threatening illness SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) which prevents her from ever leaving the house, FaceTime calls are as far as the budding relationship can venture. Or is it? 

A modern day fairytale that reinforces the importance of human connection and how dangerous isolation can be to those who already feel a huge disconnect from the outside world, Everything, Everything gives the viewers a relatable escape from the harsh reality that we are currently living in with COVID-19 and the lockdown rules. 

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2. Every Day (2018) 

Following the theme of beautifully adapted films originated from incredible novels, Every Day, written by David Levithan and directed by Michael Sucsy, explores the universally known sentiment of 'love can come in all shapes and sizes'. 

Our protagonist Rhiannon (Angourie Rice) falls for a spirit, whom inhabits a different person’s body each day. With many different faces portraying the love interest, this wholesome story proves to be a right good tear-jerker, as well as a heartfelt tribute to the main message of every great love story: true beauty resides within the soul. 

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3. The First Time (2012) 

Starring everyone’s favourite teen heartthrob Dylan O’Brien, and the wildly talented Britt Robertson, The First Time navigates the relationship of two awkward high school students who met by chance at a house party that gets busted by the police. In an effort to prove the older generations wrong, Dave (Dylan O’Brien) and Aubrey (Britt Robertson) attempt to suppress their hormonal urges to stereotypically hook up solely because of boredom. However, feelings start to develop, and soon they find themselves in an unlikely predicament of unrequited love. Full of moments of awkward silences and nervous stares, this film provides the viewers with countless familiar experiences that we know all too well from our teenage years. 

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4. 13 Going On 30 (2004) 

A timeless classic which seems to be the gift that keeps on giving, 13 Going On 30 is the perfect rainy-day romcom for all ages. America’s sweetheart, Jennifer Garner plays 30-year-old Jenna Rink, who has had enough of her classmates cruel and childish ways. In an attempt to escape her harsh reality full of bitchy mean girls, Jenna hides in her closet begging to be 'thirty, flirty and thriving', only to wake up seventeen years later, trying to navigate the third decade of her existence without any knowledge of where the prior years had taken her. Not only does this story include a fulfilling yet unexpected tale of true love, it also portrays another, perhaps more important tale of learning to love yourself for who you are - something many of us tend to forget about. 

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5. Love, Simon (2018) 

Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) has a great group of friends, does good in school, and like many of us have done - or are still doing - is finding out who he is, and who he wants to be. 

Oh, and he’s gay - but not publicly. 

Navigating senior year is hard enough as it is. Deciding where you want to go and what you want to do in life is no easy task, so when he is blackmailed to reveal his sexual orientation, things get even trickier. 

This light-hearted comedy provides a different yet refreshing perspective on how high school really is for a teenager. With many obstacles and overly applied pressures, Simon finds refuge on an online Tumblr forum, where he connects with another closeted gay boy at his school, who posts under the secret identity, 'Blue'. 

A wholesome story of self identity and the complications of teen romance in the LGBTQ+ community, Love, Simon is just what you need to have your faith in humanity restored. 

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6. The Sun Is Also A Star (2019) 

It’s Natasha’s last day in New York City, as she and her family are all illegal immigrants from Jamaica, and are set to be deported back the next day. After meeting with an immigration case worker, she is referred to a lawyer that could do pro bono work for her case. Soon enough, Natasha (Yara Shahidi) the cynic, crosses paths with med student - Daniel (Charles Melton) who persuades her to spend the day with him, as he believes he can get her to fall in love with him in under 12 hours. We see the beautiful pair run all around New York City, trying out all sorts of stereotypical activities that couples would do. As the day reaches its end, Natasha is confronted with the harsh truths of real life, and is forced to break out of Daniels rose-coloured fantasy. Although the film is just 2 hours long, it feels like a lifetime unravels on your screen. Does life truly always have a happy ending? Watch to find out! 

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7. Let It Snow (2019) 

Based on the collaborative novel by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson, Let It Snow is a near-perfect adaptation of three love stories in which several different friend groups cross paths in an almost miraculous fashion, all dealing with their own interpersonal dramas. Admittedly, this film borders more on the coming-of-age genre instead of a romcom, as the storyline focuses more on friendship dynamics and how they evolve as each person grows older, and their relationships become more complicated. With the wintertime theme, this film is ideal for those looking to cuddle up in front of the tv during Christmas (or a particularly cold summer evening) and feel grateful that they aren’t stuck out in the snow in the middle of no where (spoiler alert!) 

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8. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) 

Ah, yes, the Netflix original that took the world by storm. The fifth film on this list that is based on a novel, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before brings a whole new meaning to the classic ‘boy-fake-dates-girl-then-accidentally-falls-in-love-‘ cliché. If you haven’t already seen the movie, you most definitely have been living under a rock over the past two years. Being one of the most highly anticipated rom-coms released in 2018, this film was the one that for me - and many others I’m sure- reminded us that sometimes the ones you love, and in turn the ones that love you, are always closer than you think. Whether you watch it to reintroduce yourself to Noah Centineo’s loveable Peter Kavinsky, or to laugh along with Kitty and her well intentioned meddling, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a family friendly feel good movie that’ll give you the warmest feeling in your heart. And, if you’re looking for on-screen representation, the main cast are a selection of actors and actresses that are part of the BAME community. We love to see it! 

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9. Five Feet Apart (2019) 

If you are looking to cry until you have a headache, this is the movie for you! With a similar feel to the legendary 2014 The Fault In Our Stars film, Five Feet Apart will leave you in a puddle of tears and heartache for a week after viewing. So, grab your tub of ice cream and box of tissues! (Doctors orders…) 

Set in the terminal wing of a hospital, two teens suffering from Cystic Fibrosis form an instant connection with each other, and yet have to stay five feet apart at all times to prevent further infection, which in their case is life threatening. Soon they grow tired of having to play by the rules, and begin to take small risks day by day to feel closer to each other, and to the idea of being a normal teenager, with a normal life, and a normal relationship. Trust me, this one is truly a love story for the ages. 

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10. Someone Great (2019) 

Starring Gina Rodriguez and Lakeith Stanfield, Someone Great is more a story about heartbreak instead of falling in love, which for some may be quite refreshing if they’re sick of all the lovey-dovey BS. For those who are just in need of a cry, or an opportunity to shout at the tv about an ex who broke their heart, this film focuses more on the recovery of a terminated relationship. We see Jenny (Rodriguez) mourn the loss of a long term relationship, and follow her journey through the stages of grief, anger, and acceptance. She experiences a prolonged state of extreme highs and lows, and alters her coping mechanisms accordingly, mostly through binge drinking and comfort eating (as she should!) After many, many tears - and shots - Jenny finally comes to terms with the truth of the matter: 

Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way you want them to. And that’s okay. 

For an easy late-night watch and a truly relatable friend group, Someone Great is the perfect film to help you finally delete your ex’s number, and move on to the next chapter of your life. Drink up, ladies! 


As per Scottish Government restrictions, seats available for all shows from 27 December to 23 January will be capped to meet the 1m social distancing requirement.

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