5 Rom-Coms That Would Have Been Better If the Couple Had Broken Up
Controversial opinion: Happily ever after is so overdone.
Sure, it's nice to see a couple ride off into the sunset together. I even shed a tear or two during my favorite romantic endings. But you know what's more impactful? Realistic relationship portrayals.
And if we're mimicking real life, most romances don't work out. Not because of timing or because two people aren't soulmates, but rather because most couples aren't compatible enough to build a lifelong romance. Lasting love requires more than the hand of fate, which makes it particularly annoying to watch unhealthy rom-com relationships work out when the two people would clearly be better off alone.
Well, I've had enough. It's time to speak my truth. Keep scrolling for five rom-coms that would have been better if the couple had broken up.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
10 Things I Hate About You is all about independent Kat who avoids boys in the interest of focusing on her hobbies and her future. Unfortunately, she falls for bad boy Patrick, despite the fact that their relationship mostly hinges on him messing up and then fixing it through a grand romantic gesture. But, a twist! It turns out Patrick was being paid to date Kat the entire time so the school jock could date Kat's little sister.
At the end of the movie, Kat and Patrick obviously end up together—but why? They have a connection, but their relationship isn't all that great. Why should Kat have to settle for a dude who was literally only hanging out with her for money? Not to mention, they're in high school. If you ask me, Kat had the right idea about focusing on her own dreams, and she definitely didn't need Patrick dragging her down. Connection or not, she should have stuck with her original decision to dump him and moved right along with her life.
(10 Things I Hate About You via Touchstone Pictures)
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
In How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, journalist Andie sets out to prove she can make a guy break up with her within 10 days. Unfortunately, her target is Ben, who has a bet with his coworkers that he can make a woman fall in love with him in ten days. What ensues is a ridiculous back and forth that basically involves Andie being totally unhinged and Ben begging her to stay with him.
The real problem with this movie is that it's not totally sensical. Somewhere along the way, this pair develops feelings for each other, but that happens when they're still putting on a persona to win their respective bets. So didn't they just fall for the fake version of the other person? Why would they stay together after that? A better ending would have involved both parties moving up in their careers and amicably agreeing that they can't possibly have a future when their relationship was based on lies.
(How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days via Lynda Obst Productions)
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
I know, I know—controversial opinion. In Crazy Rich Asians, Nick Young—the star sibling of a wealthy Asian family—brings his girlfriend, Rachel, home to meet his parents. Unfortunately, Rachel doesn't blend in quite as easily as the couple would have hoped, mostly due to the disapproval of Nick's mother. Despite the fact that Rachel eventually ends things with Nick so as not to damage his familial relationships, Nick convinces his mother to give approval and asks Rachel to marry him.
In truth, I love Nick and Rachel together. They obviously care for each other very deeply and there's nothing in their relationship that's truly a red flag. However, I think this movie would have been more impactful if they had made their breakup a final decision. When Rachel breaks up with Nick, she also has a deeply touching and intense conversation with Nick's mom. She talks about how proud she is of her background, and she states that she hopes his mother can get past her biases in Nick's future relationships.
By getting back together at the end, the impact of Rachel's speech is lessened. Family isn't easy to deal with, and it doesn't change in the blink of an eye. The ending would have been much more powerful if they had truly broken up, forcing Nick to deal with his family pressures alone before dragging another partner into a difficult situation.
(Crazy Rich Asians via Warner Bros.)
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Crazy, Stupid, Love follows a myriad of relationships over the course of the movie, but Cal and his wife, Emily, are the primary focus. After Emily cheats on Cal, she claims she's been unhappy in their marriage for years and wants a divorce. This is obviously heart-wrenching to Cal, who tries to fill the void of his marriage with a string of random relationships. At the end of the movie, Cal and Emily reunite, feeding right into a "you have to fight for your soulmate" narrative.
It's all well and good that Cal and Emily mended their marriage, especially since there were children involved. However, it just wasn't that realistic or convincing. Emily was unhappy for years, and she was unable to discuss her real feelings with Cal. Plus, she cheated on him, effectively ruining the trust in their relationship. This is one of those romances that isn't meant to be fixed. Hard as it sounds, some relationships—even marriages—aren't healthy for either person involved. They could have had fulfilling lives apart from one another, instead of convincing themselves that being together was the only option. It didn't work once, why would they be convinced that it will work a second time?
(Crazy Stupid Love via Carousel Productions)
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Sweet Home Alabama never fails to make me cry, but that doesn't mean Melanie and Jake are meant to be. In this movie, Melanie is a big-time New York fashion designer who's engaged to the mayor's son, Andrew. There's just one problem—Melanie is still legally married to her high school sweetheart, Jake. She returns home to convince Jake to divorce her, only to find out that she never even signed the papers. At the end of the movie, Melanie runs away from her wedding to Andrew and confesses to Jake that it was him all along.
But was it? Melanie hadn't seen Jake in years. She hadn't even spoken to him—why should she believe that they're still compatible? At the same time, Andrew obviously wasn't right for her, mostly because of his inability to stand up to his overbearing mother. Both men wanted Melanie to be something she wasn't, instead of accepting her for all of who she was. She should have left them both and spent a little time soul-searching and discovering who she wanted to be, instead of committing to a man who already proved he wasn't the most reliable.
(Sweet Home Alabama via Touchstone Pictures)
These movies should have featured a breakup, but what about movies that are more about a person, rather than a relationship? Click HERE for five movies that prove you don't need a significant other to be happy.