action movies like Top Gun: Maverick may have topped the box office this year, but the romance genre has had a stronghold on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video (with many of their top movies and shows falling into the romance category) .
Fans of the genre may have started to feel like they’re watching the same movie over and over again and that has a lot to do with the streaming services’ heavy reliance on familiar romantic tropes/themes. Luckily for them, once viewers find one they like, it’s hard to stay away from.
Enemies to lovers
Enemies to Lovers has always been a fan-favorite trope in the rom-com genre, as some can’t help but experience the palpable tension that accompanies two characters transitioning from adversaries to romantic partners.
It provides viewers with a realistic and grounded story, as it usually allows the characters to really get to know each other in depth and find out what really drives them. It’s also sometimes accompanied by hilarious interactions and impassioned statements that make viewers swoon (like in the book-to-screen adaptation of The Hate Game and more recently, book of love on Prime Video).
Revenge can get messy and when it comes to getting revenge on an ex, drama is guaranteed. The vengeful ex trope has been seen consistently over the years with its inclusion in films, such as Gallery of broken hearts and in the early 2000s classic John Tucker must die. This year, Prime Video brought fans of the trope a little something new with I want you to come back.
The Amazon movie gave viewers two for the price of one with two ex-Avengers (played by Jenny Slate and Charlie Day) working together to ruin their former partners’ new relationships. The love developing between the two schemers is easy to see coming, but the comedic duo were able to add their own organic twist while leaning into elements of the trope that viewers have come to love, making it the one of the best romantic comedies on Amazon Prime. .
This year, workplace romances caused more than a few heart palpitations in viewers’ chests. The trope builds on a few others to create the perfect mesh of forbidden romance in close quarters by focusing on the tension between two characters (often with contrasting personalities) working in the same space while trying to stay together. away until they finally can’t help but act on his feelings.
The book The Hate Game quickly became known on booktok as the shining example of the trope, but after its film adaptation was released in late 2021, films have continued to draw on similar themes. Accidentally love, with Brenda Song, was released on Prime Video at the end of July and its storyline was very similar to that seen in The game of hate. However, Love and Leashes took the trope and made it its own in a steamy, must-see K-drama that’s wildly different yet just as satisfying as other films that fall under the genre.
A little forced closeness never hurt anyone, because fans of The lost city may dispute. Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum were the perfect team for the romantic comedy centered on an author and his cover model trying to find their way off an island while being chased by a billionaire villain (played by Daniel Radcliffe). They both had the charming personalities and physical appeal to bring out both the comedic and romantic aspects of the forced closeness trope.
The romantic theme has been revisited several times this year, including in the sci-fi romantic comedy. Moon shot (which was released on HBO Max and starred Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor). Neither actor was a stranger to the romance genre and easily brought to life the story of two teenagers who fall in love as they head to their new lives on Mars.
While technically it doesn’t actually form a triangle, even those who dislike awkward movies understand the popular concept of the love triangle. It always involves someone caught between the love interest of at least two others and usually ends up with someone heartbroken.
Cyrano, the 2022 film adaptation of the stage play Cyrano de Bergerac, followed that theme and included an ending that left fans crying with grief rather than fulfilled love. The Queer Movie To crush unexpectedly involved less heartbreak at the end of its love triangle storyline which played a big part in its positive reception from viewers. A minor love triangle can also be seen in another queer film released this year titled Everything is possible.
Friends to lovers
Similar to the enemies-lovers trope, there are many others who enjoy seeing how a romantic relationship can be built from the trust that comes with the foundation of a friendship. The stories often have more sentimental value than the other tropes while still providing the tension that romance watchers crave.
At the end of 2021, the observers received quite a few friends who became love stories with Single until the end and the French romantic comedy Friend zone. The trend continued in 2022 with the vengeful ex-rom-com, I want you to come back, and the recently released parallel reality romantic drama Look both ways.
There are several ways the opposites attract trope has been played up on screen this year, but one of the most popular trends for the theme has been the added aspect of royalty. Shows like Young Royals played a significant role in its popularity, but movies like The royal treatment and the Norwegian romantic drama Royalteen only added to the appeal of love stories between two people from different worlds.
The difference in class and experience is what causes a lot of struggles between romantic protagonists in opposing royal stories, but in movies like After always happy, another side of the trope is seen where the two lovers encounter difficulties due to their drastically different personalities.
The After The film series has many tropes, mainly because it was adapted from fanfiction, so in addition to the opposites that attract the aspect, viewers also see the gamble trope. adaptations of Shakespeare Tame the shrew are still prime examples of this trope with 10 things i hate about you being probably the most popular modern adaptation. Another adaptation came out this year and was called The taming of the evil one.
Another adaptation of a classic with the betting trope was released as a French Netflix film, Dangerous Liaisons. The deals then continued on Netflix in a Turkish film titled love tactics.
One way Love
One of the hardest tropes to watch play out as a romance fanatic is that of unrequited love. One-sided longing and nostalgia don’t always have a happy ending, so when it does, it’s extra special for viewers. Few unrequited romance movies this year had that happy ending.
Four of this year’s popular films that play into this trope are Cyrano, Cha Cha real smooth, sex appealand Through my window. They are all drastically different in content, but the trope connects them all. Unfortunately, only one of these four films ends with a love that has become mutual.
It’s extremely likely that your favorite romantic drama couples of this year weren’t even real in the beginning. The fake relationship trope has been used over and over and over again in the romance genre in movies like The Valet, Wedding Season, and the controversy purple hearts (which saw Sofia Carson in one of her best roles).
The fake relationship trope even made it to the movies with Jennifer Lopez’s return to romantic comedies in Marry me. Fake relationships remain one of the most popular tropes across the board when it comes to romance in 2022 and this trend is set to continue as the year draws to a close.
Next: 10 Best Romantic Comedy Movies Of 2022 So Far, According To Ranker