Romance movie

10 most used love movie tropes

When it comes to romance novels, it is very common to notice that a trope (or even several) appears in various books. So when romance movies started filming, the same idea spilled over into the process.

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Even though romance movies do their best to provide original ideas, it’s still common for them to use successful tropes as a base piece to expand their storylines. While some tropes can be a bit of a stretch, fans still look forward to films that will use them as plot devices, as they’ve gotten used to a certain style – after all, romance movies are nothing if that. is heartwarming.

ten Too busy for love

Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal

Studios and TV stations, especially Hallmark, love to have a movie where the main character, usually the girl, is a hard worker and a little too focused on her career.

The movie usually has a friend or family member telling the main character that he’ll never find love if he doesn’t open up. An example of this can be seen in Proposal who both have their main characters too involved in their work and end up falling in love with each other.

9 Enemies of lovers

Patrick dives Kat at the ball while they dance

One of the most beloved tropes in romance movies, Enemies-to-Lovers, the main character slowly falls in love with the person they have sworn never to love. The film typically has the two enemies being forced together against their will, whether it’s for a school / work project or a trip across the country.

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A popular example of this trope in the movies is seen in 10 things I hate about you, who has the main character paid to make a girl fall in love with him, only to find out the girl despises him. Of course, as with all romance movies, the walls usually come down and eventually they end up.


8 The bet

More common in teen romance films, but still popular in the romantic genre as a whole, is the idea that love interest only takes a bet from the main character. Eventually, the love interest realizes that the false feelings are actually real shortly before the main character finds out and ends their relationship.

A popular example of a relationship bet in the movies is seen in the After series, most prominently in the first film. Once the main character learns the bet, she ends things, only to reunite in the sequel.

7 Favorite for childhood

This trope sees the main character, usually the one who walks away from home, returning only to find his childhood crush single and nearby. This then leads to the once proud and strong main character constantly ridiculing himself around that old love.

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A movie that uses this is You again, which shows the main character leaving behind his bullying past to become a successful public relations representative. However, upon returning home for her brother’s wedding, she meets her old crush and slowly reverts to her old ways.

6 False relationship

The fake relationship is a commonly used trope in romance movies, either because the main character is too afraid to tell his parents that they’re still single, that they don’t want to face the nagging, or that ‘There is something both parties can get out of a fake date.

Of course, one or both fall in love with each other and end up reuniting or breaking up temporarily, only to meet at a different time. A movie where this idea is used is To all the boys I’ve loved before, who has Lara Jean and Peter reunite in a fake relationship, one to avoid a crush and the other to make an ex jealous, but end up falling in love.

5 Ex avenger

In every movie there usually has to be an antagonist, and in some romance movies it comes in the form of an ex who isn’t quite above love interest. The ex will either appear friendly at first, only to stab the heroes in the back, or they will approach him as a contemptuous presence throughout the film.

A recent example of this was in the fan favorite rom-com, crazy rich asians, where the lover’s ex first appears friendly with the main character. However, towards the end of the film, the true colors do eventually come out, leading to a juicy conflict.

4 Love triangle

One of the most overused tropes, especially in teen love movies, is one where the main character is stuck between two love interests. The main character usually can’t decide who is best for them, which often leads to dating the two of them or refusing to see one or the other for fear of making the wrong decision.

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Bridget Jones Diary famously uses this idea, with the main character stuck deciding between two men. Another example is the famous YA series, dusk, which causes Bella to fall in love with both a vampire and a werewolf, albeit in different ways.

3 Second chance

Noah & Allie kiss in the rain

Anyone who was dumped secretly hoped their ex would come back crawling and begging them to take them back. The reasons for the breakup can vary, ranging from immaturity to reputation or parental involvement.

A classic movie that uses this trope is Notebook, who sees the couple separate because of their parents’ disapproval and their difference in social status. Eventually, the two realize that they can’t live without each other, reunite and passionately express their love for each other.

2 Forbidden love

Heath Ledger with his arm around Jack Gylenhaal at Brokeback Mountain

Love That Cannot Be is perhaps one of the romantic genre’s most beloved tropes. This trope sees two people fall in love with each other, but forced to keep their love a secret out of fear.

A popular film with this idea is the beloved classic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. A more modern approach to this is shown in Brokeback Mountain, which follows two cowboys realizing they are gay, but stay with their wives and meet in secret so they aren’t ostracized by society.

1 “You have changed”

the devil dresses in prada-reunion-03

This trope, although it is usually associated with the fall of love instead of love, is very popular in the Romance genre. This sees the main character already in an established relationship at the start of the film. Whether it’s due to a new job, a new look, or a new attitude, the main character ultimately changes who he is, leading to the relationship breaking up.

A movie that uses this trope, even if fans side with the main character, is The devil wears Prada. While fans agree that Andrea, played by Anne Hathaway, didn’t change, but needed a more supportive boyfriend instead, she ultimately “changed” for him in the end.

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