Stream Wars: Romantic Comedies
Tayla Curry debates whether Australians should invest their time in home-grown Stan, or jump ship to worldwide favourite, Netflix.
It’s a Saturday night in the middle of winter. You’re snuggled up on the lounge with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s half-baked. It’s the perfect night for a good romantic comedy, but, there’s nothing worthy on television. It’s time to stream. You pull out your laptop but are left with the all-important question: Netflix or Stan?
It may seem like a simple decision for some, but with access to only one stream, do you really know what you’re missing out on? I’m here to help.
Welcome to Stream Wars.
Before you choose either Netflix or Stan to entertain you during your evening cuddled up on the couch, you need to know what makes a good rom-com (the kind you need a big bowl of popcorn and a bottle of wine for).
1. The most important rule: It must make you laugh.
If you are watching a romantic comedy, you expect results. While this genre caters first and foremost romantics-at-heart, comedy is still in the title. If it’s not giving you the belly-aching, tear-jerking laughter, it is not fulfilling its purpose. Tell me, do you really want to be spending two-hours of your Saturday night unamused?
2. It needs to have an ‘awwww’ moment.
If you have watched Heath Ledger’s rendition of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, you know what I’m talking about. This moment in the ultra-popular ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ is guaranteed to make most of the 90’s tween population swoon, and leave many potential suitors thinking they need to up their game.
3. The ending is always predictable, so at least make it a satisfying one.
Typically, all romantic comedies end the same way. Predictably. After terrible circumstances or ignorant decisions rip the lead characters apart, they find their way back together and overcome their obstacles. If you know that this is going to be the case when you press play, you are going to want to find one that leaves you feeling content (or perhaps questioning your own love life). This feeling can come from our protagonist overcoming his or her flaw, or prioritising the relationship over external factors.
And now that we’ve clarified what makes a rom-com worthy of your time, it's time to look at which stream can best meet your needs.
Both streams feature the cult classics, including The Notebook and When Harry Met Sally. But which one goes further? Which one plays on our heart strings and makes us laugh at the same time?
Netflix brings its own original films, such as When We First Met and The Kissing Booth. Both these films portray the protagonist falling in love with someone that is a bit out of reach. In When We First Met, this happens to be his best friend, and in The Kissing Booth it is her best friends brother.
While both these films are enjoyable, and a good watch if you are bored, they do fail to meet the criteria. They do not make you cry from laughter the way Shallow Hal can. They do not carry the same emotions that the ‘What do you want’? moment in The Notebook does. The ending does not satisfy you the way the I’ve Had the Time of My Life scene in Dirty Dancing does.
Stan, on the other hand, has your back. Whether you are looking for a Nicholas Sparks romance, a hilarious but moving Robin Williams film or a Meryl Streep guaranteed powerhouse masterpiece, Stan is what you need to be streaming. The highly-regarded actors, hilarious storylines and the touching relationships are not to be missed.
Music and Lyrics and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are just two examples of rom-coms on Stan that will leave you with a grin.
Music and Lyrics follows the characters of Alex and Sophie, played by Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Sophie tears at our heart strings as she teaches Alex to fall in love with music again, but music is not the only thing he falls for.
Perks of Being a Wallflower is a hilarious film that anyone who has experienced their teenage years can relate to. It’s a light-hearted rom-com that deals with love, relationships and learning to fit in, or perhaps how to stand out. The car scene is one not to be missed!
So who wins this round? If you’re looking for a rom-com, I’m proud to say that Stan is the obvious choice. It's able to meet the three elements of the ‘what makes a good rom-com’ criteria in a number of films. So stream Stan, and be prepared to laugh, cry and ‘awwww’.
Tayla Curry is a first-year Journalism student at UTS. She’s a summer-lover at heart, and is stuck hibernating the cold away … just wishing she could afford a plane ticket to Europe at the end of semester.