We all know the early days of February are a romance-filled countdown to Valentine’s Day. Maybe that means flowers and dinner dates or Netflix and chill. Whatever your style, romance movies are always a February staple.
Sure, we can get hyped up about the final installment of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series coming out this month. For a second, it did seem like Lana Condor and Noah Centineo would revitalize teen classics and rom-coms for us all. But for every Netflix success, there are several fails, and having an awful romance movie to hate-watch may help soothe the pain caused by February’s overwhelming sweetness. Here are some of the best worst romantic movies for a Netflix binge:
The Kissing Booth series
Both movies released in The Kissing Booth series are the mortal enemies of To All the Boys’ well-produced stories, which makes it the obvious place to start. The first TATB movie and the first Kissing Booth movie were released only a few months apart in 2018, and it is almost criminal how much better one is than the other.
The Kissing Booth revolves around the best friend’s brother trope. Elle and her best friend Lee have been friends practically since birth, and they created a list of rules to make sure they never lose their friendship. One of those is that Lee’s brother, Noah, is off limits to Elle — which creates quite the issue for her. Of course, The Kissing Booth includes other basic tropes such as the bad boy in a leather jacket, first-kiss anxiety and a major plot point occurring at prom.
Unfortunately for Netflix, they did not succeed at the “wow, this movie is so painfully bad it’s kind of good” thing. There are ways to capture teen appeal without treating the genre like a joke, but Netflix clearly did not remember that with these movies.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser
I promise not every movie on this list takes place in high school, but we need to discuss this one. It was released about two weeks after the first TATB movie, which did it absolutely no favors. It features an awkward high schooler — the titular Sierra — who receives a text from her crush Jamey by accident. Jamey thinks she is the beautiful head cheerleader, Veronica. She continues to play the part, and even enlists the real Veronica for help.
Sierra may be proud of her intelligence, but she is embarrassed by her looks. Apparently, having curly hair is a more defining characteristic than working to get into Stanford University.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is really just a reminder that the “weird” high schooler trope needs to die. Teenagers are designed to be awkward and painfully self-conscious. That is how the world works. Netflix has thankfully stopped painting these real experiences in a shameful way more recently; now, more movies are actually embracing them.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser basically takes everything that was good about 2000s teen movies and makes them sad. It is the loser child of Mean Girls and A Cinderella Story.
The Last Summer
We’re out of high school now, but barely. This movie follows a group of recent graduates who are working through their dreams, plans and relationships during their last summer before college. It’s an endearing concept, and one that is true for many childhood friend groups. It is a classic coming-of-age story, but it doesn’t feel cliche. The Last Summer seems like it has potential, not to mention it stars KJ Apa (from Riverdale), Maia Mitchell (from The Fosters) and Tyler Posey (from Teen Wolf). All of this just makes this fail hurt even more.
While Sierra Burgess embraces the awkwardness of high school, this cast does not contain a single actor that could pass as a teenager.
Many classic YA stereotypes attended this Hollywood version of high school, including a jock obsessed with getting laid, geeks, the “artsy girl” and even high-school sweethearts. Like many other teen movies though, these characters fail to speak like actual living people. They sound as if a robot was asked to program a teenager, with the end result being a pile of nonsensical slang. Don’t watch — or do, I guess.
The most recent release on this list, this movie follows a woman who rushes to Mexico with her friends to try to delete an insane email she sent to her new boyfriend. This seems like a funny and, unfortunately, realistic concept. Everyone has experienced that panicked moment of realizing you sent a message to the wrong person.
And yet, Desperados is a rom-com, hold the -com. The only thing funny about it is how outdated the humor is. It almost hints to movies like Girls Trip by following the antics of a female friend group. So, maybe this is the perfect movie to have on during Galentine’s Day. If you’re legal, take a drink every time you cringe.
Given this movie has a zero percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, I am obligated to recommend you watch it. In this movie, a man is caught living in a time loop where on his wedding day he wakes up naked in a hotel elevator and is later arrested for streaking. There is nothing to say except that it is as ridiculously bad as it sounds. Whatever you think is bad about the Valentine’s season is sweet bliss compared to this.