Back at the end of June, Dabney made some fantastic summer movie suggestions that went straight on my must-watch list. And of course those ideas got me to thinking about some under-the-radar picks that I’ve enjoyed while staying out of the heat. Most of these have been out for a few years, but they still work great if you’re looking for the on-screen equivalent of the light and fluffy rom-com beach read.


Two Night Stand – Starring nerd-cute Miles Teller and the absolutely adorable Analeigh Tipton, Two Night Stand is the perfect antidote for 90+ temperatures and sky-high humidity. Twenty-something Megan has hit relationship rock bottom. When her roommate suggests that it’s time to shake things up by having a no-strings attached hook-up with Alec, a random guy she picked from a dating website, Megan figures she’s got nothing to lose. But their one-night stand turns into a multi-day ordeal as Megan and Alec are literally snowed into his apartment, unable to leave until the weather breaks. This is a fun strangers-to-enemies-to-maybe-more story that had me laughing out loud.

The First Time – This movie stars real life couple Dylan O’Brien and Britt Robinson as Dave and Aubrey, two high schoolers who meet on a Friday night and experience an entire love affair by Sunday afternoon. Given the title, it’s not a spoiler to say that this story deals with the First Time with a lot of realism, and Dave’s two buddies – who give him both terrible and fantastic advice – are not to be missed.

What If – For anyone who has only seen Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films, this movie is a fantastic chance to catch another, grown-up side of him. He plays Wallace, a somewhat sad-sack guy who meets free-spirit Chantry (the perfectly quirky Zoe Kazan) at a party and sees instant girlfriend potential. But Chantry already has a boyfriend, so Wallace reluctantly enters the friend-zone. If you don’t laugh out loud during the dinner party scene, you might not be human.

Love, Rosie – Originally a book by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie is one of those frustrating near-miss stories that will have you both holding your breath and screaming at the screen. Best friends since forever, Alex (the lovely Sam Claflin) and Rosie (Lily Collins) can’t catch a break when it comes to turning their life-long friendship into a something more. While you’re pretty sure that it will all work out, the real question is how?

Hank and Asha – This movie is hard to describe, so I’m quoting this synopsis from this interesting behind-the-scenes article:

Hank and Asha is an unconventional romance that unfolds subjectively through the video letters that the two main characters self-record and send to each other. Asha (Mahira Kakkar), an Indian film student in Prague, sends a video message to Hank after seeing his documentary at a festival. Hank (Andrew Pastides), a lonely new transplant to New York City, responds in kind, and they begin an unusual correspondence—a long-distance, virtual friendship that quickly blossoms into something more. As their desire to connect intensifies, they must decide whether or not to take the chance on meeting face to face.

It takes a while to get used to this style of storytelling, and I will warn you up front that the ending might not be what you’d most want, but this movie is well worth the effort.

I have a list of several movies recommended to me that I plan to check out in the next few weeks. Tune in again for more under-rated rom-coms that you may have missed.

~ Jenna Harper