4 Netflix Movies That Use the “Fake Love” Trope

Any viewer who’s seen plenty of romance movies knows all the quirks that make up the genre. There’s the meet-cute, the sidekick, the wholesome editing, the dramatic tension, the combat, the directing, and the big confession of love at the end. Tropes in movies are used as recognizable plot devices intended to familiarize viewers with a certain genre. Netflix’s diverse lineup of romantic Originals certainly contains plenty of tropes, ranging from grossly nerdy to tenderly charming. A standout trope that the global streaming service has used in several of its romance originals is the trope of “fake love.”

The “fake love” trope, simply put, is when two people pretend to be in a romantic relationship. The two agree, hoping to get something in return, be it recognition, approval, or other external benefits. Of course, it’s never a smooth deal for the fictional couple, because what inevitably happens is that their fake love turns into real love. One of them catches feelings for the other, or they both fall in love at the same time. It’s quite a journey that makes these films somewhat predictable but undeniably exciting. Here are four Netflix original romance movies that use the “fake love” trope.

1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Starting with Netflix’s most popular teen romantic comedy, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” Lana Condor and Noah Centineo play high school sweethearts Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky. But the endearing pair didn’t start out that way. After Lara Jean’s secret love letters to crushes she’s had over the years come out, she’s forced to deal with the consequences. One of her dream ship recipients, Peter, confronts her about his letter and she kisses him in “fake makeup” to avoid the approach of Josh, her other love letter recipient and the ex-boyfriend of her older sister whom she secretly had a crush on for years. Talk about an awkward situation.

Peter later proposes the perfect plan to Lara Jean that is sure to benefit them both: a “fake love” relationship. Peter manages to make his ex-girlfriend, Gen, who also happens to be Lara Jean’s nemesis, jealous in an “Operation: Jealousy” while Lara Jean manages to convince Josh that she’s no longer into him. . But as the film unfolds, their original plan begins to fade as the two begin to develop real feelings for each other in a “romantic false-true twist”. At the end of the film, the fictional couple has become a real couple.

2. The Perfect Date (2019)

Noah Centineo continues his reign as a Netflix teen idol with Laura Marano in the romantic comedy “The Perfect Date.” But instead of sweet, heartfelt love, he plays Brooks Rattigan, a self-absorbed high school student who will do anything he can to get into Yale, the school of his dreams. A blind hunter of the “finer things in life”, Brooks naively believes he must drive the nicest car, date the most popular girl, and go to the best school to succeed. But since he can’t afford to go to Yale yet, he and his gay best friend, Murph, create a dating service app so rich girls can order him as their chaperone and choose who he should be for their ” perfect date”.

He teams up with the confident and cynical Celia Lieberman and begins a supposed relationship with her so they can get the attention of their true love interests in another “Operation: Jealousy”. Brooks loves the wealthy and beautiful Shelby, whom he meets at a formal ball, while Celia has heartfelt eyes for vinyl lover Franklin. Inevitably, Brooks and Celia both discover that the people they love are as dry as dirt and realize in a mutual “It meant something to me” moment that they are meant to be together. Brooks also drops his app and realizes he no longer needs to pretend to get what he wants.

3. Purple Hearts (2022)

Another popular romance drama movie released this month, “Purple Hearts” stars Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine as frenemies-turned-lovers Cassie and Luke. The two can no longer be different because they are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Cassie is a liberal Democrat and daughter of an immigrant while Luke is a conservative Republican and third-generation sailor. The two are doing their best to put aside their differences and enter into a “marriage of convenience”, whereby Cassie can have insurance for her insulin, and Luke can acquire enough government military benefits to pay off his former drug dealer. . Even though it’s pure fraud, the two think it’s the best solution to both of their problems.

When Luke goes overseas to Iraq, the fake partners arrange video calls and naturally grow closer as they learn more about each other. As Cassie rises to fame as a singer, Luke seriously injures his leg and is forced to live with Cassie, returning home to a suspicious father. Eventually, everyone learns his secret and Luke is sentenced to six months in military prison. However, their false love was not for nothing. Along the way, the pair fall in love and profess their true love for each other in the film’s finale.

4. Wedding Season (2022)

Netflix’s latest romantic comedy, “Wedding Season,” stars Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma as Asha and Ravi, two single American Indians with equally overbearing parents. Asha, a workaholic with a demanding job in microfinance, meets her MIT graduate, “Indian Prince Charming” Ravi on a date that both of their parents set. Both are tired of being pressured by their parents to find a spouse and get married. So to fend off “matchmaker aunts” as Asha puts it, she insists they pretend to date so people think they’re out of the market. In a trope known as “the beard,” both Ravi and Asha want to keep their nosy parents from nagging them about their love life. Eventually, their love becomes real and they fall in love with each other, just like their parents wanted.

Alfonso E. Cramer