“Better Than the Movies”

Not the happily ever after expected


Photo by C. Colbath

The romantic comedy, “Better Than The Movies,” by Lynn Painter.

Ansley Dantin, Variety Co-Editor/ Social Media Coordinator

Liz Buxbaum’s heart belongs to Michael, her childhood crush who moved away before she could have her so-called “movie moment.” But he is now back in town, and Liz is determined to make him notice her – and she will do whatever it takes. Maybe even team up with Wes Bennett.

“Better Than the Movies” is a young adult, contemporary romance novel written by Lynn Painter. It transports the reader into the life and mind of teenage Liz Buxbaum, as she navigates her senior year full of comedy and heartache. Following the themes of her mom’s favorite movies, Painter creates a complicated, relatable character who just wants her perfect silver screen-worthy love story.

Wes Bennett, the handsome boy next door, has been tormenting Liz since they were kids. And even now that they are older, he still finds small ways to make her life difficult. But Wes and Michael are becoming friends, and Liz sees Wes as her opportunity to get in with Michael.

When Wes agrees to scheme with Liz to get her that fairytale moment, Liz is surprised to find out that Wes is not as much of a pain as she thought he was. He might even be love interest material. As Wes and Liz become closer, Liz must reevaluate her idea of the perfect rom-com love.

I think “Better Than the Movies” is everything that is right with romantic comedies. The enemies to lovers trope is written spectacularly, and there is the perfect amount of tension. Painter also makes a playlist for Liz and Wes, with songs that describe their relationship. Painter starts off every chapter with a quote from a famous romantic comedy that sets the mood for the following pages. Overall, I think “Better Than the Movies” is a cute, easy read that is perfect for any hopeless romantic who enjoys romantic comedies.