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Romantic films starring Cambridge alumni

A guide for anyone spending their Valentine’s Day in bed


Spending this Valentine’s Day single, or were you just too slow with the restaurant booking? In either case, you’re probably planning to settle down to watch a good romantic film. If you’re struggling for choice, we’re here to help; carry on reading for a list of recommendations, all starring Cambridge alumni!

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

If you’re an English student like me, it won’t be your first time watching this, and it certainly won’t be your last. But, if you haven’t yet watched this literary classic and you’re a stan for the enemies-to-lovers trope, I seriously recommend you do.

Tom Hollander, who plays Mr Collins, studied English at Selwyn from 1985. He was a member of the Footlights and got involved in stage production during his time there.

Love Actually (2003)

“Love Actually?!” I hear you cry, “But Christmas ended two months ago!”

Yes, I know. But if you’re willing to overlook its seasonal setting, you’ll be pleased to hear that your favourite comfort film stars one of our own. Emma Thompson, who plays Karen (although, does anyone actually use the characters’ names?), studied English at Newnham from 1977, and was the Footlights’ first female member! Other members of the star-studded group at the time were Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Romeo and Juliet (1996)

If Valentine’s Day isn’t the day to watch this romantic classic when is? Though it may be a little more intense than your favourite romcom, it is definitely worth the watch.

Spot Miriam Margolyes, who studied English at Newnham from 1960, as Juliet’s nurse. In case you hadn’t already guessed, she was also a member of the Footlights. She represented her college in the first series of University Challenge, where she accidentally swore on television.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

This biographical romantic drama not only follows the life of infamous Cambridge alumnus, Stephen Hawking, but also stars a Cambridge alumnus. Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen, studied History of Art at Trinity from 2000, on a choral scholarship.

About a Boy (2002)

This romantic comedy is definitely a comfort watch, so I recommend it to anyone feeling down this Valentine’s.

Rachel Weisz, who plays Rachel, studied English at Trinity Hall. While there, she co-founded a drama group called Cambridge Talking Tongues.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! 

I hope you’re now spoilt for choice for a film to watch on Valentine’s Day!

On a side note, if you’re an English student involved in the Footlights or another drama organisation, it looks like there’s a decent chance of you starring in a romantic film one day!