I miss Romantic Comedies. I miss watching two people fall in love despite a series of slapstick missteps and misunderstandings. I miss watching as the sassy best friends made bets on when the two protagonists would get off their high horses and just FALL IN LOVE ALREADY!! I grew up on Romantic Comedies, starting young with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, progressing into Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler.
I even miss the shitty RomComs! The ones where the guy is clearly an asshole and honestly doesn’t really deserve the girl he ends up with. Or even the one’s where the girl is such a hopeless mess in the beginning and then on makeover montage later she’s “perfect”.
What happened to them? Where did they go? And for those of your reminding me of Trainwreck, I just want you to know that I do not count it as a RomCom. Not for any real reason beyond my own bias. But if I was asked to collect some of the best romcoms out there, Trainwreck for damn sure wouldn’t make the list.
The genre has its problems, I can admit that. But what genre doesn’t? Aren’t we tired of Tom Cruise, Vin Deisel, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Christian Bale, and Matt Damon monopolizing action films? Isn’t it kind of tiring to see Marvel’s shitty muddy films that takes some of the greatest superheroes around and totally fucks with the canon from the comic books? Those genre’s have their problems, and to be honest the fact that we’ve made so many of the same shitty films back to back is a little worrying. But there’s still time to change things around.
Mad Max: Fury Road took the action film genre and did something different. It took all those old tropes we know and love and made it its own! Like shooting night scenes during the day, taking your typical leading man and making him a sidekick to the true hero. Having WOMEN SAVE OTHER WOMEN!!!! I’m an action movie fiend, I’ve seen most of them (against my will) and I can honestly say I can’t remember a single movie that not only took the tools the genre gave them and did it BETTER? While also managing to be wholly unique and a stand alone in a genre filled with films that follow the same formulaic pattern.
One of my favorite romcoms would have to be America’s Sweethearts starring Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones (my queen), John Cusack, and Billy Crystal. It was about actors who met while filming “chick-flicks” together and then had a pretty nasty divorce. The character’s, aside from Julia Roberts, were all pretty terrible. Billy Crystal is a publicist, who will do anything to promote a film, even if it means forcing John Cusack’s emotionally unstable character Eddie Thomas to meet with his self-centered (soon-to-be) ex-wife.
I used to watch that movie on repeat when I was younger, and it brings up fond memories of a romcom done right.
To be honest, I feel like there’s so much possibility within the genre, that the fact there isn’t at least two romcom’s premiering a year is proof that Hollywood is stupid and stuck in its ways. A lesbian romcom where the gay best friend is an actual human being and not a collection of stereotypes standing in as comic relief. A story about a bisexual girl having a crush on both the high school quarterback and his head cheerleader girlfriend. It ends in happy polyamory and waffles*.
I just think there’s so much potential in Romantic Comedies that people are overlooking. I feel like people are tired of the same old stories being told, and I think that Hollywood is sensing that but is going in the wrong direction. They’re trying to make things as absurd and as obscene as possible. Which, is funny when done cleverly or in a way I’ve never seen before. But lately all I’ve been seeing is movie’s that follow a pretty heavy template put forth by Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg and Adam Sandler films.
I feel like absurdity and slapstick humor is the only kind of humor are comfortable with now, and I miss visual comedy. I miss films that told a story in not just visuals and script but in its soundtrack as well. I don’t know. I just feel movies have become very formulaic, and I’m uninterested in half of what I see advertised.
If you feel the same way let me know in the comments, and if you can name your favorite RomCom.