Even talking about this, I feel as though somebody is going to come out of the shadows and snatch away my geek card but here I go: I like rom-coms. I have always liked rom-coms and even though I know that they’re probably the most universally mocked film genre in existence, I still have a soft spot for them.
They used to be everywhere but now I’m struggling to remember the last one that I saw in cinema. Was there some sort of secret conspiracy to slowly stop producing romantic comedies? Or was everybody else aware and I just missed it? I looked up romantic comedies that had been released this year and one of the top results was Deadpool. Whilst I admit Deadpool boasts both romance and comedy, it’s not exactly When Harry Met Sally.
Cinema goes through phases: at the moment it’s very much into action franchises but there was a time a few years ago when it was all YA adaptations. Rom-coms had their turn in the spotlight and now they’re taking a step back – that’s natural. The only issue is that most genres still have some sort of presence whereas rom-coms just don’t and I have a theory about why this has happened.
Romantic comedies got really bad.
You’ve Got Mail, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Love Actually are all amazing movies. Just Go With It, All About Steve, and Did You Hear About The Morgans? are not. I mean, seriously Hugh Grant: how can you go from Love Actually to Did You Hear About The Morgans? The main difference between those groups of films is their release dates – the newer ones suck.
Romantic comedies were successful for a long time because they were fun and cute and everyone could enjoy them. They were a guaranteed success so film-makers got lazy. Grab a couple of attractive film stars, have them fall in love despite some seemingly insurmountable obstacle and do it all with a cute soundtrack behind them. Sorted. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to make a good movie and film-goers made that clear by not going.
Perhaps I’m just nostalgic for the old rom-coms but I think that the genre deserves a renaissance. There are so many talented young actors that I would be happy to spend 90 minutes watching fall in love. So, this is my official plea to Hollywood:
I love Marvel and I’m a big fan of all of those Disney movies but please can we get just one good romantic comedy next year? I’m not expecting it to be Nora Ephron-standard. Just better than The Killers or What Happens In Vegas or… you know what? Just don’t put Ashton Kutcher in it and we should be fine.
What’s your take on rom-coms? What film genre do you think is in desperate need of a comeback? Let me know in the comments.