As we recently discussed, romantic movies are as bad for your brain as just about any type of movie you can watch as a stupid young person. We asked you to show us what they might look like if they actually told the truth. Read more…
Having been a fan of ”Breaking Upwards,” the heartbreaking debut film from co-writers/co-stars/cohabitators Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, I couldn’t wait to see the couple’s follow up, ”Lola Versus.” Starring mumblecore goddess Greta Gerwig, ”Lola Versus” tells the story of a woman on the verge of 30 who’s left understandibly devastated after her fiance dumps her three weeks before the wedding. However, after salty food and casual sex doesn’t help fill the void, she must figure out how to move on with her life without sliding back into the arms of her self-centered ex.
In rom-coms such as this, it’s easy to pin the leading lady’s happiness on whether or not she ends up with a guy at the end of the film, which got me thinking: What if some of our most adored romantic comedies had ended up with different outcomes? More specifically, what would’ve happened if these “meet cute”-ies didn’t opt for the embrace of Prince Charming? From Vivian Ward in ”Pretty Woman” to Jamie Rellis in ”Friends With Benefits,” let’s spitball about what would’ve happened after the credits rolled if these leading ladies had chosen themselves over whatever handsome—but probably jerky—suitor.
Leslie Simon is the author of Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World. Follow her musings on her blog and on Twitter.
What does every single dude that’s ever starred in a romantic comedy have in common? Well, they’ve all been impersonated by this guy, and they’ve all been in a movie with Jen Aniston.
“I feel almost embarrassed revealing this, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years that saying you like romantic comedies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity. But that has not stopped me from enjoying them. I like watching people fall in love onscreen so much that I can suspend my disbelief in the contrived situations that occur only in the heightened world of romantic comedies. I have come to enjoy the moment when the male lead, say, slips and falls right on top of the expensive wedding cake. I actually feel robbed when the female lead’s dress doesn’t get torn open at a baseball game while the JumboTron camera is on her. I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world.”
—Mindy Kaling of “The Office” confesses in the new issue of The New Yorker that she is a closet romantic comedy junkie and dreams of writing one some day. She goes on to break down the archetypes of the rom-com: the Klutz, the Ethereal Weirdo, the Woman Who Is Obsessed with Her Career and Is No Fun at All. Thanks to Mindy for defending this genre. Because when you’re feeling down on a Sunday night, nothing can cheer you up faster than cooking a good meal and watching a terrible rom-com. [New Yorker]
The discerning female film viewer has long trained herself to separate rom-coms from reality when it comes to her love life. He’s probably not going to win you over with a grand romantic gesture, he’s probably not going to beat up some loser just to impress you, and he’s probably not going to have Matthew McConaughey’s abs. But that’s why we watch those flicks, isn’t it? It’s like porn for women’s emotions — or at the very least, something light and fluffy to entertain you when you’re lying at home on a Saturday night with cramps.
Romantic comedies about romance will always be made. Hey, something’s got to keep Jennifer Aniston working. However, in recent years, a new breed of romantic comedies has come around: work-comedies. Instead of McConaughey’s abs, we’re lusting after the woman on the big screen with the great hubby, the cute kids, and the important job. Keep reading »
Rumor has it that Cameron Diaz is currently developing a baseball movie. And we’re not talking “Field of Dreams” here; we’re talking more along the lines of “Fever Pitch.” A source tells The Daily Express, “Cameron actually has an idea for a romantic comedy set around Major League Baseball. She’s very excited about developing her own projects and the fact this one is about a baseball player means she has good reason to spend more time with A-Rod and the Yankees. She’s even thinking that Alex could star in the movie with her.” All we can say is, “Cameron … nooooooooo!” If you need a friend to tell you it’s a bad idea, talk to Drew Barrymore—and her baseball romantic comedy was at least based on a Nick Hornby book, not to mention co-starred Jimmy Fallon, who is a much better actor that A-Rod could possibly be. Well, since she may be doing this anyway, let me suggest a plotline: big deal baseball player loses street cred when his girlfriend feeds him popcorn at a big game. And … roll. [Daily Express, Huffington Post] Keep reading »
“I love romantic comedies. I watch them all the time. I love all my fellow female romantic comedy queens, like Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner and Katie Heigl. I also think that the questions romantic comedies ask about men and women are universal.”
– Reese Witherspoon defends the film genre that pays her bills in the January 2011 (!!!) issue of Glamour. You know, I’m gonna agree with her. Yes, often the writing is crap. But honestly, I relate to a lot of the female characters in romantic comedies, though not always proudly. Keep reading »
I used to be a big fan of romantic comedies in the ’90s. But when the 2000s rolled around, they just got embarrassing. Hello, “27 Dresses.” Maybe it was because I had grown up by that point and so had my taste in movies. Or maybe it’s because the rom-coms of the last decade leave a lot to be desired. Why? Because although there have been a few good ones (“500 Days of Summer” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), I think the genre is having an identity crisis.
Some are slick and ’80s reminiscent, but that naïveté doesn’t fit anymore. Some go for a gritty ’90s feel, but they seem to be trying too hard. See, ’90s rom-coms were a reaction to the cheese-tastic style of ones made in the ’80s. We all enjoyed the silly implausibility of “16 Candles,” but by the time we had come out of the opulent haze of the ’80s, our romantic tastes got a sober makeover more appropriate for the times. They had a grittier, more realistic edge … but still with a happy ending. Nothing tugs at my heartstrings quite like grunge music and Doc Martens. After the jump, some of my fave ’90’s rom-coms face off against ones made in the 2000s. Keep reading »
Nick Waters may be a superhero, as far as I’m concerned. This brave, 28-year-old Oklahoma boy survived watching 30 chick flicks in 30 days. The idea came to him last year when he and his wife, Nicci (Nick and Nicci … that’s a rom-com waiting to happen), were watching a garden-variety, painful chick flick together. Since he didn’t really get it (we don’t always either, Nick), he thought watching more was a surefire way to understand the opposite sex better. Nick took things a step further and decided to write about his experience on a blog, 30chickflicks.com. Keep reading »
I may be unpopular for saying this, but I kind of hate romantic comedies. If they are supposedly targeted to women, they somehow missed my demographic. Why are they so often inane dribble? Sure there are a few greats (“When Harry Met Sally,” “(500) Days of Summer”) that are not to be missed, but for the most part I wouldn’t be caught dead watching a Sandra Bullock flick unless the movie theater has the world’s best popcorn. That’s why a got a really good chuckle reading Asylum’s list of “7 Things Romantic Comedies Taught Us About Women.” It got me thinking. There must be some really important lessons for us ladies to learn as well, right? After the jump, the 10 oh-so-realistic things that rom-coms have taught us about men. Keep reading »