2 thoughts on “Have Romantic Comedies Grown Up?

  • March 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Well, the romantic “tragi-comedy” (they break up, but the movie is still funny) has been around for a long time in European and independent examples and most of Woody Allen’s.

    Your idea is more interesting though–the idea that whether or not the two leads get or stay together doesn’t even have to be the main point of the movie despite the fact that it uses romcom tropes.

    Maybe variations of the same basic story has been told so many times that people are tired of it and it’s relative absence from modern movies reinforces the idea that it’s an outdated genre or at least one where every good idea has already been done.

    Hopefully a more mature attitude about relationships is part of it. The ideas of ‘love at first sight’, that no one can be happy single or worse that we each require a specific individual are probably less influential.

    A lot of the behavior in standard romcoms is essentially wallowing in misery and sometimes stalking dressed up to seem funny. The decline of the appeal of this kind of humor might be comparable to the decline in the acceptability of racist humor or comical situations involving, let’s say, drunk driving.

    By this I mean that audiences today are more aware that when people are obsessed with getting back with their ex or think that they’re in love with someone they barely know and will go to any lengths to prove it, things aren’t likely to work out very well or be an appropriate subject for lighthearted comedy.

    Maybe it would make more sense to do a really weird black comedy with the tropes of the traditional romcom taken to their logical conclusions (everyone ends up miserable and a few have restraining orders against them). 🙂

    • March 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful observations, Ed


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