For the Love of Love
Written by Denee Menghini and Betsy Wagoner. Media by Katie Wallace.
The cinematic genre of the Romantic Comedy has been misunderstood, disrespected, and used as the butt of many jokes for years and years. There are some who reject romantic comedies on grounds of principle, arguing that the movies are just sentimental fluff. Others find the familiar plot arch predictable and boring. Still others, mainly females, find great enjoyment, fun, and laughter from a good romantic comedy.
If you take the time to examine how a true romantic comedy unfolds, you will find that there is both a male and female protagonist who at first cross paths in the most typical of ways; a friend’s wedding, in the hallways at a high school, or they read about one another in a local newspaper. After pretending to be annoyed with each other’s crazy antics (which is just hidden flirting), they tend to fall head over heels for one another and spend every waking moment together frolicking through coffee shops, bookstores, and boutiques. They gaze into the other one’s dazzling blue eyes, smile with their perfect teeth, while brushing back blonde hair behind their ears. After some three weeks of being madly in love with one another, they then find themselves in the midst of some horrible romantic struggle which causes them to break apart and lose all contact for weeks on end. This usually has something to do with a step-parent or a secret they never confessed to each other. We see the characters longing for one another, wanting to scream at the screen the true reason, that “Her step-mom is a horrible, selfish person!” or “He only lied to you to protect you!” In the end they always find each other again, because of the prompting of a friend to “follow your heart” or “chase your dreams, it will set you free.”
Now if you’re like a lot of people, the above description annoys you to no end. You can tell the plot of the story before you even press play and to you there is just no excitement in that. If you’re in a relationship you realize that your own boyfriend is better than the hunk on the screen (or not as good and that makes you mad), and if you’re single like me, you’ve long ago accepted that no man will actually ever be like that and you might as well lower your expectations now.
And although I completely understand those frustrations with rom coms, on most weekends you can see me cuddled up on the couch watching them with my other single friends. Some people think it’s because we’re still hopeless romantics (which is completely not the case) and others might think we’re just bitter, old hags (which is not the case either, I promise!) We watch romantic comedies for the consistency of the story-line, for the excitement of the plot, for the hope that we won’t actually grow up to be completely irresponsible and naïve like the people on the screen, and for the pure entertainment and hilarity that they provide.