The Pull of Rom-Coms
Sat, April 17, 2021

The Pull of Rom-Coms

Who does not have a soft spot for movies with happy endings such as romantic comedies? They provide everything from a tinge of pleasure and excitement to laughter and tears / Photo by: Everett Collection via Shutterstock

 

Who does not have a soft spot for movies with happy endings such as romantic comedies? They provide everything from a tinge of pleasure and excitement to laughter and tears. Indeed, what better way to while away the time than to watch rom-coms.

Romantic comedies usually focus on a love story between two people who meet and fall in love, disregard the odds, and triumph over obstacles that are tearing them apart to ultimately have a fairy tale ending of living happily ever after. Rom-coms are lighthearted, funny, delightful love stories that pull the audience into theaters.

 

The Rising Rom-Coms

The romantic comedies of today are wide-ranging, intricate, and hot. Book readers scout for them with fervor and the movie audience view them with passion. According to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world, a typical American reads four books a year but a typical romance reader greedily reads a book in only a week or more.

The once sputtering rom-com movies are back with a vengeance. Netflix awakened them from dormancy and they exploded once again. The video-streaming giant was not the sole reason for rom-com renaissance, however, as it is also because of the fresh perspective on romance applied by talented directors, funny and memorable dialogues from creative writers, and the terrific acting from a new generation of stars.

The romantic comedies of today are wide-ranging, intricate, and hot. Book readers scout for them with fervor and the movie audience view them with passion / Photo by: Viorel Sima via Shutterstock

 

After years of decline in romantic comedy, mainstream appetites have been whetted once again. Men and women, in general, are appreciating the many great, different female voices in rom-coms, an influence of the “Me Too” movement. Moreover, with the unpredictable and alarming world around, people turn into feel-good entertainment in books, movies, television, and the internet to give them reassurance and comfort.

The addiction is fascinating that questions such as “Is it too much? Is it too soon? Will cultural consciousness suffer burnout?” pop up like mad. Only time can tell; everything is cyclical that trend is capriciously unpredictable. Let us, however, hope that rom-coms will stay for a long while this time. Let us continue rooting for happy endings.

The Appeal of Rom-Coms

Ironically, rom-coms are the most censured type of films, with certified critics and normal viewers alike commenting on their banality, triviality, and unoriginality. Despite these criticisms, rom-coms have endured the ups and downs of time.

Here are some tropes of the genre that have lasting appeal on audiences:

- The hate-at-first-sight rom-com that depicts taking an instant dislike to one another but inadvertently realizing their love for one another and ending up together.

- The bad timing rom-com that pitches a perfectly matched couple at an inopportune time in their lives struggling with their emotions and desires only to carelessly hurl caution at the end to live happily ever after together.

- The best-friend rom-com where two best friends eventually realize (after eons it seems) that the one they wanted all along has been right beside them the whole time. He confesses, couple kisses, and ends up together. Romantic relationships start out as friendships and work out as they are entrenched in genuine love for each other’s company.

- Love confession in the middle of pouring rain is so romantic. The dramatization of professing love for each other provides viewers with feelings of giddiness and satisfaction. Often times, the hopeless romantics end up shedding tears, mirroring the beautiful on-screen moment onto their own love relationships. This type of rom-com gives a glimmer of hope that someday a special pouring rain love confession can also happen to us.

One of the appeals in ron-com genre is the hate-at-first-sight rom-com that depicts taking an instant dislike to one another but inadvertently realizing their love for one another and ending up together / Photo by: Antonio Guillem via Shutterstock

 

- The idea of two totally opposites discovering their romantic feelings for one another are just too perplexingly appealing just like a consistent honor student falling for the bad-boy drop out, or a popular school belle landing with the school nerd. This make-believe scenario creates the possibility of balance in the unexpected dynamic.

- The best rom-coms center on inner personas rather than gorgeous eyes or sexy lips demonstrating that real love is about knowing someone deeply inside and out and not just a crazy desire to make out. It is the character that makes the difference and counts the most.

- Everybody goes gooey for romantic gestures. Who would not swoon when your love interest cannot take his eyes off of you or if you receive the famous Tom Cruise declaration in “Jerry Maguire,” “You complete me.” One cannot just go over the Moon in such over-the-top moments.

Whether we like to admit it or not, rom-coms are the films, the shows, the books that people turn to when looking for reassurance. Bothering worries, issues, concerns for a second are forgotten when reading or watching the magic of two people in love. When the chemistry of romance and comedy merge, viewers regain their faith that happy endings do exist. The world is wonderful after all.

Lesson Learned

Whether it’s making the grand gesture or the banality of lasting love, romantic comedies highlight some essential truth: the glory of rom-coms coaxes the fear out of somebody in love to courageously voice out their deepest desire for forever love. Rom-coms teach the basics of love and the power of connection and retain the lure and tingle of romance to make people thirsty for more.