In August of 2018, the New York Post published an article making the case for the rom-com to make a comeback, specifically referring to movies. It was the weekend after “Crazy Rich Asians” hit the big screen and not long after “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” came out. The author’s theory is the change in dating practices to one that is more digital than face-to-face. Millenials are more likely to sit at home watching Netflix and eating ice cream rather than going out and doing something social.
In July, 2019, the Houston Chronicle posted an article about the new age of romantic comedies (saw this on Jenny Crusie’s blog). The new age referred to here is about rom-com novels (and some movies) that are much more diverse than in the past. I haven’t read Ayesha at Last or The Wedding Date but I have read The Hating Game and The Kiss Quotient.
It’s true, there has been a dearth of rom-coms after the 90s and early 00s slew of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Runaway Bride,” “Notting Hill,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Perhaps it was that half of the above starred the same handful of people and it became a little tiresome. This time around, things are looking different, too. Netflix put out some rom-coms last year that were hits, like “Sit It Up” and “To All The Boys I Loved Before” (sequel soon to come). This year, they added “Always Be My Maybe.”
It’s about time the rom-com came back, in my opinion. The romantic comedy is a comfy place for moviegoers to go again. It’s a different type of escapism that is fun, potentially relatable and made for repeated viewings if done right (as we all know from repeated readings of romance novels we think are done right).
However, there is a dark side to the rom-com comeback. I’ve read (and I can’t remember where) that movies reflect our times in opposition to what is going on in the world. Happy musicals during World War II, the weird rom-coms of the Vietnam War era (think: “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”), 90s/00s rom-com craze during the unrest in the Middle East and the dot.com crash. And we’re circling back around to rom-coms now. One just has to listen to the news to know why happy ever afters are so popular – there’s not a lot of happy out there right now.
Are you on board with the new rom-com craze. Which are your favorites?
I like a good rom-com!
It seems like one huge trend is super-hero movies, but the nature of these things is that nothing ever gets resolved — they are already planning the sequel, so there are cliffhangers, and loose ends.
The other huge trend is remakes. Remakes of Mary Poppins and the Lion King.
On the one hand, these things could be squeezing out the space where romcoms and other new movies happen. On the other hand, the venues where these things play are increasing — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. offer original programming, and they also offer non-traditional lengths.
I love going to a movie on a hot summer day . . . back home, the matinees were cheaper, and the air-conditioning was divine! Here, I think the morning show is a tiny bit cheaper . . . and the air-conditioning is still a draw (-:.
You’re right about the trend to remake the old classic kids movies. Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and, soon, Mulan. Always Be My Maybe is a streaming service original.
Not long ago I saw “Destination Wedding” with Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves. I loved it for many reasons—the characters were not 20, and it wasn’t all sweetness and light. How old is Keanu Reeves these days? I think he’s in his 50s, no matter how good he looks. So it was refreshing to see people in a romantic relationship who weren’t very young.
And then there was their attitude. A grouchier pair you could not hope to meet. They were attending the wedding of two people they didn’t know well, but nonetheless they felt compelled to buy the plane ticket and go to this thing. They complained about it throughout the entire movie. They bonded over their dislike of destination weddings and fussy details. And then at the end, well…
I’ve been to weddings like that, and I could really identify with their crabbiness. And there was a whole lot of really funny stuff too. When they were in that field…
I don’t always like rom-coms, because sometimes I can neither relate to the characters nor let go and enjoy the zaniness. But in the case of “Destination Wedding,” I was there the whole way.
I’ve never seen Destination Wedding. I’ll have to look that one up.