Vulture, one of the internet's premier entertainment/pop-culture kingdoms, wrote a pretty solid piece today about the decline of the Rom-Com genre–how they're not making money anymore (fist-pump), how all romantic comedies nowadays are pretty terrible (excessive whooping), and how all in all, the genre as we've come to know it is pretty much dead (confetti + prolonged chest-bumping). It's a very good read if you're into that sort of thing, and even features quips and quotes from the sorts of suits that really know “the biz.”
As a takeaway/adding my two cents combination special, here are five reasons why the traditional Romantic Comedy–a pure manifestation of torture for many a Bro–is finally, and thankfully, dead.
1. Smelling the Cookie-Cutter from a Mile Away
Here is the plot to every romantic comedy:
- Overworked, undersexed girl clearly thinks she has her life together, except she totally doesn't.
- This is revealed to us when she cries while standing on a sidewalk because “am I really happy?”
- All expedited by the fact that she's only got a few more years of “this spunky bod”
- Somewhat aloof playa comes along
- They gel, because both of them call each other out on their issues
- And it's SO honest
- Giddy phone call to friend, hinting that this guy may really be “the one”
- Further confirmed by a “classic” scene featuring a song that reeks of the sort of up-and-comingness featured in those iPod commercials circa 2007
- Just as things are about to reach perfection, their issues get the best of them in some elaborate yet predictable series of mixed messaging
- Five minutes of being sad
- The guy runs after the girl, and all is good because the guy exhibits weakness, enabling the girl to lower that “wall she's put up” for her entire life
- The end.
This has worked for the past 30 years, with alarming consistency up until recently. Thing is though, even the most “there's a man like this out for me!” type of girl has seen this movie so many times, even they are over it. And that's saying something.
2. Money vs. Netflix vs. Girlfriend Dragging
As well all know, the majority of male chick-flick watching comes from girlfriend forcing. The idea that if you sacrifice two hours satisfying her desire to watch two people live out a trivialized conception of love, she will return the favor by attempting to fulfill that same narrative, part of which involves her being wildly unfulfilled by your valiant, yet generally unimpressive sexual performance.
Given the cookie-cutterness though, the girlfriend nowadays is not going to be hell-bent on seeing “Wanderlust,” meaning that she's not gonna go drag you to see it. Meaning that if you're gonna watch a rom-com, you're sure as hell not about to spend $30 on something no one really wants to see. Netflix then, it is.
(And if you play your cards right, the “staying in” option gives you the tremendous opportunity to not have to watch more than 30 minutes or so)
The age of the internet critic (what's gooood) demands that everything is exactly perfect, otherwise you're a clear disgrace of human, and get the fuck outta here.
If you've ever seen the masterpiece that is “Friends with Benefits,” you'll notice that despite having Mila Kunis, a relatively solid zetigeisty premise, and perfectly tolerable humor, they decided to have the characters live in places that they clearly would not live in as late-20 year-olds with creative-y jobs in New York City and Los Angeles. Again, even the wedding pinterest board ex-srat stars cannot even take this completely seriously. It's simply not a life someone lives.
4. Hookup Culture
Apparently, girls dig it too. Maybe make a movie about that.
(On a somewhat related note, some burgeoning NYC documentarian really needs to get on making a film about the “DMFO dance floors of NYC: Starring Turtle Bay and Bowery Electric.”)
5. Good “Romantic Comedies” Aren't Actually Romantic Comedies
Via the Vulture article:
…the biggest romantic comedy to come along in years was actually released this year — we just didn’t realize it at the time: Ted, the raunchy Seth MacFarlane CGI comedy that grossed a massive half billion dollars worldwide, almost half of it here in the States. “On some level, Ted was a romantic comedy about a couple who fall in love,” says this third studio chief, “They just happened to be a man and his teddy bear. But there was no question that their romance was true love.”
Take this tidbit of info, and react however you'd like. It's truth spitting, though.