Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Are We in the Romantic Comedy Dark Ages?

I watched ABC's Nightline last night, which featured a segment titled, "Shaky Times for the Rom Com."  In the segment, Terry Moran states that the "current crop of romantic comedies leaves no doubt its golden age is over."

Sadly, I agree.  When I compare current romantic comedies with classics like When Harry Met Sally and Bringing Up Baby, I find current movies unable to measure up.

Rom Com's address our most common desires (love/connection) and fears (intimacy/rejection).  When a rom com works, it is because it satisfies the viewer's need to see the hero/heroine overcoming conflict through character growth.  In my opinion, recent movies seem over the top and/or they cop out to simple solutions.  The dialogue is often flat.  They may contain funny moments, but I have felt cheated by the endings. 

The fact that Hollywood cannot come up with better romantic comedies floors me, especially considering how romance novels have been selling since 2009.  Romance novels are primarly read by women in a romantic relationship, age 31-49.  I don't have statistics to prove it, but I would venture to guess that these women are also a primary audience for the romantic comedy film.  There is an audience out there.  Surely it is worth Hollywood's time and money to make good romantic comedy films.

Starting next week, I'm going to review my Top 5 favorite romantic comedies.  Stay tuned to see who is number one and why...