Let’s talk rom-coms!

Happy Hump Day!

When you think of romantic comedies (or rom-coms), what comes to mind?

>> Romance? Check

>> Comedy? Check.

>> Criticism? But of course!

Now, what makes a romantic comedy either romantic or comedic?

That is a question that rarely seems to be answered, though many critics do criticize rom-coms on both scales. To me, the definition of “romantic comedy” is simple: it’s a romantic movie that is also comedic, whether that’s laugh-out-loud funny, employs dark humor, or even acts as a parody or satirical take on romance. To broaden that definition slightly, I’d also say that rom-coms are typically the story of a boy meeting a girl (or vice-versa) and falling in love, going through a series of misadventures, mistaken identity or other lighthearted struggles, before finally ending up together, either Happily Ever After (HEA) or Happy For Now (HFN).

Of course, this is not to say there aren’t plenty of rom-coms focused on LGBTQ relationships – there are lots! For the purposes of my discussions here, however, I’m going to stick primarily to examining movies about hetero and cisgender relationships, since I understand those dynamics best as a hetero cis woman married to a hetero cis man, as well as being a romance writer who focuses primarily on writing about those kinds of relationships.

So today I’m here to kick off a discussion of romantic comedies, from both a romance and comedy standpoint. I’ll be awarding points for both, and noting the things I like or dislike about various films in this genre, with special attention paid to various tropes, gender and relationship stereotypes, potency of the “meet-cute” (the initial meeting of the two main characters), and closing with a prediction about the sustainability of the relationship itself.

Here’s a list of 20 films I intend to cover:

  1. As Good As It Gets (1997)
  2. The Princess Bride (1987)
  3. Amélie (2001)
  4. Pretty in Pink (1986)
  5. The Big Sick (2017)
  6. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
  7. High Fidelity (2000)
  8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
  9. Hitch (2005)
  10. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  11. The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
  12. Juno (2007)
  13. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
  14. Groundhog Day (1993)
  15. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
  16. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
  17. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
  18. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  19. Green Card (1990)
  20. Sex and the City (2008)

I could definitely use more suggestions for both more recent AND more classic films to cover, so if you’ve got any faves you’d like to see dissected, please feel free to drop them in the comments section!

Meet me back here at the same time next week for my first discussion of one of my favorite movies of all time, The Princess Bride!

One Comment

  • Jayden R. Vincente

    Awesome! I look forward to it.

    Suggestions: Serendipity, He’s Just Not That Into You, Just Go With It, Rumor Has It, Never Been Kissed, The Truth About Cats and Dogs…

    I might love Rom-Coms a bit! <3