The Romantic (Com)eback
Image Source: The Weekly Spoon
When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Bridget Jones’ Diary… the list goes on and on.
Frankly, I don’t think you can beat the rom com classics of the 90’s and the early 2000’s. Whether they are great or not is highly debatable, but one thing is true: they are watchable. However, since Netflix, Hulu, and HBO have changed the way we watch TV, it’s no surprise that they’re changing the way we watch movies, too. Having recently watched Netflix’s Set It Up and To All the Boys I Loved Before, I shamelessly admit that I’m hooked.
As a former film student, I learned the ins and outs of movies and their history, and after watching classics like Citizen Kane and Blade Runner, I started to nitpick everything, from continuity to plot.
Rom coms follow the same formula, which goes as follows:
1. A meet-cute. It gives the viewer hope for their own lives. Sometimes, it’s not even a meet-cute. It’s the best friend that you’ve known for years but never looked at “that way.” Surprise!
2. A fight or argument, or at least a misunderstanding (the more contrived the better).
3. A grand gesture to solve it (Heath Ledger’s in 10 Things I Hate About You is a favorite of many, running to the airport is a classic, etc.).
4. They find one another again. This happens at the end, sometimes with the start of a committed relationship or, you guessed it, a wedding.
This formula goes back to Shakespeare and Jane Austen, who have both been referenced in modern day rom coms (Spoiler: She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes is an adaption of Twelfth Night).
To say that Netflix has turned out showstopper rom coms since they started releasing original movies would be an overstatement. For example, The Kissing Booth targets teens and young adults, centers on a girl stuck between a possessive best friend and his possessive older brother, and romanticizes both violent tempers and boys fighting for control of a girl. I’m not into it, but where this movie lacks is where Set It Up shines, following the formula almost to a T, but also poking fun at the rom com tropes.
Unlike tragedies, where you are left unsatisfied, with rom coms you’re left rooting for the couple even after the movie and more importantly, hoping that the right person will fall into your lap after some good ol’ drama and laughs. Until then, you can catch me watching How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. #Sorrynotsorry.
Posted by Caroline G.