Insomnia and the rom-com

Being awake at 1.20am can do strange things to my brain... like make me start musing about romantic comedies and why we like them. Why do I have these thoughts? I have no idea. I'm quite sure that the film makers didn't intend anyone to think deeply about them, but there you go. I can't sleep.

Last night I watched Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston. (I mean, Jennifer Aniston acted in it. I wasn't watching it with her.) I wasn't particularly invested in it; it just happened to be on. I knew from the first two minutes that Jen's character would end up hooking up with the blonde wedding video maker guy. Everyone knew it, I'm sure, despite several attempts to fool the audience into thinking that this time she wouldn't get the guy. Of course she ended up with him and it was... well, a "picture perfect" ending.

We know how romantic comedies will end. If the girl didn't get the guy it wouldn't be a romantic comedy, it would be a drama. The "rom-com", as they are apparently known, is totally predictable and largely formulaic, and yet dozens of them are made every year and they continue to bring in oodles of dough for film makers and actors alike.

I feel quite sure that no one really believes that the events portrayed in romantic comedies are the norm. We know life isn't really like that in most cases, as much as we would like to fool ourselves that it is. I know many people think that women like these films because we hope life is going to be like Hollywood, and because we believe that someday Richard Gere will serenade us through the sun roof of his very expensive car, holding a bunch of roses, and then vault out through the roof of the car and climb up the fire escape in his gorgeously expensive suit whilst holding the roses between his teeth and... sorry, where was I? Ahem. Anyway, the truth is that most women are not idiots. We don't think life is like a movie and we don't secretly hope that life will be like a movie.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I like the occasional romantic comedy simply because they're fun. Sure, I know how it's going to end but I don't know how they're going to get there. Truth be told, most of the time I don't want realism in my movies. Realistic movies tend to be depressing or frightening or mundane - because that's what real life is like. Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's scary, most of the time it's just day to day mediocrity that can have some great times but 99% of the time it isn't film-worthy. I don't want to watch a movie about things that might very well happen in my own life. Where's the fun in that? I want silliness, I want adventure, I want ridiculous events that I know will never happen.

So here's to the romantic comedy. They're stupid, they're predictable, I will certainly mock them... but I'll probably keep watching them too.


Swift Jan said...

Great post!!

I like Rom-Coms too!!! Totally corny... but totally enjoyable!!

Hippomanic Jen said...

I'm not even a closet romantic, but yes, I like them because they usually have likeable characters and I can dream about what it would be like to make a scene in a posh restaurant knowing that I would never, ever do it.

A real life movie would be just plain dull.

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

I like rom-coms because you know what to expect, they require very little concentration and they always end well.

Great post!

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