The Insomniac in Desperation: a Commentary on Romantic Commedies

Dear Squids,

It is 3:00 AM. I love sleep, but for whatever reason, the powers at be do not see fit to bestow it upon me. So what do I do in case of insomnia? Why annoy people on my own public forum of course! Unfortunately I have not had time to watch a movie (end of semester slogging phase) but I can assess and inevitably complain about (I’m sure you would expect nothing less) something more general in the world of cinema. I chose romantic comedies.

Romantic comedies. Other than scary movies (because I hate nothing more than being scared, except for maybe people making fun of the Purple Tellatubby. Just let him carry his damn purse why don’t you?) romantic comedies are my least favorite film genre. Most of them are formulaic, simplistic, and portray nothing about the real world. And usually they’re not even that funny. If you are going to insult my intellect the least you could do is make me laugh.

Let me go into more detail about my problems with these movies. The first, they are formulaic. How many romantic comedies do you think follow this plot? Girl meets boy, and they instantly detest each other. Girl shockingly discovers that she and boy are being forced together in a way neither can escape. Boy and girl randomly have a sexual encounter and afterwards reject what has just happened, denying the growing sexual tension. Boy and girl realize they actually love each other. And they live happily ever after. Off the top of my head I can already think of two Kathryn Heigel movies, (one of which I happen to own, everyone is a hypocrite at some point) one unfortunate Patrick Dempsey wedding movie that never should have been made, and at least two Sandra Bullock movies. I’m sure if I actually used some effort, I could compile a pretty sizable list. Have I made my point?

Also, these movies tend to be completely unrealistic and unchallenging. That’s fine if you use movies as escapism, but I believe film can do so much more. Movies, just like all other kinds of art, can help us understand the world around us. And I’m sorry, but movies about “Our love can never die” just aren’t reflective of the real world. I realize that makes me sound like a bitter depressing cynic, but—oh, wait, that is me.

And what I really have a problem with is how these movies send a message that love is the be all and end all. I’m quite tired of John Cusack throwing in my face, “Your life won’t be complete without love.” I’m not saying I think love is a bad thing. But as a woman, I can say from experience these movies have a horrible effect on young girls. They morph their minds into thinking that they will never be happy until Hugh Grant comes to sweep them off their feet. (And who would want to be swept away by Hugh Grant anyway? He may be sexy, but if Elizabeth Hurley can’t keep him…) If we really are trying to become a feminist nation, shouldn’t that idea be left in the 1950’s where it belongs?

This is not to say though that I believe all romantic comedies are bad. There are some romantic comedies that I love. These movies do not fit in the formulaic, bad jokes, bad writing stereotype I just constructed. And they usually go beyond their limited genre. The ones that most immediately come to mind would be The Holiday, and 900 Days of Summer.

So now it’s 4:00 AM. I’m going to try to get a few hours of sleep before my class later today. Thank you for paying attention to my late night dribble that I probably won’t remember when the sun comes up.

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6 thoughts on “The Insomniac in Desperation: a Commentary on Romantic Commedies

  1. Fun post! I agree about many romantic comedies, however, when they’re done right they can be GREAT!!!!!!!!! Loved The Holiday and 500 Days of Summer :)…and Sixteen Candles, The Wedding Singer etc. etc.

      • I enjoyed reading this…but probably shouldn’t have done so before work this morning!!!!! Jeremy was not very happy with me because I lost track of time and made him LATE for work…Poor guys takes one second to get ready and me…forever!!!!! I promised him no more computer before work and will try to make it up to him with some new music for when he comes home from class tonight!

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