Five Problems with Romantic Comedies

Seeing the trailer for the latest Kate Hudson film, A Little Bit of Heaven, last night prompted me to question and highlight what is wrong with the genre of romantic comedies, or rather what is it about them that so infuriates me.

  1. They promote the idea that a woman can only feel complete through the acquisition of a man, and it is through said man that she can discover her own identity.
  2. The heroine often has, inexplicably, a high-powered job. I say inexplicably   because these women are never shown as particularly intelligent; Kate Hudson in the terrible Bride Wars is supposedly a hugely successful lawyer, yet still succumbs to childish arguments with her best friend.
  3. The women featured find arrogant and often distinctly unlikeable men attractive, especially men whose arrogance belies hidden depths; Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs.
  4. Rom -coms are always predictable, and arguably contain some of the laziest examples of script-writing. Improbable conflicts are invented in place of any realistic attempt at narrative drive.
  5. They create unrealistic, idealistic views of relationships. Characters are often shallow and selfish, with very little attempt at character development.

Note this is not the case for all romantic comedies, (500) Days of Summer and When Harry Met Sally are both excellent films, with real plot and character development. Unfortunately for every (500) Days of Summer there are several Leap Years.

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