I am four weeks into my year of romantic comedies and oh man did I ever pick a doozie of a 4th movie. By which I mean I picked a terrible fourth movie. I’m so used to loving every romantic comedy, even the awful ones, that this experience really shook me to my core. You can read all about my impression of Something Borrowed on A Year of Romantic Comedies.
Posts Tagged: romcoms
Here’s something I love: romantic comedies.
Here’s something I don’t care about: originality in romantic comedies.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate an actually well-made, well-written, well-acted gem of a romcom. Nora Ephron movies, for example, are just about as good as it gets.
But you know what else I like? ALL ROMANTIC COMEDIES.
I know some people scoff at the predictability, the cliches, the implausability of the entire plot, but I just do not care. At all. Frankly, life can be extremely depressing and upsetting, and sometimes it’s nice to watch something where you know two attractive people are going to kiss to the tune of a popular song as the camera slowly pans out.
Obviously the plots themselves are predictable, but there are also certain moments that seem to be in almost every romantic comedy. And, even though these moments have been seen over and over again since the beginning of romantic comedy time, I love them. In fact, I WISH someone would make a movie with every single one of these moments in it. Mindy Kaling, will it be you?
My Favorite Cliched Romcom Moments
-Two people end up having to sleep in the same room, or even the same bed, for some reason. Did they accidentally book just one hotel room? Do they need to huddle together in a cave because they’re participating in a fight to the death? Okay, so that one was The Hunger Games, which is decidedly NOT a romantic comedy. Or is it? It’s not.
-A couple is just goofing around (Queen Latifah is trying to keep her midnight snack cookies away from Common, Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman are trying to walk across a sheet of ice in While You Were Sleeping) until they fall and/or realize their faces are PRECARIOUSLY close together. Close enough to TOTALLY MAKE OUT.
-But they probably won’t, because another moment that happens in every romantic comedy is that when the characters’ faces are a half inch apart, some child, petulant elderly person, or sassy homeless guy interrupts them. Whew. They were about to do something that would’ve taken out, like, a third of the movie.
-There’s an elaborate misunderstanding where one character thinks the other character is dating someone. But no! That’s just his very attractive cousin/sister/RA in that picture!
-To prove a point or win a bet, the characters have to kiss. How often does this happen in real life for adults? I feel like never. But it happened in The Wedding Singer, and that might be the best romantic comedy ever made. That kiss may be for show, but the feelings are ALL REAL, you guys.
-Two characters get stuck in a confined space. Snowstorm? Elevator? Coat closet? I don’t care. All I know is they’re stuck and they’re probably going to have a heart to heart where we realize they’re perfect for each other, but they don’t know it yet so they won’t kiss. Movie makers know that if the two characters kissed in a small, emotionally charged space like this, certain emotionally fragile people’s hearts would explode.
-One character has to run to get to the other character BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. The best use of this is airports, obviously. Everyone knows once someone flies away you can never find or talk to them again. Duh. But it can happen anywhere. Someone just needs to run. Through a park? Through a city? All I know is that someone’s going to be breathless when s/he confesses his/her undying love!
-Falling-in-love montage. Okay, duh. Don’t even come at me with your romcom if you aren’t going to be bothered to put in a montage. IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE ME HAPPY. The best, best, best, falling-in-love montage is from Valley Girl. It spans the entire length of Modern English’s “I’ll Melt With You,” it involves a lot of aimless walking around, and Nicolas Cage looks fine. Please don’t tell me we have to have the “Nicolas Cage used to be hot” conversation again, okay? Nicolas Cage used to be hot. We just need to accept it. Watch Moonstruck.
-The two main characters will inevitably end up somewhere they’re not really supposed to be after hours. What’s so romantic about being the only ones in a building/amphitheatre? I don’t know. I’m not here to figure out the magic about these things, I’m just here to present them.
-True love confession. Well, obviously you aren’t going to have a great romcom ending unless someone tells the other person “I love you.” That’s the entire point. This is undoubtedly the best part of any romcom, and when it’s done right, it can be a religious experience. Some of my faves include Billy Crystal’s speech to Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (my heart is beating faster just thinking about it), Adam Sandler’s song on the plane in The Wedding Singer, and EVERY SINGLE OTHER TIME this happens.
-Oh, did I mention that the previous scene should take place in the rain, if possible? Because it should. Somehow the leading lady’s mascara won’t be running. The magic of cinema, y’all.
-An extraordinarily weird misunderstanding or lie that could be easily explained? I love it. We all know Sandra Bullock needs to end up with Bill Pullman and his reversible denim jacket in While You Were Sleeping, but everyone already thinks she’s Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows’s fiancee, and he’s in a coma! Confusing? Don’t worry about it. It’s perfect.
So those are my favorite romantic comedy moments…what are yours? Let me know in the comments!