Romantic comedies provide a slanted view of reality

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In my last review, I mentioned my deep affinity with romantic comedies. And spoiler alert, I wasn’t lying. I’m a massive movie lover and the genre of romantic comedies rank high on my list of favorites. In addition to them being funny and heartwarming, theymaybe more than any other type of movieremain ridiculously rewatchable. The cliches and repetitive plot sequences somehow always find a way to fill me with joy, be it the first or forty-first time watching the movie.

However, it is important that we recognize that the glittery world of perfectly-timed jokes and dashingly handsome Prince Charmings is not the same one that we live in.

It isn’t every day that a guy and a girl get swept up in a grand, romantic plot in a grand, romantic city that finishes up with some grand, romantic ending. More often than not, the romantic endeavors of 2019 are simple and ordinary. People shouldn’t anticipate a crazy romance that could only exist on the big screen.

Additionally, the happy ending depicted in most films isn’t a standard that everyone meets during their life. Not to be overly cynical but not everyone’s path ends up with them being part of a happy marriage. Some people don’t fall in love as a fresh-faced, twenty-something-year-old, like how almost every rom-com protagonist is. Sometimes people don’t meet “the one” until way later in their life.

It is also good to keep in mind that some people never have a great romance but are instead supported by the love and companionship of good friends and family. The quintessential romantic comedy ending represents only the tiniest of tiny romances that occur in real life.

Another aspect of the rom-com that can be harmful if not unaddressed is the way that they portray women. While in the few recent years they have become a bit more diverse in terms of the color and size of leading ladies, they have historically all been about skinny, white girls who all mostly resemble each other. Also, they stereotypically sort women into the three basic categories: the main leading girl, the comical best friend, and the villainous girl competing for the main guy. 

None of these one-dimensional personas are accurate. Women have depths and can portray different levels of emotion than just fitting into one archetype.

So if there are all these problems with this genre, why do we love it?

We love them because rom-coms are entertaining, funny, and endearing. It’s okay to love them; it’s just important to remember they are fictional.

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