The State Of Romcoms

Like a lot of people, I enjoy romcoms (romantic comedy movies, for anyone who lives under a rock). I think they’re great and fun and cute. Some are so iconic and everyone knows them, or parts of them at least, to the point where they’re sometimes more relevant in pop culture than big blockbuster movies that made twice as much money in theaters.

I love romcoms gif.

But I think romcoms and their popularity and purpose has changed a bit over the years. There certainly still are romcoms being made in recent years that are well done and overall enjoyed by their viewers, but I think that compared to the romcoms of yesteryears, they may not have that longevity and popularity years down the line.

It seems to me that romcoms really took off in the 90’s. There of course were some in the 80’s that checked the boxes of having romance and comedy, but a lot were the iconic teenage coming of age movies, and as much as they’re in many ways great in their own right, I don’t know if anyone’s calling Pretty In Pink a classic romcom, ya know? But in the late 80’s and leading right into the 90’s, that’s when romcoms really took off and made lasting marks on the genre. People like Huge Grant, Julia Roberts, and Meg Ryan became legends.

Notting Hill gif.

And then in the 2000s we got a wide mix of content. Romcoms may have kickstarted in the previous decade, but there were so many that were made in the 2000s, with old and new names joining in and contributing. Ones that stand out to me are Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, and Ryan Reynolds. Not all of the movies are worth talking about today still, but they were entertaining, and it is always fun nowadays to turn on the TV to find some old forgotten mid-2000’s romcom and recognize the whole cast (this happened recently with the movie View From The Top).

Off the backend of the 2000’s and going into the early 2010’s, I noticed that the number of romcoms started to dwindle and there was a shift in the kind of comedy (more hokey and dumb) as well as in the leads for the romcoms. I feel like they went from some big-name staples in the genre to being comprised of mostly people who, for some reason, either had or later did have a deep association with an NBC show (eg. Kristin Wig, Paul Rudd, Tina Fey, Steve Carell…).

Once in the 2010s, I don’t know if it was because of the 2000’s romcom overload or if the better movie technology just lead to more action movies being made instead, but there are not a lot of romcoms in this decade. There are some, and luckily for us all, some of the some are really good and favourites of mine, but I find that overall, the genre kind of died out. A lot of the ‘top romcoms’ listed in articles online are ones that I don’t find to be that memorable in terms of a movie and especially not in terms of a romance, like Easy A, Trainwreck, Silver Linings Playbook, or Sleeping With Other People. It’s too bad. The dozens of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies made every year prove that people aren’t opposed to watching simple romance in movies still.

Where Is The Love? GIF.
Me @ 2010’s “romcoms”

What will the romcom genre look like in the 2020’s? I don’t know and based on the trend, I don’t expect too much. A lot of the romcoms released in the last several years came from streaming services rather than theaters, and maybe that’s for the best as romcoms are best enjoyed at home rather than in a large theater. I also think a reason for a lack of recent romcoms is because there aren’t a lot of mid-20’s/early 30’s aged actors who are a) super popular and b) want to be the romcom legends of the era. There’s a good chunk of early 20’s people (Timothee Chalamet, Tom Holland, Zendaya, Noah Centineo, Hailee Steinfeld) who largely have already jumped into more edgy, action-packed big paycheque projects. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think the genre will die out at all, but I don’t know if anything made any time soon will be able to match some of the purity and quality of older romcoms and lines like “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” (even though I kind of find that line very cringe).

What are your thoughts on romcoms over the years? Do you enjoy modern ones just as much as 90’s classics? Do you think the genre is dead or dying?

powerful and relevant performance gif.
My mom, rewatching Love Actually for the 1000th time

That’s all for now!

 

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Are Ted Mosby And Ross Geller #Goals?

I once saw a post on Tumblr say that Christian Grey from 50 Shades Of Grey is a bad example of what a relationship goal should be like, and I think most people know that to be true. But then someone reblogged the post and added that Ted Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother) and Ross Geller (from FRIENDS) are too, and I had to think about that. I had seen FRIENDS years ago and I just recently watched HIMYM, and I can’t get that one internet rando’s comment out of my head. I mean, obviously the makers of said shows didn’t aim to make characters that display slightly obsessive attributes because at first glance they all seem perfectly normal, but when you look at things from another perspective, things are different.

I always liked Ross. He was the most logical and smart and kind and had dorky tendencies that I dug, even just for a laugh. I did kind of side with him on the whole ‘on a break’ thing. He was a normal guy just trying to be happy with a girl he’s been in love with for years.

And the same went for Ted. Average guy, smart, nice. He had his heart set on a soulmate and did his best to find her, even though the world seemed against him.

Both guys fell hard for a girl (Ross for Rachel and Ted for Robin) and for the majority of the shows’ run, those relationships had a huge focus. Ross and Rachel are such an iconic couple. Their drama and friendship was relatable and real, and you knew they just had to be endgame. Their famous ‘on a break’ fight was genius because there was no correct answer so viewers weren’t totally against one person. As for Ted and Robin, they were interesting because they worked together so well though they were very different. Though it was clear from the pilot that Robin was not the girl Ted was really looking for, it was nice to see their friendship and relationship develop. For both shows, the males were the real forces behind the relationship, the ones who really fell head-over-heels first and the ones who didn’t give up, and that’s why it’s somewhat understandable how some people see it being creepy.

But not me.

You see, for Ross and Rachel, their problem was that they’re both stubborn, so they fought a lot when they were in a relationship, and when they weren’t, they just never seemed to be in love at the same time, which made for drama and awkward other dates that everyone knew would never last. But it was clear that they always cared for each other and just needed to get their acts together. Ross did struggle to express himself and often failed to understand Rachel or even females in general, but that made him human and kind of relatable. He was a flawed character, and that’s what we needed to see.

As for Ted and Robin, their relationship was a bit more complex. They got along well and lasted a while, to the point where they had a clean break up. Had Ted had better luck in other relationships, then all would have been fine, but when he failed to find his dream girl, he was forced to always hold on to the idea that perhaps Robin was as good as he’ll get. The problem was that Robin had the same ideas. Every time Ted went to some great length to admit his feelings, it was at times when Robin was having doubts (before she married Barney) or newly single (after her break up with Kevin), so she’d awkwardly reciprocate for a while until she’d straighten up and realize that she didn’t want what Ted wanted. Because Ted was an admitted romantic, he did some pretty extravagant gestures to woo Robin, which is why people consider it ‘creepy’. But like Ross, and even Rachel to some degree, feelings so strong can’t just go away, and unfortunately, Ted’s big flaw was that he relied too much on hope and love.

Cobie Smulders, Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother

And it’s not like the females in question ever said “no” and then had these guys constantly pine after them. It was always mutual feelings, though of different degrees. It isn’t ever about entitlement.

Maybe I’m just a romantic too, so I don’t consider Ross and Ted creepy. I mean, both guys only wanted happiness and a realistic life with someone they loved, so to have them compared with Christian Grey is just wrong. I understand what they want.

I do see how people could perhaps not like Ross and Ted as characters. Ted’s decision-making skills were super weak, and Ross often didn’t understand that people have different interests and feelings, but that doesn’t mean they’re awful. They’re flawed like any other character. They should not be criticised and bashed for being ‘nice’. I mean, the world is full of guys who aren’t nice, so I always enjoy seeing fictional characters (yes, remember folks, they are not real…another rant for another day) who are #goals.

What do you guys think? If you’ve seen FRIENDS or How I Met Your Mother, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment, even if you do think that Ross and Ted are creepy or disagree with any of my points. I want to learn and discuss!

P.S. Did y’all hear about the FRIENDS reunion thing that was announced yesterday? I’m so excited!

P.P.S. That series finale of HIMYM was so bad, I’m so angry. People said it was bad, so I knew in advance, but I was still really disappointed.