November 11, 2014

Rest in Peace, Rom-Com

Are you still in mourning? It is with a heavy heart that many bid farewell to the iconic noughties, the era of jelly sandals and body glitter. One thing that was salvaged from the wreckage however, was the legacy of truly terrible romantic comedies. Our loyalty to Sandra Bullock was unwavering and we welcomed her continued turn as ‘career-woman-turned-kooky-gal-for-the-man-she-hated-but-now-loves’. This was true in equal measure for Hugh Grant’s awkward but charming Englishman.

In recent years however, this affair has waned and the love-affirming monologues have started to grate. Growing increasingly weary of the Nicholas Sparks brand of clichéd rom-coms, people finally concluded that kissing in the rain was just stupid and impractical. Katherine Heigl decided to dip her toe into the water and pollute the entire pool with such tripe as The Ugly Truth and Life as We Know It. When she attempted a last-minute dash to the airport (in 2010, people), the world said enough was enough. Audiences began to yearn for a new genre that embodied the same focus on relationships but with a modern twist… cue the bromance years.

The bromantic theme has been prevalent in literature for years, Sherlock and Watson being the primary example. On the small screen, JD and Turk from Scrubs introduced us to the sort of platonic guy love that triumphed over their own respective heterosexual relationships. Hollywood heard our cries and gave the buddy comedy a much-needed reboot. I Love You, Man and 21 Jump Street downplayed the romantic theme and gave us a deeper brotherly love connection (and the slightest touch of homo-erotica).

So now that we have revamped the rom-com genre for the guys, what’s left for the girls? At the risk of screaming Spice Girls lyrics at the media, where’s the Girl Power for the ladies? I don’t mean the sort of muck that Cameron Diaz is trying to flog, I mean real comedy. Like Bridesmaids but less of an ensemble cast and more of a Thelma and Louise central duo. We need a bit of womance.

Let’s face it, the film industry have a lot to gain by catering to our feminine needs. We are the ones that take to the cinema in droves with our lady friends and Minstrels in tow. We are the ones that sing its praises to our other lady friends, prompting a mass herd to aforementioned cinema. We need a two hour long dedication to the female friendship that doesn’t end with us plummeting to our deaths over a cliff. Or is that too much to ask?

In the meantime, I suppose we’ll have to make do with Mean Girls re-runs and the potential of an improved rom-com. I hear Heigl is starring in a new wedding themed venture, could be promising? It has wedding in the title, I believe. Kill me now.