I Hate Romantic Comedies…

Surprising come from someone who writes them? Well, maybe hate is a strong word and a little bit of an over statement. But truthfully most romantic comedy movies annoy me. With the exception of LOVE ACTUALLY( sigh…) “But for now, let me say – Without hope or agenda – Just because it’s Christmas – And at Christmas you tell the truth – To me, you are perfect – And my wasted heart will love you.” (Double sigh) And PRETTY WOMAN, because really, who doesn’t like PRETTY WOMAN?

As a writer most of these movies annoy me. Writers have a tougher job of making you believe two people are in love. We have words and words alone to weave a tale of love, to take you inside of our characters’ hearts and minds, to show you their heat. Our goal is to make you feel  their love. We can’t rely on two big name actors (that most of the time have NO chemistry) to make our stories work. When you put our books down we don’t want you thinking, “That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” We want you sighing like little girls and looking at your husbands wondering why the hell he can’t be more like a hero.

Before I go any further into my rant, I’ll get to my point. Romantic comedies annoy me because they fail to show the complexity of love. Yes, I understand they are supposed to be light but, when I walk out of a movie I want to at least believe that the two characters I just spent my evening with could possible be in love. Because when I write THE END on my stories I want there to be no doubt that the people I just spent the last three months creating, are head over heels in love and made for each other.

And that’s why I’m recommending all romance writers to see LOVE ETC. It’s a documentary profiling five real people/ couples in different stages of love.

There is a young, eighteen year old couple, who are in the bloom of first love and grappling with the decision whether to stay together while they attend separate colleges.

And a young Indian couple who are newly married, having a difficult time living together but due to their religious beliefs do not believe in divorce. Both of them ,in their own way, feeling stuck.

There’s a single father, divorced, two children, who was looking for love and having a hard time finding it.

And a single gay man in his forties who wanted to be a father more than anything. So he hired a surrogate who got pregnant and delivered twins.

Finally there was an older couple who are still deeply in love. The husband 79, the wife 89, married forty-eight happy years and now faced with the wife’s progressing dementia. 

I loved this movie because it showed real love in all it’s stages and no matter who you are or where you come from you can identify a little bit with each and every one of these people. Whether it be a new love that get’s your heart going, or an old love that makes you feel like home. Or love for a child that expands your heart and changes your whole view of the world. Or the pain one feels when love ends. This movie will make you think. 

And since Valentine’s Day or Single’s awareness day is fast approaching. I really want to know what you think about romcom movies. 

Hate ‘em? Love ‘em? Think I’m being too tough? Disagree with me? What are some of your favorites? Is there one great one that I’m missing? As always any and all comments are welcome.

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19 thoughts on “I Hate Romantic Comedies…”

  1. I love certain romanctic comedies. I loved Love Actually. I also enjoyed 27 Dresses and The Holiday. Notting Hill is another favorite and so is Bridget Jones (the first one, second one was crap like the book). I’m seeing a trend…I like British rom-com better!

    1. I love all things British. Especially movies. I live for BBC America. I think I’m an Anglophile. Give me a man with an accent anyday!

  2. I’m not a big fan, but have a few that are dear to me..Pretty Woman, for sure, Bridget Jones. Is Return to Me considered ROMCOM? I really liked that movie.

    Great post! I will check out Love etc. I probably don’t like ROMCOM for all the reasons you listed. I hope in my writing I don’t fall short in proving without a doubt my characters love each other.

  3. I have long come to accept that I must be a Brit in a Yank’s body. I live for BBC America, too, and all my favorite romantic comedies are British. They seem to take a more nuanced view to relationships, not glossing over the rough spots, though there are undoubtedly some clunkers in the bunch. Love Actually is the best romantic comedy ever, not possible to top that. Though I have a very soft spot for The Holiday as well.

      1. Jamie, I highly recommend The Holiday. Jude Law is perfection, and I never thought in a million years that Jack Black could pull of a romantic lead, but he totally nails it.

        Thanks for the welcome!

  4. Oh, I have to check out Love, Etc. – looks awesome. I’m not a huge romantic comedy fan, but there are some that I love to death: Bridget Jones Diary, anything with Rock Hudson and Doris Day (yes, I have a powerful ability to suspend disbelief), Princess Bride (so much more than just romantic comedy) and Down With Love.

  5. For the most part, I like them. Pretty Woman is my all time favorite because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be involved with HIM … handsome, rich, nice guy, and then there is that whole shopping spree thing (~le sigh~). But before I get lost in my fantasy … there are many romcoms as mentioned above, and much like the books, all subjective to our personal taste. I think for the short time I escape to watch a movie, I’m just happy to see someone fall in love. And because I’m a writer, I find watching these, or reading them, somehow make me a better writer.

  6. I hate Pretty Woman (sorry, Gerri). And I agree, most movies are too plotsy and cute and simple. But then you have Bridesmaids, and hope rises that rom-cons will rise to that bar, because it was as much a touching story about friendship and hope as it was a laugh fest.

      1. You hate Pretty Woman?! Gasp! But hey everybody entitled to their opinion. I HATE Nicholas Sparks books/ movies. I might get my girl card revoked but I cringe everytime I hear somebody mention the notebook.

    1. I also hated Pretty Woman. I don’t know what it is, but I find Julia Roberts . . . irritating. There is, however, much to be said about Richard Gere, then and now. Jamie, I agree with you about Nicholas Sparks — not a personal fave, but there’s clearly a market for what he’s writing, and I can’t argue with success! I keep hearing about Bridesmaids. Must check it out. One of my all time favorite rom-coms is You’ve Got Mail. Tom Hanks — so NOT your typical romance hero, and yet I adore him and his dog and never fail to cry at the end of that movie.

  7. Jamie, romantic comedy is my fav. Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks, “Sleepless in Seattle.” Did you like that one? And how can anyone not LOVE “Pretty Woman?” Well, Casey and Kristan, if you don’t like Julia Roberts, then you won’t enjoy her antics. I love her, she is beautiful and a great actress. Kristan, I love your comedies, but I can’t stand murder mysteries or paranormals, so there! I love to laugh………

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