Why Most Modern Romantic Comedies Are Bad

Have you ever noticed the string of bad romantic comedies? Now, this isn’t new as every genre has a slew of terrible movies. Horror films have been most notably plagued by them; however, romantic comedies aren’t too far behind in modern times. The Kissing Booth is one of the most popular franchises to come out of the Netflix canon, but these films are incredibly bad. Granted, there are a few gems that come along here and there, so the genre as a whole isn’t a lost cause, but it’s bafflingly that most of what passes for romance continues to churn out of the yearly Hollywood machine. So why are most romantic comedies so bad? Could it be for the simple fact that Hollywood tends to over-romanticize onscreen relationships that often feel phony or fake? Take the Nicholas Sparks adaptations. I do understand there these are pure romantic films, but they greatly exemplify my point. I haven’t read his books so I can’t speak on the quality of them. However, based on the numerous features, the way that the writer romanticizes relationships and love is greatly exaggerated.

Of course, movies in generate exaggerate life as we know it. Films don’t have the time for the boring and mundane stuff such as two people choosing what to watch for movie night or sitting at the dinner table talking about your boring day at work. That’s perfectly fine as movies are escapism and it shouldn’t mimic every aspect of our meager and bland lives. But the problem is that Nicholas Sparks films tend to follow physically flawless-looking people who are generally perfect. Amazing skin. Perfect six-pack body. Their personality melts every girl’s heart. And look, I’m not going on some body-positive schtick and how it needs to be reflected in our modern times. My point is that we’re following a bunch of wealthy and essentially perfect people without much conflict in their lives trying to fall in love. That’s incredibly boring. There needs to be some type of obstacle or flaw to these characters that helps us connect with them, or at the very least, they need to have a colorful personality that wants us to see them get together by the time credits roll. Often, movies make the mistake of putting obstacle, after obstacle, after obstacle in the way, in hopes that it would endear audiences to the journey of these two characters falling in love.

The problem is, when I don’t care about the characters in the first place then why would I spend my precious time watching them in the first place? Going back to The Kissing Booth, the main obstacle that is stopping Noah and Elle – who are some of the most obnoxious people onscreen – from getting together is some stupid promise that she made to her best friend when she was just a little kid. There’s nothing else that’s holding her back. She’s not traumatized over the mistreatment she’s suffered in past relationships. Or it isn’t even Noah’s womanizing history that has her weary of the potential guy that she could end up dating. Nor is she dealing with any personal demons that might set her back from having a long term, healthy relationship. There needs to be some element of truth when it comes to movies and television. As I previously stated, movies need to be exaggerated because copying nearly every step of a relationship will result in a boring film. In 500 Days of Summer, Tom believes in love. Summer does not. Summer’s ideology comes from past failed relationships, which is an extremely relatable situation.

In 40-Year-Old Virgin, Andy is afraid of commitment because he feels that he needs to be experienced at sex first, in order for a woman to truly love him. One of the most twisted and unrealistic movies that mocks the romantic comedy genre is Heathers; however, J.D. is scarred over the suicide of his mother and his overbearing attempt to manipulate and control Victoria pushes her away. JASON DEAN FROM HEATHERS IS MORE OF A REALISTIC CHARACTER THEN 80% OF THE MODERN ROM-COM CHARACTERS. Think about that. Modern rom coms fail because they don’t tap into the people we’re hoping to see fall in love. Obviously, the issues from rom coms tackle doesn’t have to be as deep or dark as J.D.’s story, but it should reflect how modern society deals with love, and the struggles that often stop a person from trying to seek out their true soulmate. Nobody’s perfect, no matter how rich or poor someone is. It’s time that romantic comedies truly take a step back and understand the nature of relationships, and more importantly, people.


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