Rom-coms: formuliac or inspiring?


It’s a cosy Friday night in; the blankets are out, the lights are off and the Dairy Milk is open. Everyone’s trawling through Netflix to find a suitable film, when someone says those words…”Rom-Com?”. All the males in the room groan.

Romantic comedies have the power to divide the nation- some hate them, others swear by them. I will never understand why some people have such a burning hatred of rom-coms. I mean, what isn’t to love about films that leave you feeling good about yourself, life, and humanity? I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend my evening with a bowl of popcorn watching Ryan Reynolds telling Sandra Bullock all the things I’ve only ever dreamed of hearing.

The main argument against rom-coms is that they’re formulaic, and that each one just repeats the same structure: boy meets girl, they fall in love, there is an obstacle they have to overcome, and in the end they all live happily ever after. While this is often true, this does not have to be a negative. Romantic comedies are feel-good films, and everybody knows what they’re getting in to when agreeing to watch one. Even if they don’t admit it, a good rom-com leaves everyone walking away with that warm feeling in their tummy.

These clichéd structures have also left us with some of the most iconic scenes of rom-com history, ones that everyone know and love. Whether it’s the kissing in the rain scene from The Notebook,  Julia Robert’s ‘I’m just a girl’ speech in Notting Hill, or the sign sequence from Love Actually, every rom-com lover holds a special scene in their heart, one that leaves them teary eyed and warm-hearted.

Some say that romantic-comedies leave viewers with unrealistic expectations of love, but I disagree. Rom-coms aren’t trying to belittle every man in the world, or show women how they’ll never find love because they don’t look like Kate Hudson. They’re there to inspire love, and to show the world that, although sometimes it’s difficult and there will be things you’ll have to get past together, it can be done. Rom-coms show us that sometimes it’s not impossible for the one you love to love you back. They inspire romantic gestures, and public declarations of love, and give people the confidence to pursue love. And sometimes, holding a boombox outside someone’s window is the only way they’re realise just how much you love them.

Although rom-coms may be formulaic and predictable, we all know how the saying goes: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.


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