What is the charm of romantic comedies? The fake happily ever after?
With streaming services becoming so popular these days, people can now easily binge-watch iconic trashy TV shows, stand-up specials or Cantonese horror movies online. Despite not being a big fan of chick flicks (except for Mean Girls, but only for the my-breasts-can-always-tell-when-it’s-gonna-rain reference), people have been raving about the latest coming of age rom com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, so I decided to give it a go. I thought maybe things would be different this time, that it may be less than cliché and that I might actually learn something useful from it. Ha, big nope. Call me cynical or unromantic or whatever, but here are five reasons why I dislike watching romantic comedies.
Five reasons why I dislike romantic comedies
It’s all so heteronormative
First thing first. When was the last time we saw a mainstream romantic comedy that wasn’t about two heterosexual people? Nine out of ten times, romantic comedies perpetuate the Cinderella fairytale, that there is a prince charming out there waiting for the female. And in order to have visible LGBTQ+ representation in movies, there will always be that gay character who plays the main chick’s funny sidekick or BFF. Well, that’s a bit patronising, isn’t it?
Read more about our favourite LGBTQ movies here
Fantasy is numbing
It’d be nice to have two good looking guys fighting over you even though you’re an ugly duckling in high school who has nothing but a genuine personality, right? We don’t live in an age where nerds attract the prettiest ladies or the coolest dudes in school by playing coy. Romantic comedies make the world seem ten times more innocent, but in fact, it isn’t.
It’s not love, it’s just spur-of-the-moment affection
In romantic comedies, the protagonists always seem to fall in love with each other in a rather short period of time. In many monogamous relationships, there is greed, dishonesty, uncertainty and inconsistency. It takes time for two people to cultivate a loving, trusting relationship. It’s not as simple as it is on screen. The ending scene might be them getting engaged and hugging at the airport, but they don’t tell you the fact that about forty to fifty per cent of married couples in the States end up getting divorced, and that’s probably what the characters would do in a fictional world.
People are creating ideals
Movies like The Notebook make people who are understanding and caring, but without the looks of Ryan Gosling equal nothing. In the movie About Time, the male travels back in time multiple times just to get the one girl he likes – wait wait wait, since when are people so dedicated and loyal? The last time I checked, we are still swiping on Tinder everyday, meeting new people to forget about the one(s) we saw the day before. We’re all flawed beings and it’s probably time to stop creating ridiculous ideals.
The storyline is always the same
They dislike each other upon their first encounter. They get to know each other better and start to appreciate what a kind-hearted soul s/he really is on the inside. They somehow catch feelings for each other. They let each other go thinking what happened was a mistake. They make up. End of story. Romantic comedies don’t really speak creativity and originality. There are preset golden rules that the writers follow, and that’s why you can always predict the ending. Boring.
Want to know more about pop culture after you give up watching romantic comedies? Learn more about Tinder and swipe culture, find out why phone anxiety is a thing or give these popular podcasts a listen.