So it’s been close to a month since I last posted something, and why? Well, a lot has been happening, owing to the impending holidays and I was too busy having a good time and let work slip by… bad of me I know… and what did I do to get rid of that guilt? I began binging – on Romantic Comedies. I am so addicted, sometimes – not always – when the husband gets too weird, I let my mind wander and believe I am living one, in fact. #truestory
I don’t know about you, but RomComs are my guilty pleasure.
I love noir, thrillers and gangster movies or the meaningful dramas here and there, but come holiday season, the world gets flooded with this gushy, mushy riot of feel good, too-sweet-to-be-true genre – and I inadvertently fall prey to its fictitious charm. After a hard day of work, living your reality, of thinking, over-thinking, planning and scheduling, I want to snuggle, maybe with a glass of wine, or without, and just be. The idea of a delightful movie makes me happy. The reason these movies keep getting made by the dozen is because the formula works. Sometimes, you just want a love story with good jokes and a happy ending (no puns intended).
Not that I am not the romantic sort, but I need to quit my addiction – el pronto – and here’s why?
RomComs are an hour and a half worth of manipulation…They create unattainable expectations for romance, they are mostly sexist and they aren’t logical. But,
- Does that stop me from falling for them every single time? NO!
- Am I then not satisfied in my own relationship? Am I trying to create a parallel universe in my mind where everything is sweet and rosy and far removed from our reality? HELL NO!!
Unlike me, the husband is ostensibly romantic, mushy and expressive on most days AND loves a good romcom every now and then. I mean, my favourite holiday movie is Die Hard (and well, The Holiday) and his is Love Actually.
He isn’t even a closet fan – he is quite vocal about liking them as much as he detests ‘brainless action movies or fantasies. He isn’t even the only one in his tribe… I know of many men who watch them under the guise of ‘oh, it’s cos the missus had the remote’.
Did you know a research study reveals more than 40% men in flight cry when watching romcoms?
So you gotta admit they chose it as their in-flight entertainment. And you can blame the low levels of oxygen, the multiple glasses of booze, the proximity of the screen, the tiredness and what-you-may, but the reality is, in spite of the nauseatingly sweet bridal showers and weddings and the paraphernalia, they remain a solid genre.
So, what works, beside the aforementioned formula?
Romcoms as a genre, over time and across media (movie theatres to televised ones on Hallmark to the current crop of Netflix Originals and Amazon Prime Exclusives) offer the ultimate escapist fantasy – the setup is forbidden, almost by legislation. I mean, honestly how many times do you come across a prince or a princess walking the streets of your city incognito? Or chance upon a random stranger on the Internet or hospital or department store, that’s going to turn your world over, in a good way?
But here’s the thing. The romcom world is admittedly upside down, but at least it’s one in which we know where everything is.That fantastical world is far removed from the chaotic, mass-produced, assembly line, almost industrial dreariness of your life; it’s a world where everything is arranged prettily, there are always parking spaces and where it snows on cue, where the leaves are always swept and where conflict is just foreplay. It’s a world where romantic gestures, grand or little, and courtliness are imperative.The patterns here are patterns of resolution, and everyone is happy in the end, pets included!
So here is my confession, once again – I am addicted to romcoms and I don’t care anymore about who knows. I don’t care that one or both of the leads are unsure of their choice of Significant Other till the very end (looking at you, Serendipity). I don’t care the script and the characters, even the duffy best friend and weird mum, are super-predictable. I don’t even care anymore that almost all of these movies either begin or end at a terminal!
Romcoms, albeit set in an abstract/surreal world, continue to thrive because they make everything look so plausible. And while we can admit to the genre being a guilty pleasure, the term is simply a way to concede to a change of taste, isn’t it? Impervious to the effect of demographic and generational changes, romcoms work, not because they challenge our beliefs, but because they indulge them, in a way that even the most hardened, the most judgemental ones could appreciate or tolerate them, at least.
And let’s not forget, there is always something to learn from romcoms – a new cocktail, a hack to some dish, a new word here, an obscure fact there, a thing about history or fashion… all when you were just looking for a 90-minute distraction. So, while I hope against hope to get over my fascination with this genre, I see a few more have been added to my watchlist… and it’s cold and wet outside… you know where I’m going with this…
Do you have a guilty pleasure you keep hidden from everyone? What’s your favourite genre of movies to watch? What’s your favourite holiday movie? Let me know.
Season’s Greetings and Happy Binging
Until next time,