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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Rom-Com Season @ Kid In The Front Row

Starting today, for a month, I will be blogging primarily (but not exclusively) about romantic comedies.

Why? Because I enjoy them! Especially in the lead up to the holidays when you need them a little bit more. The rom-com is unique in that it is one of the most loved and watched genres, yet it is also the most dismissed. Women who love a good romantic comedy are seen as sappy losers who just watch 'chick-flicks', and men are seen as less-than-men if they admit to enjoying a Meg Ryan movie. 


What will I be writing about? I'm not entirely sure. Of course, there will be times when I write about movies I love, like I did previously with 'Serendipity'. But I will also be looking at the rom-com in different ways. For pretty much everyone, love and romance is a big part of life -- and also, most people have seen You've Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle, yet people tend to disregard these films as meaningless or pointless. Indeed, I often find that I am wanting to watch one of these films myself, yet a part of me demands I watch something more useful and profound. It's often been the case that I want to watch Notting Hill, but instead make myself watch a political thriller or something. Can anyone relate to that? We cut off a part of ourselves and attempt to watch something else because we deem it more 'useful'. 

I will definitely be looking at the role of gender in the rom-com. Not necessarily in the films themselves, but in audiences. I was on a film set recently and mentioned that 'You've Got Mail' is one of my favorite films, and everyone looked at me like I had severe mental issues. Why does that happen? Why do people feel marginalized and like an 'outsider' when they admit to liking a romantic movie?

I am also interested in how rom-com's influence us -- how they make us see life and love in a more positive  way, when in reality life is usually the opposite. Films like 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'One Fine Day' make relationships seem more meaningful, and driven by fate -- and in society we often see our relationships in the same way -- but the drop out between reality and fiction can often make navigating through real world love painful. I call this Dawson's Creek Syndrome

Over the next month I will be focusing on rom-com's. No doubt I will be labelled as female, gay, not a real film fan, pointless, etc -- but I will tackle rom-com prejudice and judgement head on, and see if we can come out the other side with a new perspective on the genre. 


One final thing that fascinates me -- is how people need the romantic element and in fact enjoy it when watching movies, but they often find it easier when it's shoved into a movie that isn't specifically about the relationship. For example, us men have no trouble saying we love 'Forrest Gump', even though the key relationship is the love of Forrest and Jenny, but we'd have a much harder time saying our favorite film is 'The Notebook'. 

November 19th-December 19th 2011 - A month on Kid In The Front Row dedicated to those middle of the road, 6-out-of-10-rated-on-IMDB rom-coms that some but not all of us really love. 

Care to share?

18 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of The Notebook, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite film. I get a lot of crap for watching these movies too but most of my friends know how much of a cinema nerd I am and let it go.

    I do find that when females can talk to a guy about a rom-com, they take notice. I guess they think you're sensitive. Or gay, which is what most guys say.

    Do you consider Up in the Air a rom-com? I don't know why but the relationship in this movie between George Clooney and Vera Farmiga has always touched me personally.

    I loved Notting Hill, My Best Friend's Wedding, Love and Other Drugs, Yes Man and Bridges of Madison County (not comedic but very touching).

    I'm curious what you'll come up with these next few days.

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  2. Also, What Women Want. Forgot about that one.

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  3. I think that part of the reason so many people look down on rom-coms is that they are so formulaic. By five minutes in (or by the end of the trailer) you can usually tell who will end up together in the end. Because they're so predictable, if the script and/or actors aren't great then the movie has a good chance of turning out really terribly.

    When a romantic comedy comes together, though, I couldn't care less if I know the end before the opening credits. I'll still have a great time. Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers, and Richard Curtis are masters. Garry Marshall used to be in this category, but I feel like he's gone downhill ever since The Princess Diaries.

    I'm babbling. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this month and hearing what you have to say on the subject!

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  5. Rom-coms when done right help us believe in the midst of a sh*tty day when we've got no money and nearly no hope, that there might just be a little magic left for us out there, somewhere - what's not to like! Looking forward to your rom-com month!

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  6. I personally love romantic comedies that deviate off the usual formula and still retain the magic, like "Under the Tuscan Sun", which debunks the idea that "boy-meets-girl, end of story" is the only way to find happiness.

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  7. I love The Notebook. Bad romantic comedies are somehow more painful to watch than other kinds of movies done bad - what's with that?

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  8. I'm looking forward to your posts and I'm pleased to see that Paul is as well. I watched You've Got Mail again recently with a younger friend and they were shocked by the noise coming out of the TV. I had to explain about dial up modems.

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  9. I am a big fan of ROm Coms..My favourite is Definitely,maybe! Ryan ReynoldS!

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  10. Oh goody!

    As a "film school graduate" (with all the baggage that entails) I often feel like perhaps I should be watching some Scorsese or Hitchcock or something, when all I really want to do is watch a light piece of rom-com fluff.

    Recently, though, with work and all the other stuff going on in my life as hectic as it's been, rom-coms are pretty much the only sorts of film that I can bring myself to watch. After a long day or long week, I simply don't have the stamina to sit down to some serious film or political thriller – I just want to be entertained, and to lose myself in a cotton candy moment where people can fall in love despite all odds and you just know they're going to come together and for that brief 2 hours you feel not entirely stressed out and loveless in your own life.

    And then I stop watching and realise that I feel lovesick and lonely, so it's time to find another rom-com.

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  11. I love rom-coms too. It was my birthday on the 20th and I was at my friend's place and we decided to watch only films that ended with the characters falling in love. So what if it it challenged our ideology and so on, but they were happy films and on happy occasions, happy films must be watched! :D

    I'm already enjoying the month ahead!

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  12. Yes! Go for it! I love the idea! I miss You've got mail, Sleepless in Seatly, Pretty Woman, The Notebook, Legends of the Fall (not quite rom-com, but a good movie anyway). I will be back soon to check it out!

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  13. I look forward to reading your romantic comedy posts. I hope you include some of the classics, like the Tracy Hepburn films.

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  14. A whole post on 'cute meet' (with or without Billy Wilder)?

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  15. You cannot beat a good Rom-Com! I can't wait to see which ones you include.

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  17. bless your heart for this post! rom-com chatter is just what i want and need this month. i love me some good documentaries and social-political commentaries, but the only movies that give me those happy warm-fuzzies are my beloved rom-coms. i just ran away from home (briefly) to watch "breaking dawn: part 1" last night. it was by far the best in the series and totally made me smile about going to the movies again. im trying not to be ashamed of those feelings. and in order to boost my self-worth a bit, i will offer up the fact that i just finished a good book analyzing the role of male lovers in film. "Lady Chatterley's Legacy in the Movies...Sex, Brains, and Body Guys", i really enjoyed the premise and discussion in the book and hope that hollywood can come up with new ways to knock our socks off with romantic portrayals in the future.

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  18. Thanks for the comments all! I'm glad this season of Rom-Com blogging appeals to you all!

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