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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

Why Romantic Comedies Are the Best Genre of Movies

Examining the popular rom-com movie genre and what qualities give it the title of the best movie genre
Why+Romantic+Comedies+Are+the+Best+Genre+of+Movies
Wisdom Konu

It’s a cold November night. I’m 10 years old. I’m snuggled up in a blanket on the couch, ready to start a movie with my mom. She’s still wary that I’m too young to watch the film but I insist that my 10-year-old self is about as mature as it can get – I’m not too young for anything. As the light from the screen falls on my face, I’m mesmerized. As the time passes, I’m entranced by the fall hues, the wittiness of the characters, and ultimately, the enchanting love story that is When Harry Met Sally. Before I know it the credit scenes begin to roll, and I’m convinced. This is the perfect movie.

Romantic comedies have always been my favorite genre of movie. The action genre is too fast paced and violent for me while the horror genre heightens my anxiety too much. I’ve always loved the easygoing and fun elements that the genre brings. It doesn’t matter whether or not I deem the movie as a good one because I know I’ll always be able to enjoy myself while watching. But these movies don’t only provide for a good time, they’re also able to give insightful and moving dialogue and performances. These two things coexist in movies like Always Be My Maybe and Love, Rosie. The rom-com genre can have me laughing hysterically and the next, crying my eyes out – but I’m always happy to have experienced it in the end.

One major criticism of the genre is that it doesn’t portray realistic love stories. This criticism doesn’t make much sense to a rom-com enthusiast such as myself. If somebody wanted to watch a realistic movie, I would turn them towards a documentary for example, not a movie that’s in the fiction genre. Furthermore, if every rom-com ended in the couple splitting up, that would be entirely too depressing. I’m not shy to admit that I can predict the outcome of most rom-coms. Normally, the couple gets together, they’re happy for a while, then they get into a big conflict, they realize they’re meant for eachother, and in the end they end up together. There are obviously many different variations to this pattern, but I would argue that this adds to the fun of the genre. 

Expanding on that criticism, however, there are a plethora of great romantic comedies that delve into the complexities of relationships. In fact, in almost every movie, there is typically a conflict that occurs in rom-coms to ensure that the relationship doesn’t remain stagnant throughout the film. But even beyond the typical rom-com, it’s very easy to find a movie in the genre that shows a love story without the typical happy ending element in most rom-coms. Movies like these, however sad they may be, are crucial in helping viewers understand how challenging it can be to be in a romantic relationship. While I prefer the typical kind of rom-com which isn’t incredibly disheartening, these types of movies are important and provide realness and honesty to the genre. There are many great movies that portray a complicated love story: La La Land, Celeste & Jesse Forever, and 500 Days of Summer are great examples of this.

Aside from that, there are other valid criticisms of the genre. A very important one being the lack of representation of people of color. The film industry has a wide and long history of a heavy lack of diversity and representation in the work they produce in the rom-com genre especially. More specifically, it’s common that if there are any people of color present in the film, they’re side characters and don’t get their own love story. Everyone deserves to be able to see themselves represented in every movie genre, and not only in a side character role or alongside white actors. 

Aside from the great plots and dialogues that many romantic comedies provide, one of my favorite elements of the movies is the fashion. For me, the best fashion is shown in late 80’s-early 2000’s romantic comedies. To give an example, Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama is who I reference when deciding what new clothes to buy. Another example I’ll reference is Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. While I do actually enjoy this movie and will cite it as one of the funniest rom-coms I’ve watched, the fashion in the movie makes it all the more enjoyable. This isn’t to say that there isn’t great style depicted in other movie genres – but the romantic comedies of that era can easily get you enthralled in not just the plot or characters, but also the fashion. 

Expanding more on why romantic comedies are the best movies, I’ll reference my favorite movie of all time – When Harry Met Sally. I credit this masterpiece to Nora Ephron, who has worked on other favorites of mine, including Sleepless in Seattle. The movie follows Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) through the decades. It’s a slow burn but in the best way possible. The movie is hilarious, heartwarming, and incredibly insightful all at the same time. The movie is what all rom-coms should be – a story about two people who change each other for the better with their flaws and all. Another thing I love about this movie is the side characters that you see develop as well and the cuts to different couples throughout the movie, furthering the message of joy and love that the movie spreads. Not to mention how perfect Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are in their roles, I truly couldn’t imagine another two actors playing the parts that they do in the ways that they do.

When Harry Met Sally is a perfect example of another part of the genre that makes it so good: the chemistry between actors. This is a crucial element to the genre and when done right it makes the movie ten times better. The playful banter and undeniable chemistry between the main protagonists elevates the movie to the next level and this type of chemistry is something you only really see in movies of this genre. When the actors and writing is good, and the chemistry is there, even people who don’t like romance movies will be captivated. 

Moreover, romantic comedies have a universal appeal that transcends any barriers. Regardless of one’s background, the themes of love, self-discovery, and navigating relationships are able to resonate with any audience around the world. Both the relatability but also the parts of the movies that are too good to be true ensure that romantic comedies can be enjoyed by people in all walks of life. Movies are generally a place where people go to escape reality, but it’s nice when the movie also allows you to get in touch with your own reality. 

Romantic comedies are unparalleled in the way that they foster a sense of connection and camaraderie among viewers. And while it is undoubtedly true that romantic comedies can be cheesy and badly written. But it is also true that they depict stories that include all the things that people search for in other genres: love, humor, action, drama, etc. They’re not confined to one plot or story and can prove to be both fun and perceptive movies that everyone can enjoy.

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About the Contributors
Sadie Bodzin
Sadie Bodzin, Culture Co-Editor
my friend keeps saying that i copy his posts, i feel bad so go check him out @the._.yomi.Xx (-_-_) 1!1!1!1! o30
Wisdom Konu
Wisdom Konu, Executive Editor and Culture Co-Editor
at city im like princess diana
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