the one with romantic comedies

I can watch feel-good movies over and over again. Particularly, romantic comedies. Not exactly something that’s trendy to admit. But the shame melts away when I realize the humor in a twenty-something melting to the voice of 90s Tom Hanks.

It is known that romantic comedies, even the spectacular ones, rarely win awards. The last typical romantic comedy that won an Oscar was Juno in 2007 and before that, Jerry Maguire in 1997 and Working Girl in 1988. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these movies, not to mention the classics that were awarded multiple Oscars like Casablanca, Annie Hall and Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand. But why is it still not cool enough to proudly admit a love for a romantic comedy?

I was born in the late 80s, so my parents had VHS’s around with titles of my favorite movies to this day: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, and Hope Floats then I added DVD’s of the late 90s favorites: Never Been Kissed, Bridget Jones, Love Actually, The Holiday, 40-Year-Old Virgin, Ghost Town and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I still own a VHS player so I don’t lose the magic of watching You’ve Got Mail with irregular sound and light bleeds.

There is no surprise, a romantic comedy can capture the hearts of millions. The trick is in the story board algorithm. Always, an adventure of one character is woven into the film by pursuit of career, aspiring of dreams, escaping, pursuing of self, etc. As the adventure starts, the “meet cute” allows for the two love-struck characters to meet. Many times both are at odds, either in other relationships, at combative companies, simply don’t like each other or all of the above. Then either one or both decide “love matters most” and get together, despite whatever they were in pursuit of at the start of the film. There are many variations of this; but, the romantic comedy can be broken down into those three basic summations.

It’s amazing to me the simplicity of a story board design that can bring such a heart-warming sense of spirit. No joke, I may watch You’ve Got Mail once or twice a month while I clean or work.

It’s a joy.


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