Dec 12, 2018
Rom Com Glom
I recently had a mini romantic comedy DVD fest—all in the name of research, of course. I was looking for beta hero inspiration, and… Okay, okay. I was looking for some light relief from my thesis, so I turned to my film genre of choice: The Romantic Comedy. I watched The Proposal, which I adored. And then I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations. I spent a weekend watching these three:
* What’s Your Number
* 27 Dresses
* P.S. I Love You
I really really wanted to love What’s Your Number because my friends’ enthusiasm was so intense. And it’s a hilarious film, and I love the two leads, and they did belong together and… And I couldn’t get beyond the gender politics. Folks, this is what happens when you do a PhD on romance and feminism. I know the romantic comedy genre is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously, but…
Simply put, the premise is if a woman has slept with 20 men (so a magazine article claims), she’s unlikely to ever find love, marriage, and a happy ever after. Guess how many men the heroine has slept with? That’s right—20. Her solution isn’t to blow raspberries at said magazine article. No, it’s to panic and not sleep with any more men, and to go back and check out all of the men she’s already slept with because Mr Right must be there somewhere. On the surface, the movie seemed to avoid slut-shaming. But… As this magical number 20 didn’t apply to men, the double standard was too glaring. And that made me mad.
27 Dresses had more of an emotional hit without as much madcap hilarity. To my mind it’d make a better book than movie, because there were times when the heroine did things that seemed out of character and had me scratching my head. If I’d had access to her internal thoughts, though, I expect I’d have been more on-board. It was a lovely film, though.
I actually didn’t expect to like P.S. I Love You very much. I thought it’d be a bit too sentimental and saccharine. But it was my favourite of these three, and I’m looking forward to watching it again. In the interests of full disclosure, though, it wasn’t really a romance (and that might be a spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie—sorry). It was a story of grief and growth, and I loved that aspect of it.
I didn’t love any of them as much as I love The Proposal. I’ve watched The Proposal twice now, and I think it simply holds together better than the other movies. It has an internal logic that’s compelling—everything follows on naturally from what came before which is a mark of good storytelling. The two leads are intriguing and ultimately likeable, and the heroine’s character arc is a joy to watch. It has a HUGE hit of emotion that made me cry. There’s a big sacrifice. There’s a big declaration. And there’s a happy ever after. And that’s pretty much what I want in a romantic comedy, be it a film or book.
What about you? Have you discovered a romantic comedy this year that you adored? Let me know, because I’d be super-keen to check it out. :)
Labels: 27 dresses, michelle douglas, PS I love you, romantic comedy, sweet romance, the proposal, what's your number
Michelle is a doughnut fiend who's also rather partial to champagne and walks along the beach. She writes romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon…and is also enrolled in a PhD.
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Oh Michelle - you are sooooo on my fave topic :-)ReplyDelete
I agree re PS I love You and The Proposal. The other two dont cut it for me either.
I think if you want a rom com with an awesome Beta guy you can't go past I Feel Pretty. The hero is so damn wonderful! As is Bo in Dumplin which is my new fave Netflix movie. It's more a coming of age/coming into her power kind of movie but the romantic elements are wonderful and I laughed and cried and swooned over Bo and the wonderful kissing scenes so hard!
Old faves with beta heros - Big Fat Greek Wedding, Sweet Home Alabama, Saving Helen, Notting Hill, When Harry Met Sally....and so many more!
When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favourites too! And I adore Sweet Home Alabama and Notting Hill. I must revisit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as I recall liking it, but...there was no conflict between the H/h which seemed odd. But now I need to see Saving Helen and Dumplin!Delete
P.S. I adored the hero in I Feel Pretty -- he was every good thing. :-)
I think the IC was clash of cultures - how on earth is he going to fit into my world etc. But it wasn't steeped in angst which is rather nice from time to time :-)Delete
I like any of the Bridget Jones movies, and this year got hooked on Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey. Cute guys, funny movie, Scotland castles and kilts. Don't know how I missed it years ago.ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, Laurie, the Bridget Jones movies are a lot of fun. :-D Somehow Made of Honor has passed me by -- evidently I ought to rectify that. Thanks for the rec!Delete
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I haven't watched nay of those movies, as you know I am not a big TV watcher but we have been going to the movies every Wednesday and have seen some fab movies but none of them have been romcoms that I can remember I do love My Big Fat Greek Wedding though that will always one of my favourites :)
Helen, all of us LoveCats are utterly delighted that you're such a big reader -- we'd much rather you read than spend your time watching movies and TV. :-D Your Wednesday trips to the movies sounds a lot of fun, though. And I *so* have to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding again soon. :-)Delete
Michelle, I also love The Proposal, must watch it again! Two other favourites: Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and the wonderful Mark Ruffalo; and The Holiday with a marvellous cast including Kate Winslett, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black (and some gorgeous house porn too!)ReplyDelete
I love The Holiday! It's the perfect movie for this time of year. :-)Delete