Hey hey Gasmii. TheMiki is sick. Like, zero energy, stuck in bed, lots of barfing sick. But… Can’t actually sleep due to the whole stomach trying to turn itself inside-out thing that’s going on, and since the new episode of TCJD won’t be airing for me to recap until tomorrow, I’m running with the idea from the plot twist comment thread and writing a piece I like to call, “Dear Romantic Comedies: Please stop.”
Yes, I’m talking to you
I would like to begin by saying that I don’t hate romantic comedies because they’re romantic comedies. I enjoy a good romantic comedy as much as anyone. The problem is that there aren’t any good romantic comedies. There are a couple of formulas that get recycled so often that I’m fairly convinced we could make a completely coherent movie by splicing together five-minute scenes from twenty different romantic comedies and pressing play. All that changes is the names and the actors, and the actors don’t actually even change all that often. And sure, the same can be said for horror movies or action films, but at least those offer us titties, blood, and stuff blowing up.
Sometimes all at the same time
Not that I think there’s a whole lot worth saving about this genre, but this post is my plea to the movie industry to please stop doing a few of the most annoying things that seem to happen in every single rom-com that hits the theatres. Because just like a lot of people out there, I sometimes date girls who enjoy these light-hearted romantic romps, and those girls sometimes win the rock-paper-scissors battle for what movie to go and see. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t make me sit through another Failure to Launch just to get some ass. It would have been far less damaging to my soul to just buy a damn hooker.
I’ll never be able to go back to the person I was when I hadn’t seen this movie
So, Dear Romantic Comedies, please stop…
1. The mortal enemies falling in love crap.
Look, when we hate another human being it’s usually because we are not compatible with them on even the most basic level. Maybe we have nothing in common, or maybe they’re just a total asshole/douchebag. Either way, that guy at the office who makes you want to quit your job and/or start firebombing every time you think about seeing his stupid face across the meeting room table is not secretly the love of your life. That woman who is best friends with your brother’s wife and who makes you want to stab your own eardrums out with a pencil every time she opens her mouth is not your dream girl in disguise.
We always knew these two crazy mis-matched kids could make it work
Look, if you can’t stand the sight of someone for the amount of time required to be coworkers or acquaintances then the solution is not to get naked and start waking up next to each other. Yes, I’m sure that your free-spirited ways will teach your uptight boss how to enjoy his life, since he’s really just like that due to never having met a free-spirited girl ever at any point in his life. That totally happens, right? WRONG.
Well, maybe if the free-spirit girl looked like this girl we’d pretend…
Okay, so maybe if you’re a heterosexual woman and the guy at work you can’t stand looks like Ryan Reynolds then there may be a chance for some good healthy hate sex, but hate sex does not lead to love. It leads to a few nights of fun followed by a few mornings of self-loathing topped only by the amount of loathing you feel for the naked person next to you. Think about every wedding you’ve ever attended, and try and remember one where the best man got up and did a toast about how the happy couple spent years hating each others’ guts but then were forced to spend time together due to a job assignment/fake marriage/assassination attempt/involuntary adoption/etc and then realized that they were perfect for each other and in love. According to romantic comedies these relationships should make up about 60% of the marriages in America.
Why can’t you be more like your brother?
2. The realizing the right guy/girl was right in front of you the whole time crap.
Okay, quick! Everyone picture your closest friend of the gender you’re sexually attracted to. How does the thought of falling into bed with them and then spending the rest of your life together sound? Weird, huh? I mean, unless you’re secretly pining over your unrequited love for your best friend and just waiting for her to see that the right guy was right in front of her the whole time… In which case, sorry. Romantic comedies are doing you a disservice by giving you some sort of false hope that maybe the next time she catches her asshole boyfriend cheating and comes running to you for support she’ll realize you’re the man of her dreams. In reality though, if anything you might find yourself being the rebound of her dreams, because people tend to look for someone completely unlike the jerks they usually date when they’re on the rebound. The problem is that the reason they date those jerks is because they’re the people they’re attracted to, so the rebound exists to make them feel better and build their self-esteem back up so that they can have the confidence to break up with you and go get treated like shit by some new asshole.
After she rebounds off of Owen Wilson she dates some asshole who keeps leaving her so he can travel through time
If you spend a massive amount of time with someone and you guys get along great and yet have never shared a bottle of wine and gotten handsy then it’s probably because there’s zero chemistry between you. I know that Hollywood has spent your entire life telling you that you should be brave and seize the carp and just tell your friend how you feel about her. Hollywood is full of crap. Seriously. I’m usually all for the “You only live once” theory on not hiding from everything that’s slightly scary. True happiness usually requires taking risks and being brave possibly being rejected repeatedly. That’s life. That’s why you have friends to hang out with who listen to you whine and offer you advice and buy you shots until you puke and/or feel better. Or you would have those friends anyway… If you hadn’t scared them all off by giving some wordy and over-emotional speech about how you wanted to brush your teeth with them at night and help them find their glasses when they were old and had gray hair and blah blah blah.
I’ve always loved you! That’s why I ignored you and treated you like crap.
Have any of you ever had your best friend profess their undying romantic love for you??? Because I have, and do you know how it feels? It feels FUCKING AWKWARD. There’s no going back from that. And my best friend should have known better because I’m a lesbian and he is not, but maybe he watched Chasing Amy or Gigli or something and got it in his head that something good could come from telling me how he really felt, but it just made our friendship weird. And you know what? No matter how well you think you’re hiding it, if you’re in love with your best friend then they probably know that already. I know I did. It’s just that things didn’t get awkward and horrible until he felt the need to say it out loud and I suddenly felt uncomfortable every single time he went to give me a hug. I blame all those horrible weird moments that followed on Ben Affleck, who made two fucking movies where a lesbian fell in love with him. Fuck you, Affleck!
Lesbians can’t resist a well groomed goatee…
3. The running through the airport to catch someone scene.
I couldn’t let you get on that plane… Because we all know return flights don’t exist.
First of all, you’d go to prison unless you bought a ticket at the gate. Do you have any idea how much a last minute flight costs??? As Sarcasatire helpfully pointed out in the plot twist comments, most people don’t keep their passport in their back pocket, and most would be upset about wasting thousands of dollars on non-refundable tickets just to say, “Oh yeah, I love you and I have terrible timing.” Oh sure, if the girl you love is about to get on a plane then it goes without saying that she will turn her cell phone off, not check her messages, and be in a situation where if the plane takes off then she’s locked into a commitment where she can’t date you, but if the wheels stay on the ground then she can stay and whatever she was flying off to do will stop mattering because now she knows that you love her. Whatever you do don’t save $1,500 on unused airfare and just call her after she lands or anything. Once that airplane takes off your would-be future girlfriend will be in another dimension through which your unlikely love will become impossible.
If only Ashton Kutcher had made it to the airport in time to stop her…
Let’s try a real like experiment. Just for fun, show up at the airport with no luggage. Be sweaty from running and look panicked and rushed and agitated. Demand that you get on a specific flight which is already boarding, and tell the counter agent that you don’t care how much it costs. Maybe you won’t get on the plane, but you’re guaranteed to get some action in the form of Homeland Security full cavity search action.
So you say the love of your life is about to marry the wrong guy? Well then bend over.
4. The lying is adorable thing.
I can’t stay mad at you just because our entire relationship was based on lies and betrayal.
If you met a guy and he told you that he just got back from serving in the Peace Corps and then you found out he spent the last six years living in his mom’s basement and bidding on comic books on eBay, would you forgive him after one impassioned speech? How are you supposed to trust someone when they can’t even tell you the truth about basic things like their jobs and friends. People in movies just lie their heads off the way most of us outgrew doing as four-year-olds. I know that people lie in real life all the time, but the way people lie in romantic comedies is disturbing. If you’ve ever slapped on a fake mustache and pretended to be from the phone company so that you could sneak into your love interest’s house and find out if she like you then you are not sweet. You are a stalker/home invader who should be in jail. The way the protagonists’ friends are willing to help them keep up the lie is even worse. My friends are awesome loyal people, but they would never devote an evening to pretending to be my boss in order to help me deceive a girl I claimed to be in love with. That’s just… Weird.
So after convincing your family that I was engaged to you I’ve decided that I’m actually in love with your brother instead. I can fix this with an impassioned speech, right?
5. The dreamgirl is dating/engaged to a horrible one-dimensional cheating lying douche-nozzle with no redeeming qualities thing.
If the girl is so great then why is she about to marry the bro-antichrist? I know we all make bad decisions when it comes to dating (ask me to tell you the story about my ex-girlfriend who drowned a kitten on purpose), but when rom-coms try to make the protagonist all the more worthy of being rooted for because the girl he loves is dating someone who makes Chris Brown look like Prince Charming, it just makes me feel like the movie is insulting my intelligence. Like my brain couldn’t handle it if the boyfriend were a decent guy and I actually had to think about something other than how much I hoped Owen Wilson could win Rachel McAdams away from that awful Bradley Cooper guy. Just because you like a girl who isn’t single, that doesn’t mean her s/o is the villain. There are lots of single women out there, and if you pursue one who is already in a relationship then the odds are that the douche-bag in this situation is you.
There are more, of course. These are just the ones that drive me the most crazy. It is completely possible to make a movie based on romance and that’s funny and enjoyable. I speak only for myself here, but I loved Amelie, Shawn of the Dead, Imagine Me and You, 500 Days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, and several other movies that fell under the heading of romantic comedy. Not a single one of those movies involves the protagonist racing through an airport to proclaim their love, although Imagine Me and You did have a race to stop the dreamgirl from getting to the airport in the first place. I forgive that movie because the husband that gets left when the two protagonists realize they’re in love was super likable and it was really sad when he realized the woman he loved was in love with someone else. Plus the two protagonists were Piper Perabo and Lena Heady, and I’m willing to forgive a lot of cliches if I get to watch those two make out.
Okay kids, weigh in. What’d I miss? What makes you want to chew your arm off to distract yourself from the stupidity happening on the silver screen? What romantic comedies did you actually enjoy, and why?