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The Slow Death Of The Romantic Comedy

Dale Chong |
July 18, 2015 | 5:44 p.m. PDT

Film Editor

Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" (Creative Commons)
Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" (Creative Commons)
Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” recently came out, and if you’ve seen the movie or have heard anything about it, you’ll know that it follows the basic story arc of a once-loved movie genre we know as the “Romantic Comedy.” Yet we don’t primarily see “Trainwreck” as a film that falls within that cultural standard, but more so a female-driven comedy. 

What happened to the classic rom-com, anyway? We’ve been re-watching Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts films like they’re our guides to romance, and even look back to more recent classics like “13 Going on 30,” or “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (which did, in fact, teach me “You can’t lose something you never had.”). But as the world has moved into the 2010’s, enjoyable, feel-good romantic comedies have dwindled in number. Aside from a few, I personally have yet to watch a film that falls under the category of Romantic Comedy that isn’t terribly cringe-worthy due to the a girl running away from her petty problems, sappy speeches and corny music. 

However, these rather cheesy films can sometimes be quite endearing. Growing up in the height of romantic comedies, how could you not fall for the moments some of those speeches (when executed right)? 

READ MORE: Why The World Needs Amy Schumer

In recent times, romantic comedies have seemingly ceased to exist. Though if you consider “Bridesmaids” one, then perhaps not. Maybe the world was exposed to rom-coms too early on, or we just indulge in the classics that there’s no need to recreate the same idea over and over again. Either way, it looks like if the film industry is cranking out any sort of romantic comedies, they’re doing so in a way that these films come off more as comedies with a hint of romance. 

Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” might follow the average storyline of a romantic comedy, but she pushes the envelope with so much of her own personality and humor that translates well with this generation’s sense of humor. She’s smart, witty, and down-to-earth. What more could you want from a modern comedy?

As for the legitimate rom-coms, maybe we’ll just keep those where they belong—in the 90’s and early 2000’s. 

Reach Film Editor Dale Chong here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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