Irreverence: Romantic comedies

Relationships are all about giving and taking: men give presents, and women take. Actually, that is unfair; women do give men some things: headaches. I will temporarily hold my sides from bursting, and refrain from engaging my supreme wit, to make a genuine point: what is the one evil in relationships that all men hate, and yet must meet head on regularly, with a laugh, a smile, and fake enjoyment? No, it is not meeting your partner’s parents – it is romantic comedies, a wicked cinematic and human devilry that, despite having a tired and terribly predictable format, continues to find some dark recess in Hollywood where it can regenerate, and take on another form, inevitably involving one of Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, or Jude Law.

Women seem utterly flawed when it comes to rom-coms, and it all comes down to a problem of interpretation. The best example of this flaw is The Holiday, the epitome of dreary, sleep-inducing romantic drivel. In a nutshell, the film revolves around two women, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, who both want holidays to escape their man problems; they fortuitously get in touch with each other, swap homes, and fall in love with likeable, completely unrealistic guys – very original, is it not? Cameron Diaz’s character is the perfect example of the WIF (Women’s Interpretation Fallacy); when she arrives at her new home, she meets Kate Winslet’s fictional brother, Jude Law (who’d have guessed it?), says hello, and is then, pretty much, pulling her knickers down and behaving like a loose hussy. However, whilst men will recognise Diaz’s actions as those of a sex-mad harlot, women sigh and say ‘Aw, she’s found love: this is so romantic.’ I, personally, cannot think of anything less romantic.

Aside from this, romantic comedies have the most cringe-worthy jokes, appalling plots, terrible casts, and are just boring – what is the point in watching a film when you know what is going to happen? “The most unlikely of couples will go through a testing period, only to recover and live happily ever after”; honestly, how many films follow this storyline? I would much rather watch a film where dream boy gets up, goes to the toilet, displays gratuitous amounts of flatulence, and comes out declaring ‘you might want to leave that for a bit, love.’ Just how much more romantic would that be?

James Adams-Pace

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