For the love of rom-coms

Romantic comedies are not given enough credit

Romantic comedies often get a bad reputation for being cheesy and poorly made, but rom-coms have a certain charm that no other genre has managed to master. Rom-coms allow us to daydream about the future and imagine our own happily-ever-afters. 

Movies that make us feel good shouldn’t be discredited or automatically placed into a box by film buffs because the subject matter is lighthearted. Film is so often seen as a pretentious or haughty interest because some people think movies should be serious; however, many romantic comedies are regarded as classics. Rom-coms of the early 2000’s such as 13 Going on 30 and 10 Things I Hate About You have so many funny scenes and memorable characters that shaped pop-culture at the time and today. Quirky main characters and silly tropes make these types of movies seem childish, but they hold a real importance. 

Beyond all the cliches and perfect endings, rom-coms have become much more impactful and diverse in recent years. The rom-com genre as a whole has been criticized for the predominantly white, heteronormative portrayals of love that have dominated the big screen for years. This is a valid critique, and is something that should continue to be addressed by filmmakers in the future.

Recognizing how important representation is in film, there is something so special about watching a character that you relate to get to have a meet-cute or a happily-ever-after. Rom-coms can have such a lasting impact; telling stories of overcoming struggles and perseverance is very important, but oftentimes the thing that is most validating is to watch someone that looks like you find love or friendship.

Jon M. Chu’s 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians is one example of a romantic comedy that broke boundaries and racked up a whopping 238.5 million dollars in box office sales. The characters  in Crazy Rich Asians were well-developed and the set design was vast and artful, two qualities many people claim rom-coms lack. This movie showed audiences that a well-made romantic comedy can and should be considered a genuinely good film, and shows the merit that rom-coms can have.