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Why Hollywood Won’t Make Good Old Fashioned Rom-Coms Like It Used To

From the era of The Philadelphia Story to the movies of today like Enough Said, rom-coms have been a big part of the journey of cinema. But recently, the genre is slowly becoming less prominent. The stories now have become stale, concepts are cliche and stakes are meaningless. These are some of the few reasons why Romantic Comedy movies these days just are not as good as the old days. 

The Prominent Rom-Com Stars have Moved-On

Rom-Coms
Hugh Grant

In the 2000s, there were a few stars like Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, who were the faces of the romantic comedy genre. They were stars of the biggest hits that appeared regularly in such movies. However, they left the genre. In the 2010s. The stars moved on either to a different genre or the industry. And without these stars, the audience struggles to familiarize themselves with movies of the genre.

Struggles to Launch New Faces for Rom-Coms

Rom-Coms
Crazy Rich Asians

The issue is that today’s stars do not stay fixated on the genre. Many actors who manage to make it big in certain romantic comedies, do not continue to make them because of lesser hits in the genre. Even newcomers, who manage to get the lead role in a rom-com and even though the movie does well, they do not continue with the genre. Like Constance Wu of Crazy, Rich Asians went on to act in a crime thriller – Hustlers. Without actors that become the face of the genre, as other genres have, Rom-Com hasn’t been the same.

Absence of Rom-Com Directors

Rom-Coms
Nancy Meyers

For other genres, we can name a certain director who is doing an exceptional job in that genre. Like Gene Kelly for musicals, and  Alfred Hitchcock for thrillers to name a few. And these great names are the reason why these genres keep evolving. In the last decade, romantic comedies have suffered the lack of such a director. Famous names like Gary Marshall and Nora Ephron passed away. Nancy Meyers and James L Brooks are struggling for getting their movies financed. Robert Luketic and Andy Tennant have moved on. Without a director that is directly linked to the genre, the genre is struggling to be as good as it used to be.

The genre is making its own parody

Friends With Benefits
Friends With Benefits

Nowadays, romantic comedies add characters who are aware of the cliches of the genre. They make sarcastic comments on these common staples while adding these staples into their plot as well. The approach has been successful for some movies like They Come Together but not always. In movies like Friends With Benefits and Isn’t It Romantic? it did not quite work well with the audience. A few movies like Crazy Rich Asians, who present a polished version of these hallmarks, worked well for the genre but weren’t sufficient to bring back the previous glory of the genre.

Rom-coms are struggling to connect with the modern audience

The Big Sick
The Big Sick

Very few rom-coms made recently have managed to come up with a plot that connects with the general audience. Stories of films like Playing for Keeps, where a hunky soccer player struggles to choose between two pretty ladies in luxury cars, are not what a general public usually connects to. These movies have too many caricatures than reality. Which is not what general moviegoers personally experience in romance. The rare wonder, The Big Sick, was the only recent rom-com that managed to show something real. 

Related: 7 Romantic Comedies For A Chill Date Night!

Written by Gargi Mishra

I am Gargi Mishra, an aspiring filmmaker. I look at the world through the viewfinder and love to study films. Write them and write about them.