Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where Did Romantic Comedy Go?

At one time, there was nothing I loved more than heading out to the movies for a good romantic comedy. There were the 90s-style Meg Ryan movies...



Sandra Bullock has always had a hit-or-miss career, but when her romantic comedies were good, they were really, really good.




And then came Goldie Hawn's daughter and all of her great romantic comedies.




But recently I've come to realize it's been a while since I've seen a really good romantic comedy. I blame it on Judd Apatow. He launched this movie in 2005...




And started an entire generation of movies that appeal to both men and women. It's probably a good thing that women no longer have to drag men to "chick flicks." Even Bridesmaids, a movie that seemed like a chick flick, had an entire scene devoted to women puking on formal gowns. It seemed like it went on for hours.



Sure, there have been a few romantic comedies, but most of today's "chick flicks" require a box of Kleenex. Either someone dies at the end (ANY Nicholas Sparks adaptation) or we're subjected to a Sex and the City-style look at dating in the big city (That Awkward Moment). Am I alone in missing the days of the totally cheesy romantic comedy?

69 comments:

  1. I confess - I'm a sucker for the cheesy romantic comedy. Movies like When Harry Met Sally. You're right, there haven't been many lately.

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    1. I'm sure some young person will point out that there have been some starring Selene Gomez and I'm just old!

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  2. I could go for a really good romantic comedy. I love them. :)

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  3. You are so right - they really don't make good romantic comedies anymore!

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    1. I remember sending romantic comedies to agents/editors in the late 00s--and being told "chick lit doesn't sell anymore." It wasn't chick lit...it was the same stuff I was writing in the 90s, but all that Sex and the City stuff swooped in, overwhelmed the entire market for a few years, then took romantic comedy down with it! So does that mean the overwhelming # of dystopian novels and movies is going to kill the entire sci-fi genre forever? We don't seem to be able to separate it, I guess...

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  4. As age, I seem to have different taste in movies but I still like the old comedies. Romance is not as interesting anymore. It must be what it's like getting old. I haven't been to a movie in years and I don't know the actors anymore. I've been out of the loop.

    Years ago I knew all the important actors and read everything about them. Time has changed.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I think it is isn't uncommon to not get caught up in romantic stories as you get older. Mostly it bothers me that the people on the screen are just KIDS! That just means I'm old, though.

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  5. I would agree--so few comedies agree with me and the idea of watching anyone puke isn't funny--they could make the point without the visuals

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    1. I fast-forwarded through it the first time. When my husband was watching it on TV, I actually had to leave the room. I don't even want to hear it. I'm not sure who decided vomit is funny.

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  6. Sometimes I just want a "nice" movie, you know? One of my favorites is "Music and Lyrics" with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. But that might be because of the whole 80s pop star thing. :)

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    1. Yes, that and The Wedding Singer. Although Drew Barrymore doesn't really get "80s hair" right!

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  7. Movies have really changed. I'd enjoy a good romance or comedy or something without all the violence. I seldom go to the movies.

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    1. I feel like I'm going a lot if I go once or twice a year!

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  8. I miss them too.. and I agree that there directors who would ruin a whole genre with their atrocities.... The problem is that today's movies, shows and music tend to be made for teens and we know that them kids have no romantic taste in them... Romance for them is when Cercei and Jamie Lannister shag each other on a dead corpse....

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    1. Interestingly, though, my stepdaughter and her friends love movies like Sixteen Candles! Maybe there is a bit of a deficit...

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  9. I agree, it was one of the best things about the 80's and 90's! I wish they would go back to them more. I do love a good action movie but nothing beats and rom-com.

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    1. Movies seem to be either based on dystopian novels or comic books!

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  10. I never had an affinity for them. There were some I really loved, but that was because they were simply good movies that happened to be chick flicks.

    What I miss is having a decent number of good movies to pick from. Most of them aren't appealing at all and the ones that are 90% of the time fall far short of their previews. I miss movies that drew you in and held you and made you never want to leave their world.

    For that matter, I miss books that do that, too. Entertainment in general has gone downhill. And Judd Apatow movies go on way too long. They're funny for a while and then the joke just wears. I hated Bridesmaids. lol

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    1. A while back, someone observed that most of the quality work is being done in TV. Especially now that we have Netflix and Hulu battling to provide the best original shows (plus HBO, Showtime, etc.). If you go through Netflix, there are quite a few really good movies that are relatively new, yet you've never heard of them. I think that's where the good stuff is...it certainly isn't in theaters.

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    2. Every once in a while something really excellent comes out in theaters, but it's so rare anymore.

      I sometimes think I'm just getting old, but I don't think that's really the problem. I do think quality is waning.

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  11. Loved comedies like this, but we tend to see what hubby likes, so usually I would catch these on TV years later after they were out and he wasn't home, but you are right, they nowadays are few and far between!

    betty

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    1. I used to rent them. You're right, though--if they were around, I'd have to hope they came on Netflix or I'd probably miss them!

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  12. i'm really out of touch with movies these days (years) but i can see your point. we've gone to a harder edged, yuck-it-up genre. :)

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    1. I'm out of touch with most of it, too. If I look at a "now playing" movie list, I rarely know what any of them are!

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  13. Oh, I used to love romantic comedies with Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, etc. I haven't seen any recent "love story" movies that stand up to those.

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    1. Those women were so much fun to watch!

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  14. Your not alone Stephanie, I miss a good old fashioned comedy too... I still watch some of the older ones... Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock sure could make some really great romantic films ;-) ♡

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    1. They were both so likable. That was what was great about it. My theory is that chick lit (Bridget Jones Diary, Sex and the City) killed it for TV and the movies, as well. The public just decided they were tired of strong, spunky heroines. Of course, now we're left with 50 Shades of Grey.

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  15. I am completely with you on this...I really hate the movies out these days...I don't find them funny, just gross, and I miss things that are feel goods, like you've got mail and the like...I'm not a fan of crying and have never even seen the notebook!

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    1. I fell for the Nicolas Sparks thing a few times. I even read the books. And then I found myself watching a Diane Lane/Richard Gere movie without realizing it was Nicolas Sparks. About halfway through, I started thinking...wait...something about this seems Nicolas Sparks-ish. I'll bet the guy is going to die at some point. That was when I looked it up and realized, yep, I'd fallen into the Nicolas Sparks trap again. For the record, if one of them is going to die at the end, I don't want to even start watching a romantic movie!

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  16. You are quite right-this genre has hit a slump. My hubby enjoys these types of films too as long as they are good. Now I did enjoy Bridesmaids as I have low brow humour but it is not a romantic comedy. The closest I have seen recently was..I think it is called Punch Drunk Love" with Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson. I could be really wrong with the title and will double check later since I got to go to work but it was romantic. Not a great film but a nice movie. I am kind of done with the Love Story type of flick. We know one or the other dies in the end..ughhh

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    1. I have noticed the "senior citizen romance" is still a thing. I think it's a great idea because of the Baby Boomer generation. And those movies are always so fun to watch. Anything with Diane Keaton...she's never afraid to make a fool of herself to entertain us.

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  17. I never liked the boo hoo, over the top sappy crap, not then or not now. But the romantic comedy ones I've liked indeed. You've got mail, sleepless in seattle, serendipity, etc. Now everything is just dumbed down stupid crap. Throwing up, getting high and fart jokes are the best they can do.

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    1. The gross-out humor is just stupid. It's all written for frat boys, I guess? The 40-Year-Old Virgin was good because, let's face it, anything Steve Carell does is good by default. Bridesmaids had its moments but the bridal shop scene was NOT one of them. In fact, they could just cut that entire scene out. There's really no point in all that except (from what I can recall) to show that the maid of honor's choice of a lunch location was a bad one. To me it just seems like a cop out. There was a better way to convey that the main character/maid of honor was a screwup without resorting to that.

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  18. One of my favorite movies is Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock. But I've never really been a big fan of chick flicks. I am an action girl (give me Mr. and Mrs. Smith any day). I'm not a very romantic person. Hmmm. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not girly enough.

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    1. I've never seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I'm the opposite...I don't care for action stuff at all. I think I liked it when I was a teenager but when people start fighting or chasing each other in cars, I zone out!

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  19. I've always preferred intense historical dramas, often foreign, though on the opposite end of the spectrum, I love classic slapstick comedy from the golden age of comedy, the 1910s through the 1940s. I'm not a fan of modern-day gross-out or shock value comedy, and also miss character actors. There aren't really any character actors anymore, supporting players who play essentially the same character in every film.

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    1. I think some of the best acting is done on TV these days. Showtime, HBO, Netflix--that's where the true talent is going.

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  20. Chick flicks need a happy ending. I don't want the box of Kleenex. No I don't. I'll admit I'm more of the crime drama watcher, but I've seen some great chick flicks in my time.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Saving Mr. Banks made me cry in the theater. I HATE crying in the theater!

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  21. I always loved romances, comedy or not, and have watched most of them a time or two over the years...especially the historical ones. I don't go to movies anymore, they are too loud and not much of what I like to watch is shown in theaters anymore. I NEVER. liked Science Fiction. I'll turn on the Hallmark channel if nothing else interesting is on TV, you can always depend on them for wayward romance that finally rights itself. :)

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    1. The last few times I've been to the theater, I've noticed the previews are unbearably loud...but then the movie comes in and it's fine. I don't get that. I have actually had to cover my ears because it was painful.

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  22. How reassuring to know that I am not as out of touch as I thought - or not alone anyway.
    I don't really do movies now. Too loud, and mostly not for me.
    It seems we need a revival of 'nice' movies. Real rom-coms.

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    1. I've struggled with the dilemma of--is it that I'm getting older or are movies getting worse? I'm not sure. Maybe it's the natural evolution, though. We had the classy romance of the 50s and 60s, which led to sweet romantic dramas of the 70s, which led to comedies in the 80s and romantic comedies in the 90s... Perhaps the evolution led us to Judd Apatow and his imitators and that's what we're left with. The big-screen version of South Park. What's next? I don't even want to consider it...

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  23. I am someone who isn't too picky when it comes to me and my romantic movies. But I do like a bit of comedy, I will admit, and it's always nice to laugh. I would agree on Sandra Bullock being a hit or miss, but one movie of hers which I found was a great romantic comedy was The Proposal! I put that on whenever I want a good laugh. I do think we need more romantic comedies, although we should still keep on with the ones which appeal to males as well, of course ^^

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    1. Interestingly, I've heard a lot of men say they wouldn't watch Bridesmaids because they thought it was a chick flick, then a lot of women complained it was too crass. The movie did really well, though--it even won an award for the screenplay. So I guess it's appealing to a segment of the population. Probably people younger than I! Although I did like it...I just would call it more "comedy" than "romantic comedy."

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  24. Maybe DC comics will offer something? Nah!

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  25. Yes! You hit it right on. Where have all the romantic comedies gone? I love a good chick flick and lately I can't find ANY! I loved all the old school movies with Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, and Kate Hudson. I feel like any movies nowadays just flaunt sex or talk crudely about intimacy. *sigh* I miss the good 'ole days.

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  26. I'm not much into the romantic films, but I will say that I really really liked The Notebook.

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  27. I've never been big on romantic comedies.

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  28. I used to enjoy watching a few when Maria was alive . .
    We men have hearts as well but some don't want you gals to see it . . . . . lol . . . . :)

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  29. Sounds fun! I love romantic comedies!

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  30. I'm wondering the same thing...where did romantic comedies go? And I loved that you used a pic from You've Got Mail—it's one of my favorite movies of all time.

    I saw your comment on my blog—can't wait to hear what you think of my novel! :)

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  31. I do miss a good Meg Ryan movie! But then would we recognize her anymore?

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  32. I hadn't thought about it- but I don't think I have seen a romantic comedy in a while. Hmmm. Maybe there will be one in 2015! :)
    ~Jess

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  33. I'm extremely tired of the gross-out, oversexed rom-coms.
    They aren't my favorite genre to begin with, to be honest, but they were so much more palatable before.

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  34. All I want is one more movie that I like as much as When Harry Met Sally...is that too much to ask? And while they're at it, could they write good dialogue without any words that start with F? That would be awesome.

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  35. Willy Dunne Wooters and I love rom-coms, but we have trouble finding anything we haven't seen before. I don't really think the Judd Apatow movies are romantic comedies, but I do enjoy some of them.

    Love,
    Janie

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  36. There's a promising new generation of romantic comedies emerging. Didn't think I'd enjoy "Napoleon Dynamite" but did.

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  37. Absolutely! Very thoughtful and well written post Stephanie! Thanks for making me think about something fun this morning before work Stephanie.

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  38. I can't even tell you when the last time I saw a romantic comedy was. I can never get my husband to want to watch them. So I watch all his blood and guts movies.

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  39. I can't even tell you when the last time I saw a romantic comedy was. I can never get my husband to want to watch them. So I watch all his blood and guts movies.

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  40. Rom coms are some of my fav, but I usually watch them alone as my husband professes to not like them(whatev). Did you see Leap Year w/Amy Adams? I really liked that one, probably b/c of the setting too, in Ireland! So pretty. And it was funny.

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  41. You're missing out if you haven't seen Crazy, Stupid, Love! Check it out. :)

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  42. You are right....our choices are slim. Maybe that's why I never go to the movies.

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  43. I was just recently lamenting the loss of a good romantic comedy.... I can't rewatch a lot of movies too many times, but they're my "feel good" go-to, and I don't have many of those. Hopefully they come back into style!

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  44. The two romantic comedies my sisters and I used to watch over and over again are Julia Roberts's My Best Friend's Wedding, and Kate Hudson's How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days (as you mentioned here). After that ... like you said, it sort of all fizzled out. I think there are more dude flicks these days. One of your friends mentioned Crazy, Stupid Love. That was a nice one!

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