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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Sisterhoods and Bromances: Where Are the Love Stories?

posted by Nell Minow

We have a lot of tender love stories in movies this year but they have mostly been about friendships. I can’t remember a time when there have been so few movies about falling in romantic love. What used to be the most reliable genre for movie success, the traditional “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl” (and variations thereon) has all but disappeared from the screen this year. pineapple-express-2.jpg
If you look at the top 20 box offices successes of the year so far and the current releases, you see movies about girlfriends (“Sex and the City,” “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) and “bromances” (“Step Brothers,” “Pineapple Express”). We have some superheroes who long for romance but neither Batman, the Hulk, Hancock, nor Iron Man can be said to “get the girl.” The closest we have to a superhero love story is “Hellboy 2.” There is some incidental romance in the new “Indiana Jones” and “Mummy 3″ but it is almost an afterthought at the edges of the action, just as in “Get Smart” and “Don’t Mess with the Zohan” it is at the edges of the comedy. But we’ve seen nothing along the lines of last year’s romance-centered movies like “Enchanted,” “Dan in Real Life,” or “Juno” and stories of falling in love seem relegated to television on the Lifetime channel.
sexandthecityred.jpgWe watch romantic movies for the same reason we watch action films — they are both about life’s great adventure, both ways for us to anticipate and relive our own choices and experiences.
More than halfway through 2008, the most romantic love story of the year so far at the movies has been this one:


walle_eve.jpg

  • Tim1974

    Funny but true. I am curious as to the reason. Is it just by chance and romances will return soon? Or, is it that audiences no longer appreciate a good romance ? Is it that the writers, directors, and producers are trying to dictate what we should now be seeing rather than what people would like to see ? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that they have shown that they just don’t get it. I guess for the moment, Wall-E will just have to be this summer’s romantic movie.

  • Ket

    I’ve noticed this trend too in movies. When was the last time there was a successful movie about romantic love? I think it was Titanic. That was over a decade ago now. A lot of ideas have been thrown around about why this is the case. Maybe Hollywood is trying to dictate what it is we want to see. A far more plausible idea that I’ve read is that people simply don’t believe in romance anymore. It is often derided as an unrealistic expectation. No surprise seeing as the divorce rate is so high. Furthermore, the more unrealistic romance looks, the more people are beginning to realize that their most stable relationships seem to be with their friends.
    And, to be honest, friendship is a bit of a topic that was always given a backseat to the romance in movies. That’s why it seems so interesting and intriguing now, since it’s starting to be portrayed in such an honest and affectionate manner. It’s not like it doesn’t deserve the attention, seeing as a study found that 25% of Americans these days don’t really have close friend to confide in. A recent example of this fascination is on the cover of a magazine. Where you once would’ve seen a feature on whether the latest soap couple would survive, we now have the characters of House MD, House and Wilson, whose friendship has recently been challenged because of one character’s misanthropy and drug addiction.
    That was a bit long winded, but I’m just interested in the topic.

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