Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Rom-Com Don’t List from EW

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly has a list of romantic comedy cliches it wants to ban forever from the wisecracking best friend to the adorably uncontrollable dog, the trying-on-clothes montage, the makeover, the chase through the airport (have they ever heard of cell phones?) and the lip-synching. I’m already on record as being opposed to the last two. But I think most people who buy tickets to romantic comedies expect and want those conventions to be there, don’t you?

  • Alicia

    They left off two that I particularly dislike, Nell, which often occur in the same Rom Com movie, ie. “Notting Hill.” One is the lead’s best friends, who usually include the gay friend (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and the handicapped friend (Notting Hill) and seem chiefly to exist to prove that the hero/heroine are politically correct and very cool people. But this “Greek Chorus” of friends is rarely ever made up of well-written characters with actual inner lives.
    The other thing I hate is the RomCom climax in front of an audience of people who don’t know the leads. That audience appears to be meant to stand in for the movie audience, and perhaps is intended to flatter us. I hate that.

  • Nell Minow

    Good points, Alicia! That is, sadly, often the lot of movie best friends, whose even worse role in the story is to die so the main character can have a growth experience (see Goose in “Top Gun”). And my husband says a humiliating public apology is his least favorite rom-com cliche.

  • Lynn

    What I remember best about “Notting Hill” is that wonderful passage where, as he walks down the street, the seasons change. When he gets to the end of the street, a year has passed. Breathtaking! [The rest of the movie, is eminently forgettable as far as I am concerned.]

  • Nell Minow

    That’s my favorite scene, too, Lynn! Beautifully done.

  • Alicia

    When I saw “Notting Hill” I was hoping Hugh Grant’s character would fall in love with the last girl he dated in that sequence, and dump Julia Roberts’ movie star character. That would have been a good romantic comedy plot.

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