The modern ‘rom-com’, as we know it, is dead and has been for some time. The vultures are circling its carcass and the flies are digging into its festering flesh. The only people that don’t realise it are the folks in charge of commissioning movies.

Judd Apatow realised it and essentially refashioned the entire genre as best he could whilst still playing with the weary old ‘rom-com’ conventions with his first two directorial efforts, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up.

What has killed the modern mainstream romantic comedy is the fact that Hollywood won’t step away from the template it has bizarrely forced itself to adhere to. Therefore every studio ‘rom-com’ follows exactly the same beats with just different locations and different looking cast-members.

So much so that what follows is the ten stale set-in-stone conventions of the romantic comedy genre that if we follow point-by-point will, by this article’s end, have literally described 98% of the romantic comedies released by all major studios in the last twenty years.


10. The ‘Meet Cute’.

Boy meets Girl. Rather contrived plot occurrence forces said characters to instantly hate each other for thoroughly unrealistic reasons.

… He’s an alpha-male meat-eater. She’s a sensitive vegan. She’s an independent and ambitious career woman. He’s a care-free and unemployed lay-about.

… He likes dogs. She likes cats.

You get the picture, right? The idea that “opposites attract” or that it is perfectly okay in everyday society for people to have different tastes must NEVER enter the equation.

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This article was first posted on September 19, 2012