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Tag: Romantic-Comedies (1-4 of 4)

The new romantic comedy cliches

It seems the old school, formulaic rom-com, fodder for many a Saturday afternoon watching cable on the couch, is becoming a thing of the past. The latest crop of romantic comedies have more than a meet cute and a big kiss at the end – they’re more honest, more crass, and more serious than ever before. Case in point: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s porn addiction saga Don Jon, which opens today, and follows a recent trend in the rom-com genre – a protagonist with a very serious problem.

Even fun movies are a little darker lately, and maybe that’s just a sign of the times – and maybe giving up the fluff isn’t such a bad thing. We know which romantic comedy tropes we’re ready to say goodbye to so here are five new ones we can’t wait to see more of.

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Why must the meet-cute always be so cute?


There’s an implicit agreement we make when we go to the movies for a bit of magic and respite from the toils of our daily lives. In exchange for an hour-and-a-half-or-so of cinematic bliss, we suspend our disbelief so 3-D monsters, supernatural creatures, impossibly beautiful protagonists, and life-or-death scenarios can come to life without skeptical-moviegoer disruption. But there is a genre at which I think we must take a stand, and that’s the beloved rom-com — a.k.a. the genre that gave Katherine Heigl a career beyond Roswell (oh, and that little Grey’s Anatomy show).

I’m not poised to take down the entire romantic-comedy genre, but rather an insufferable plot device that says women only meet guys while in distress, as a lovable clumsy nutcase, or by the grace of a higher being. In romantic comedies, this particular plot conceit is called the meet-cute, in which the movie’s two love interests meet face to face. Yes, by the name, the nature of the meeting is supposed to be sweet and oh-so-charming, but I think it is the falsely named meet-cute that is responsible for millions of female moviegoers’ unrealistic expectations for meeting men and subsequent depression over finding themselves by their lonesome at their neighborhood faux-French cafes and indie bookshops (or is that just me?).

Watch 'The Mindy Project' sneak peek: Five Things to Like

As someone who considers herself stuck in the first half of a rom-com — as though my life is a DVD that refuses to skip over the damaged area so I never reach the montage where the positive changes happen that leads me to the happy ending — I am pretty much the target audience for Mindy Kaling’s new Fox comedy, The Mindy Project. You can watch the full Sept. 25 premiere below now, courtesy of Hulu. Kaling stars as Mindy, a single 31-year-old OB/GYN who’s always been obsessed with romantic comedies and has reached her own self-improvement montage — which, if all goes well, will obviously last for seasons. Here are five reasons I’m already a fan: READ FULL STORY

Ask Libby: Submit your pop-cultural questions to EW's proudly shallow columnist

In her most recent column for Entertainment Weekly, columnist Libby Gelman-Waxner tackled a trio of romantic-comedies that experienced varying — and surprising? — degrees of success at the box office. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd reunited for Wanderlust, but moviegoers yawned at their yuppies’ adventure to a hippie commune. Rudd’s How Do You Know co-star fared a little better in This Means War, where Reese Witherspoon doubled her pleasure by dating two jealous government agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy)Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum have been the biggest winners in the rom-com sweepstakes; their amnesiac love story The Vow is the biggest non-Lorax movie of the year.

But Libby is eager for more of your burning questions for her next “Ask Libby” column here in PopWatch. Is the romantic-comedy dead? Are you ready to go back to Titanic… in 3-D? And what are some of your movie theater pet peeves? Whatever’s on your mind. And remember: If you don’t have something nice to say about an actor or a movie, come sit next to Libby. Just tap the “Ask Libby!” button to submit, then check back soon for her next column.

Read more:
‘Ask Libby': Michael Fassbender, ‘Hugo,’ and ‘The Artist’
Libby Gelman-Waxner: Look, I’m Back!

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