Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Rom-Com Bandwagon

I have no idea why I care about this so much, but it's the one thing in the film world that winds me up:

Why does just about everything involving a man and a woman meeting, getting together (usually) falling out, and then getting back together, get the label "Rom-Com" slapped on it?


Don't get me wrong, I like a good romantic comedy, but it's so hard to find one nowadays because everything is pushed into that genre using a bulldozer. Case in point:

No Reservations
(IMDB Link)

I read the box. It's a rom-com. I can see how the set-up could be funny, so I decide to give it a go. BUT NO! IT ISN'T A ROM-COM!!!!!

There is one, just one, slightly funny moment, but that's all the comedy there is (IMHO). As a rom-com it fails miserably. You won't convince me otherwise, and I was disappointed.

Drama. What ever happened to drama? It seems you only get dramas nowadays if someone wants to win a film award. To me, no reservations was a good old romantic drama, and on that level it works. So why don't they call it what it is instead of slapping rom-com all over it?

I'll tell you why: It's all about the money! People are more likely to pay to see a rom-com rather than a romantic drama, so they mis-label it to get the cash flowing. What is happening as a result is the genre is getting diluted, and people walk away thinking a good film is actually crap because it wasn't what they expected.

For the love of God, the genre, or simply my sanity: Stop calling everything a Rom-Com! Have the guts to call it exactly what it.

Rant over. Carry on.

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)