I’ve been really hankering for some rom coms lately. I’ve been searching through my Netflix, dusting off the old goodies, watching even the ones that are glaringly bad with no-chemistry leads and a plot that is hokey as hell. I’m desperate, man! If there’s an longing stare, I’ll watch it. A cute dude, press play. I even recently re-watched an old episode of New Girl (“Cooler”) just to see that epic kiss between Nick and Jess (“I meant something like that.” Swoon.)
In fact, let’s pause for a second. I am a very much going to watch that scene right now before I continue writing.
“I meant something like that.” Dammit, that’s awesome. Okay, back to the blog.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I am getting married. And yes, perhaps I’m just a little bit horny. And yes, maybe I am in dire need of some cliché white girl distraction from the shit-show that is this Trump presidency. All of the above are valid explanations for this rom com hunger. But to be honest, I think there’s more to this desire than just fantasizing about my big romantic day in the sun, or even getting tingles in my va-jay-jay. If anything, the tingles are more of an added bonus.
I am in the mood for rom coms, because rom coms, at least the good ones, have an amazing ability to make me feel something wonderful. And I think that is an amazing accomplishment when it comes to storytelling. It’s a true feat to make people feel something wonderful. To feel love.
Just like classic thrillers have mastered the art of jump scares, and Pixar has mastered the art of uncontrollable tears, good romantic story have a way of reminding everyone that love is real, and love is what makes the world go round.
And, call me sentimental, but I think that’s important to remember.
Love is what makes the world go round.
Love defeats hate.
Love is all you need.
That said, I have pretty high fucking standards when it comes to the rom com. I absolutely hate the bad ones. And most are the bad ones. And those are the ones I have been watching as of late and I am BORED. And I HAVE THOUGHTS.
Because, typically speaking, I’m no Lifetime Watching Nicholas Sparks Reading Devour Just Because They Kiss In The End fool. I usually have standards. The first being chemistry between the leads. It’s a must and you know when it’s not there. And then everyone involved feels super uncomfortable watching them get it on.
The second being, well, actually if the chemistry is there, I am rather forgiving. LIKE A BOSS.
But seriously, the second standard is plot. Just, be decent with the plot, you know? Give the characters time to be together (When Harry Met Sally). Only do physical humor if the actors are amazing at it (Sandra Bullock). Don’t interrupt a wedding unless you’re The Graduate (The Graduate). Simple stuff, I don’t ask for much. Just authentic romantic perfection where you believe the couple is in love and you believe the situation, though heightened, is totally plausible and real. Easy peasy.
Rom Com Squeezey.
An exception to my super high standards are of course any romantic movies I saw as a pre-teen. I didn’t have standards then, so even as I poke holes during a re-watch now, I still miraculously get the love feels simply because I was able to get it when I was 12. I’m like the Pavlov’s dog of rom com watching. They get the pass, even though they are insanely flawed.
But alas, I find myself today finally in a rom com drought. The new stuff just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. I’m finding myself turning on old episodes of The Office just to see that Pam and Jim spark, even though I sort of hate the proposal episode.
What’s a gal in need of fictionalized love to do?
I think the best step for me would be to lay out why the love feels are so essential to the soul. Put it out in the universe in hopes that some quality content will be created that matches the importance of love. I want to dissect why so many flicks don’t work for me, and get to the root as to why some so so do.
(Oh, and you bet your ass the next writing project I’m embarking on includes some much needed high quality love stories. It’s gonna be good, you guys. Gonna. Be. So. Good. Like, Leslie and Ben good.)
So, that’s what I am going to write about today: The importance of a good love story.
But first let me watch that Pam and Jim confession scene. (“Casino Night.” Ah, that’s stuff.)
Reason # 1 – Love stories make you come of age over and over again.
Hold for laughs for the inevitable come of age joke you are reciting in your head. Ya done? Good. Hey, funny thought. Glad you thought it.
It’s true though. Watching two people on a screen fall for each other inevitably brings you back to the first time you fell for someone, or realized you had the potential to. It makes one nostalgic, doesn’t it? Harkens you back to a time when things appeared easier, the world was smaller, and you had your whole life ahead of you. I think it’s important to re-up that vibe every now and again.
Because, no matter how old you are, you still have your whole life ahead of you.
There is still plenty of time to meet someone who sees how special you are. Even if that person you are meeting is you.
I think it’s important to remember that youth inside who got excited or nervous about a school dance. I think it’s fun to recall the events in your life that made you who you are today. Get the tingles, baby! Even if it’s for famous people you will never meet.
Reason # 2 – Love stories are meditative as hell.
Seeing love centers you. Makes you live in the moment. It makes you pay attention to the little things, the swift, quiet moves in every scene that are signs of care and consideration. The commonalities these two leads share that make them a good match. The callbacks and deep talks. It’s fun to hang on to every word, and cherish it. It’s calming as fuck, so throw in a few deep breaths in there and you got competition for your Headspace App.
Reason #3 – Love stories remind you of your wants and needs in companionship.
Now I’m not here to say that if you are alone you are missing out. Be alone. Be in love with yourself. You’ve got to love yourself, because you’re going to be with you for the rest of your life.
What I am saying is if falling in love with someone is of interest to you, sometimes it takes knowing different love stories to compare and contrast what you are looking for. I myself, love When Harry Met Sally for no other reason than I love the idea of having the love of your life also be your best friend. But some folks really prefer Romancing The Stone because their idea of a spouse includes someone who pushes them, and who takes them on adventures. Others like Bridget Jones because they’ve got a thing for curmudgeons. Whatever floats you boat! Rom coms are here to remind you of your personal wants. Like how I personally want no one interrupting my wedding day.
Reason #4 – Love stories remind you that excitement can be found anywhere.
It’s remarkable how exciting the every day can become just by simply being interested in a new person, or being newly interested in an old person. It’s because people are interesting! Ain’t that a kicker?
Reason #5 – Love stories give us hope.
Hope for not only finding someone who gets you, but also knowing you are someone who deserves to be gotten. It may be idealistic, but sometimes idealism is a great compass. Leaning into the sap is an okay thing to do from time to time. It reminds us why life is pretty fucking awesome, and what really makes the world go round. Love.
When A Rom Com Doesn’t Work
- when the leads have no chemistry
- when the lead spend most of the time hating each other and then for no real reason switch to liking each other just because it’s time in the plot that they do not because of a cool turn in the story
- when Judy Greer is underused
- when the kiss is bad
- when the girl is a sexy lamp
- when it’s only been three days
- when the music cues are doing heavy lifting
- when there’s no coffee in that cup
When a Rom Com Works
- when you believe the characters benefit from being together
- when the kiss is fantastic
- when the wardrobe is on point
- when they spend a long ass time together and you see them bond during a lot scenes just the two of them
- when the girl has an actual point of view and backstory
- when the outcome isn’t exactly what you expect
- when Meg Ryan wears a bra
Other Miscellaneous Rom Com Thoughts –
- Television shows make the best rom coms, but not when the entire focus of the show is said rom com. It’s more appropriate when it’s a slow burn B-Story so you can see the relationship develop while the characters are accomplishing other things. It’s a fun investment and makes you really root for the love.
- If I have to see one more magazine company office set again I may fucking lose it.
Okay. That’s it. That’s why love stories are important and how they can easily not suck so much. Now, go ahead, and give us something new to love, world. Remind us to love love! Let’s give us some va-jay-jay tingles. After all, that’s the added bonus.
– One L
“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – Billy C