So today I had a great experience at a swim meet in Logan(something I will be posting about once I get all the photos from my friend). It was an intense meet with lots of college-level swimmers but I’m proud to say I came through with my best times so far! Like I said, more to come on that front….
For those that don’t know Logan is about 2 hours away from my apartment, so as you can imagine after such a long drive I came home exhausted. My muscles ached all over and I had to fight falling asleep (I didn’t want to take a long nap because I knew it would be hard to sleep tonight).
Anyway, as I browsed the channels with my heat pad in toe I started and stopped watching several romantic comedies. It got me thinking. How is it that Hollywood can get away with using the same tired cliches over and over again? Especially when stacked next to each other, it’s truly amazing how similar these movies are. Whatever happened to the romantic comedy writing of the 1950′s where scripts were sharp and surprising? (I think part of the reason is in the old system stars had to do whatever they were asked; thereby, putting more of the budget to the script, music, dance etc.)
As a response to this question I would like to put out a list of romantic comedy cliches I hope to never see again:
1. Characters trip, bump, topple, save each other from a moving dumpster (yes, that’s from an actual movie), and not only do they fall but they always happen to land in prime kissing position.
2. One character is forced to move, travel, or leave and his or her love must make a mad dash to the airport, subway station, bus depot etc.
3. Characters become unlikely dance partners and the sparks fly.
4. A pair of glasses and some frizzy hair is the only thing keeping boys from flocking to Anne Hathaway and a million other “nerdy” girls.
5. The love birds become involved in a secret bet, challenge, secret identity, contest or investigative article and their success depends on wooing the girl (worked in Taming of the Shrew but get over it!)
6. A long makeover scene involving waxing and hair coloring turns the ugly girl into an attractive specimen like magic.
7. A proposal/kiss has to be made in a crowded room where everyone applauds at the end.
8. The best friend is either a wisecracking gay man, Judy Greer, or some other sarcastic sidekick (where’s my compadre who exists only to make snarky comments about my life?)
9. The idea that every working woman is somehow cold and too preoccupied with their career to get a man. I can’t even count the number of movies I’ve seen where Jennifer Anniston, Katherine Hiegel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lopez are painted as cold jerks too busy for love just because they have a job they are dedicated too (tell me did feminism happen? Sometimes I wonder with romantic comedies!)…Please!
10. A lip synching scene where the girl and her galpals dance around the house fake singing to songs like I will Survive or Aint No Mountain High Enough.
11. We hate each other at first but really we are in love. Usually by the end of them finding their love you hate both characters too much to care about them getting together.
12. I’ve seen one too many movies in recent years where the beautiful lead is desperate for a baby and goes to a sperm clinic only to meet Mr. Sunshine right after (literally in the Back Up Plan Jennifer Lopez meets her stud in the taxi on the way home from AI)
13. Characters magically switch places with a mother, brother, dad, best friend, rich friend, nerdy friend etc. This is true for any other ‘magic’ cliche like the characters are in different time periods but still can exchange letters or a character steps into a painting and falls in love with the girl…so lame!
14. Its OK for a character to commit adultery if the spouse is a jerk and the guy is her ‘true love’…
15. The lead is a single mom waitress, baker, writer, unemployed, maid, and yet lives in a 2 bedroom 7 million dollar apartment in Manhattan.
16. Somehow our wonderful and loveable heroine is dating, engaged, or married to a total jerk who she has no problem dumping when the right guy comes along.
Here’s an idea Hollywood- how about you make a movie about a real girl who is happy with her career, happy with her body and then meets her man. What’s so wrong with that?
A movie like 500 Days of Summer shows you don’t even have to give the movie a ‘happy’ ending for it to be a charming, wonderful romantic movie. Let’s be creative and
So, there you have it. What movie cliches bother you?