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Can "Romantic Comedy" Survive The Twenty First Century?

Can "Romantic Comedy" Survive The Twenty First Century?

Romantic comedies survived WW2 and the 20th Century properly, becoming the staple leisure items of Hollywood's "Golden Age." Cary Grant alone has made sufficient romantic comedies to last us for a while... THE AWFUL TRUTH, HIS GIRL FRIDAY, HOLIDAY, THE GRASS IS GREENER, OPERATION PETTICOAT, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, MY FAVORITE WIFE, HOUSEBOAT... the listing goes on and on.

Starting in the late 50s and persevering with via the 60s, we've got the "Pillow Speak" style of rom-coms. Who can forget the Doris Day - Rock Hudson magic? It was great while it lasted.

Zoom ahead to our day - what do we now have? Has anyone watched a great romantic comedy since the monumental achievement of WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989) and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993), each written by Nora Ephron, and the latter also directed by the same?

YOU'VE GOT MAIL (1998) was one time too many Ephron tried to create the same "Sleepless" magic. As gifted a author and director as she was, even Nora Ephron couldn't pull the rom-com rabbit out of her hat each time she wanted. And I am afraid it's getting harder by the day.

How can we now have true comedy, and especially romantic comedy, when the world seems to be exploding at the seams? With all these wars, international terrorism, world warming, nuclear proliferation, unparalleled pandemics, who has the guts to celebrate the innocence of a romantic comedy?

One various is to recombine rom-com with other genres, just like the rom-com-motion-thriller experiment MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005). I give that genre-saddling approach another ten years after which maybe we could should 90's do with rom-com-horror and rom-com-sci-fi anomalies masquerading as the unique thing.

Buckle your seatbelts, kids. Romantic comedy could be a tough experience within the years ahead.


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