The Incredible Jessica James

Are We Finally Looking at Rom Com’s Through a Different Lens?

Set It Up
Photo by Gotham/GC Images

A few months back, Chrissy Teigen asked her Twitter followers to give her romantic comedy recommendations.  What’s interesting is that Netflix has responded to Teigen with a trailer for Set It Up – their new romantic comedy, which stars Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell.  It took Netflix two months to respond.  Which, on one hand, is kind of slow, but it’s also kind of hilarious.  In the film, Deutch, and Powell each work for a boss that doesn’t understand boundaries (Liu and Diggs, respectively). They hatch the brilliant idea to make their bosses fall in love in order to give themselves more free time. Their plan appears to be working, but in classic rom-com style, they don’t expect to be falling for one another.

The question I would like to explore is whether or not romantic comedies are dead? I don’t think they are dead, but I do think that they haven’t caught up with the times.  The genre is kind of homogenous.  Meaning – they’re predominantly white and they all kind of follow the same formula.  Think of the movie “Love Actually” for example.  While it’s a great movie, do we need to have those kinds of movies in 2018?  Have these movies been overplayed?  If we think about it from that perspective, we also have to take into consideration that we are living in the golden age of TV.  Meaning – we now have more than one place to watch romantic comedies. Sure, they’re broken into 10 episodes and have a different format, but they’re still kind of the same.

I thoroughly enjoy a good romantic comedy, but that could just be the place I’m at in my life.  If I’m heartbroken and reeling over an ex, romantic comedies don’t do it for me.  But because I’m head over heels in love with my boyfriend, and we are in a really great place, I love these movies.  I am rooting for the underdog.  I find myself wanting that tomboy librarian to meet her prince charming and fall in love.  And maybe they’re not all like this.  Some have more tragedy than comedy, but in the end, we all want to see two people together and happy.

I do think that the way we think of romantic comedies is starting to change.  Will it pick up, remains to be seen.  Think about the movie “The Big Sick”.  The movie goes through all the ups and downs of a traditional romantic comedy, but it has elements that we are likely to see in the real world.  It’s this reason that I think we are starting to see a shift.  And it’s this reason that I don’t think that romantic comedies are dead.  I think they are changing, and that is a good thing.

If you’re interested in getting down with your romantic side this weekend, Netflix offers a pretty good selection:

  • Anna Karenina
  • The Incredible Jessica James
  • The Beauty Inside
  • Sleeping with Other People
  • No Reservations
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • Blue is the Warmest Color

Set It Up will be available on Netflix starting June 15.  Let us know your thoughts on romantic comedies.  Maybe our assessment is wrong?

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