Penned By: Eishwari Mainkar
“10 things I hate about you”, “Notting hill”, “When Harry met Sally” or “Clueless”. If you’re a romantic comedy fanatic like me then I am sure you’ve given these a watch. If not, then do not worry, I will sum it up for you. It goes like this…a very “emotional person” falls in love with a “kind of emotionally unavailable” person and then the “emotionally unavailable" person finally realizes that they feel differently about this “emotional person” and haven’t felt like this for anyone else for a while. They both overcome some hurdles in their relationship and FINALLY end up together!!!!
As a high schooler, I watched rom coms because I was a mere hopeless romantic but over time, they have turned into comfort films. To be fair, we all know rom coms are predictable but we still choose to watch them regardless. This is mainly because we as viewers find comfort in knowing what’s about to happen next, it puts us in a position of control. I used to watch rom-coms because I liked watching happy endings and that is something I liked to believe and hoped happened to people around me.
What I did not understand was that reality was far more complicated than portrayed on screen. The struggles were simplified and situations were amplified to provide a sense of comfort to the audience. Initially, I thought that my obsession with rom coms would eventually die down, but I was wrong. Here I am, a 21 year old adult, giggling at the screen because the leads finally held hands.
Ever since I was introduced to the concept of love, I have watched rom-coms, and that too, with profound interest. When I was younger, movies like these were much easier to digest because of their uncomplicated narratives and a detailed eye for portraying relatable characters in relatable situations. It is also a fact that rom coms are much more relaxed and easy-going in terms of it’s competing genres.
It is all rainbows and sunshine with occasional thunderstorms but let us be real, everyone likes a little bit of drama! The reason why they are so appealing to viewers is because it offers the perfect balance between finding the love of your life but also not having it easy and fighting for it. The satisfaction of achieving something after having been through a tough time is unbeatable and this is something that applies to films as well as real-life situations.
However, since the past decade, the film treatments and styles have drastically changed. New tropes and genres have been sucked in, making rom coms not just about happy endings, but a little more than that. More focus is put on the meaning of self importance and self love rather than mindlessly doing things because of selfless love. This has added value to a lot of films which have personally stuck with me and made it to my comfort watch list.