RomCom Overdose

And the worst blogger award in the categories of a disappointing lack of consistency and absolute flakiness goes to…me!

Sorry readers. Sorry blogosphere. I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me.

Because I do have excuses.

Well, I always have excuses, and this round of going AWOL was brought about because two friends were visiting from abroad. I declared it a staycation and went off to have a jolly good time.

Our agenda was chock-a-block: day trips to Brighton and Oxford; ambitiously long walks all across London; attending the heavily attended London Coffee Festival; catching two live shows; crashing a garden party; several yoga sessions at my neighbourhood’s hideously oderous Bikram yoga studioa; various meals out; and a healthy number of girls’ nights in.

Having never packed in quite this many activities and outings in the span of ten days before, it’s not very surprising that the  “girls’ nights in” were the highlight of my staycation. As frequently occurs when ladies gather in a room containing a television, the four of us partook in copious amounts of Indian takeout (provided by the ever-faithful Curry Express) and rented one RomCom after another, after another, after another.

During the span of a week, we had watched so many RomComs that if none of us ever saw another mismatched couple end up together after one of character delivers a long, impassioned speech describing everything they love about the other character (which were of course all the things they hated at first), we would die happy women.

Because that’s what most of the RomComs we watched boiled down to: a man and a woman meet in some contrived and awkward fashion, and usually take an instant dislike to one another.b The two continue to meet and continue to find one another thoroughly unpleasant. In reality however, all this unpleasantness is truly the work of sexual tension and animal attraction — these two polar opposites are, in fact, two halves of one whole. 

Something happens, however, to cleave the two apart just as the roots of romance have taken hold — say, Emily’s boyfriend (who is clearly, clearly very wrong for her) proposes, or Harold receives an amazing job offer that’ll have him move across the continent. Suddenly, a light goes off in one of their heads: “I think I really like this character I’m supposed to hate.” She cabs it to the airport catching him right before his flight. He runs to her apartment in the pelting rain…

And cue speech!

“Dottie, I love the way you think you’re always right, even when you’re totally wrong. I love how your nose crinkles when you look at a menu and take 20 minutes to decide what to eat. I adore when you get trashed at office functions.”

“Andy, I love your martyr act when you refuse to ask for help. I love how your feet smell after you come back from a round of racquet ball. And most of all, I love it when you belch, abruptly, in the middle of a sentence.”

Of course, plenty more tropes operate within the RomCom genre, which itself can be divided into subgenres. There are actually several thoughtful articles on the topic, of which this is not one.

And now, like Andy’s previously mentioned belch, I will be abrupt and withdraw.

 

  1. More on my yogic endeavours later.  (back)
  2. Although occasionally there is an unrequited love variation on this, but that’s often attributed to secondary characters.  (back)