Top 5 Romantic Comedy Cliches
We all know that romantic comedies have been around for a very, very long time. The idea that two people can meet by accident and fate intervenes through hilarious situations, ultimately accumulating in the mutual attraction between seemingly polar opposites. Does that make any sense to you? That is what every single romantic comedy is about. Yet, it is one of the most popular genres of film being made to this day. Since I can easily claim that a rom-com (get it? romantic-comedy shortened) is formulaic and cliche, how about some examples to back up my assumptions? Well, since you asked nicely I will do just that.
We all know that Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lopez are three of the most famous actresses that almost always make films in this genre these days, and I think it is safe to say that Hugh Grant, Nicolas Cage and Matthew McConaughey are the male counterparts. Sure, they make other movies but people associate them with one particular stereotype: chick flicks.
Stereotypes in films are commonplace, and I will cite some perfect examples of scenes that are cliche and stereotypical in a date movie. Ready?
1.) When a nerdy girl who wears glasses in high school takes off her glasses and lets down her hair, she instantly becomes hot and sexy and is pined after by the quarterback of the football team. Usually a competition or fight breaks out between two people for her affection and the girl’s nerdy male best friend ends up expressing his love for her that was hidden all along. The gender roles can be reversed at times, with the female best friend secretly in love with the male friend up until the senior year of high school. Cliche Fact: Goes to show that true beauty is on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.
2.) When two people meet by accident at night, even though they don’t really know each other they get caught in an instant, freak rainstorm and run for cover together. This usually leads to a first kiss and sometimes a romantic interlude of some sort. Someone is walked or driven home and the next day they think about the night before. This happens about halfway through the movie. Cliche Fact: Nobody ever, ever carries an umbrella on a dark and stormy night in the city.
3.) When a man and woman are engaged at the beginning of a movie, one of them will undoubtedly be introduced to someone who will appear sporadically throughout the film and spend a lot of time with them, thus creating the inevitable hook-up that spoils the wedding plans. This can be either the man or woman and can include the first 2 cliches as needed to achieve the end result. We usually find out that other person was unfaithful by the time the wedding nears and it is called off at the last minute. Cliche Fact: People who are engaged at the start of a movie never get married in the end.
4.) The cocky male who has slept with hundreds or even thousands of women will find true love with a girl who wants nothing to do with him at the beginning of the movie. He will change his ways now that he has found true love but he will make a few crucial mistakes right when she starts to fall for him, resulting in the man taking drastic measures to win back her affection. Cliche Fact: Sleep around a lot with no consequences, then get married to a perfect woman when you feel ready in your mid-thirties.
5.) When you move from the big city to a small, country town in the middle of nowhere you will find attraction to a local person who owns a fledgling business or stands to inherit something big. This person will be introverted and hiding something from their past that is too painful to talk about, but you will learn what it is from a new friend who somehow knows the entire story in detail. Cliche Fact: The strong, handsome mysterious stranger will share his inner turmoil with you after you show interest in another man.
Those are the top 5 that I feel sum up the situation in most films from the 80′s until now, but somehow Hollywood keeps rehashing the same storylines over and over to get your money. And it works. That is why Jennifer Lopez keeps getting paid, people don’t get sick of her being the woman who takes a man away from someone else who doesn’t deserve him. Please, quit giving money to J-Lo so these movies go away. We have seen enough, and we all know how it is going to end each and every time. Musical score montages, staring out the window alone when it is raining, leaving a hand-written note instead of confessing true feelings face to face, they have been done to death.
What are some cliches that aren’t on this list, or better yet: Name some examples of films from each of the five listed above. That is your challenge. Post your responses in the comments section below or on our Facebook page, prove your movie knowledge to me!