Rom Coms are the Bomb!

Rom coms are a popular genre in Hollywood films and have evolved over the years to become more inclusive and relatable.

The Independent

Rom coms are a popular genre in Hollywood films and have evolved over the years to become more inclusive and relatable.

The popular genre of romantic comedy has prevailed throughout cinematic history, dating back to Ancient Greece. The foundations of rom coms are fairly simple: two characters awkwardly meet each other and face ordinary problems, ultimately overcoming difficulties along the way to live together happily ever after. The interest viewers have in this genre goes beyond the clichés that are often attached to it. Romcoms are wholesome, stress-free shows that anyone can watch on a lazy Friday night, making them a lot more important to society than one might be led to believe. 

Contrary to popular belief, not all romantic comedies are fueled by the power of romance alone. The genre often delves into other relationships that a character may encounter, with often some sort of highlighted camaraderie between close friends or affection from close family members. It’s an important reminder of how valuable other types of love are and how a partner is not the only thing one should hold with high personal value. Romcoms shed light on the complex types of relationships we all have in our lives, from the comical friend to the overprotective parent, making them easily relatable to thousands of viewers across the world. 

In fact, romcoms are now starting to normalize inclusivity by including actors from various minority communities to appeal to viewers. A notable example is Crazy Rich Asians, a 2018 American romantic comedy-drama focused on the relationship between Rachel Chu, an economics professor, and Nick Young, her boyfriend who comes from an extremely rich family in Singapore. The movie highlights how love triumphs over social status through exploring the various tensions found within Rachel and Nick’s relationship, and celebrates Singapore by exploring the upper echelons of Singaporean society,. from the food to the cars.

Romantic comedies also feature normal people in regular circumstances, making them especially enjoyable to watch. The tales of living a mundane, boring life are mixed with the power of Hollywood magic, where normal people end up finding their true love. Viewers end up finding themselves in relatable settings surrounded by relatable people. For example, the rom-com Never Have I Ever explores the life of a normal American-born Indian high schooler, Maythrei Ramakrishnan, and the various struggles she faces in her life. From the pressures she faces keeping up with schoolwork to mending friendships, Maythrei’s life is relatable to a lot of viewers. 

What makes romcoms unique from the other genres out there is that they are far more relaxed and easy to watch. There are no heart-pulsing or stomach-churning scenes, like those seen in action and horror movies. Instead, the plot is fairly simple and viewers can be comforted knowing that no matter what happens, all will be well in the end. The narratives of romcoms tend to be easy to digest and viewers don’t have to use too much brainpower like in sci-fi films, where complicated storylines and alternate universes exist. Some may argue that the simple narrative of romcoms makes the genre less appealing to watch; however, the lives of thousands of Americans have been dark lately, especially given the COVID-19 situation and looming threat of World War 3. There has been an increasing demand for wholesome, fun entertainment, which rom coms offer to viewers.

Some may also argue that rom coms exclude tradition and are too clichéd. However, rom coms have existed during Shakespeare’s time and some of his popular works from The Comedy of Errors to the Gentlemen of Verona are from this genre. Even back then, rom coms were popular because of the warm vibes they allowed viewers to feel. In fact, scientists have found a correlation between oxytocin (love hormone) release and romcoms, which allows people to feel more empathetic and induces feelings of pleasure, revealing that humans are naturally attracted to this genre. 

Overall, the combination of everyday challenges, relatable characters, and happy endings make romcoms one of the most treasured genres in Hollywood today.