Romantic Comedies Depress Me

Okay, maybe depress is a bit strong. Romantic comedies make me all thoughtful and reflective. I swear, I’m not joking. I end up walking from the theater considering what I don’t have in my life. Not in a ‘pity me’ way, but in a glass half empty/half full fashion.

I laughed like a loon when I saw Bridesmaids. Put aside the food poisoning scene and the over the top stuff in the airplane and it was a touchingly sweet story, about the main character’s life crisis while her BFF is planning her wedding, with an added little love affair. And for me it was about the role friendship plays in everyday life. Especially a woman’s life.

I snorted and chuckled and thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I also walked from the theater and immediately sent a text to my friend, Terri, telling her how thankful I was for her friendship.

Yup, romcom makes me meditative. Even wistful.

Something about laughing and wanting to cry at the same time. The best romcoms are as good as they are because they are based on real life possibilities, the more absurd makes better comedy, the more real makes better romance.

And sometimes, the best of them are based on the tragedies.

I recently saw Crazy Stupid Love and man, that one really through me for a loop. Yes, it was delightful. Steve Carrel made me believe. And I sat there, watching this couple who had met in high school, struggle with holding together a marriage through the danger of routine, I found my throat dry. Why?

I married my high school sweetheart. I’ve been married 30+ years and the issues addressed in this movie are very real and seldom funny.

Routine is the death of marriage and getting married very young puts a burden on keeping interest alive for a longer and longer period. I’m not sure anyone should be married at a very early age.

This is one of the reasons why I campaign no stridently for the after the HEA scenario and why I write a great many Late Escape stories. As sweet as Crazy Stupid Love was and how wonderful the idea of finding you soul mate at 15 (or 13) — I think it’s wasted on the young. There is still so much ahead after the vows and if you don’t keep the adventure, passion and courtship alive then you know what happens?

You get a David Lindhagen. (For those who haven’t seen the movie, he’s the guy the long married wife has a one night stand with, setting off her midlife crisis, which in turn sets Steve Carrel off on his ourney to rediscover his manhood.

Really, it’s a fun and sweet movie. It’s also a cautionary tale, to be truthful.

I left the theater and thought to myself. “I have to get my husband to see this movie.”

And it wasn’t for the laughs.

This summer had a lot of RomCom movies. Any you see that you enjoyed? How do they make you feel?



  1. I LOVED CSL. Best RomCom I’ve seen in years. So well written. And Hellie pointed out to me the same man wrote Tangled and several other movies I loved. Finally, a screenwriter who gets it. No one has to die for a movie to be good! Yeesh.

    I can’t watch Bridesmaids. Not my kind of comedy. And I don’t think that qualifies as RomCom. LOL! Even if it does have a bit of romance in it.

    Hellie says Love And Other Drugs is good, so I need to rent that one. Can’t name another good, recent RomCom off the top of my head. We’re in a drought.

  2. I agree with it being a wonderful movie, really. And I don’t have any complaints about it making me reflect on things.

    The trick with Bridesmaids is that it is a RomCom, but it’s on the absurd side of things when it shoots for th comedy stuff, on the more RL side of things with the romance. I’d have liked it better with less shoot-for-the-moon guy comedy.

    Isn’t Midnight in Paris sorta a RomCom?

  3. I think it is, but I haven’t made it to the theater to catch it yet. Maybe I should do that this weekend. I need to check the theaters. It might be gone already around here.

  4. I’ve only seen Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens this summer. Maybe I need to expand my repertoire?

  5. I haven’t seen either movie, so I can’t say whether one is more real-life or not. But I do think we see things in movies, or read them in books, based on which filters we have — and those are based on our experiences. For instance, the things you see after being married to your high school sweetheart would be different than someone who hasn’t done that. 🙂

    I think it’s why a story is considered great by one person, but “meh” by someone else. We all bring such different interpretive things to the experience.

  6. Terri – I know someone local who just saw it, so you might find it here or there still.

    Donna – True, most things we read or see come at us through what we notice because it pertains to us. I got the whole married-since-the-dawn-of-time stuff right off. Someone else would see the reformed womanizer or the soulmate at 13 stuff.

    Crazy Stupid Love is a good movie and I intend to go see it again. With my husband, and we’ll talk afterward!

  7. Leslie – I loved Cowboys and Aliens…haven’t seen Captain America yet… Honestly, those type of movies are my usual fare. Now and then, I let Terri and Fran talk me into the RomComs and for the most part, without regret. I mean, I enjoyed Bridesmaids! 😉

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