Hollywood has given us some of the best romance movies. But the rest have just set new lows for the genre and Bollywood and several other industries have started to follow the trend, spreading the mediocrity far and wide. Movies like the Before Trilogy, Her, are rare gems which are hidden under piles of thoughtless rom-coms which have become the face of the genre. Other countries have been making romantic movies which are beautiful and poetic, and it is time Hollywood picked up a few tips from them. Here is the list of 12 reasons why romantic movies of Hollywood never seem to affect us the way they are meant to.
12. Repetitive moments
We have the makeover moments, watching one of the leads having fun with kids, bonding with the other’s family, the amusement-park-day-outs, bigger than life proposals. It is high time that Hollywood upped its game and got creative with moments that bring two characters closer. Maybe add a real conversation apart from the one with the narration of the sob-backstory. However, if most of the movies are linked by common moments to build a relationship, it defeats the point of the genre.
Example: The Notebook, No Strings Attached, 27 Dresses
We know of the characters who believe they aren’t pretty enough, or the fat-shaming of the supporting characters, or skinny-shaming of the nerd, and there are those make-overs to fit into the definition of conventional beauty. Half the dialogues revolve around the external appearance of the characters, and it just brings down the depth of the story, leaving it hanging on vanity. Most of the movies are based on the physical attraction between the protagonists, and if you take that away, I hope the movie still works.
Example: She’s All That, The Princess Diaries, Pretty Woman, hosts of Girlfriends’ Past, Twilight
10. Overused dialogues
Hollywood romance movies are dialogue heavy. The uniqueness of every movie is lost with the same dialogues tweaked in places to sound different. The big declarations of love all look overused. What if instead of being verbal, it could just be implied? If the audience already know the drill, isn’t it high time to get a better script?
Example: Friends With Benefits, When Harry met Sally, Jerry Mcguire
If you’ve seen one cliché, you’ve seen them all. Clichés in Hollywood deserve their own article completely, because the laziness of writers in discovering freshness just hits you in the face with these stories. Yes, there have been classics that have clichéd storylines, and they were undeniably enjoyable, but once a cliché works, storywriters drop their pens and keep reworking the formula that had earned them money. It does keep working. Clichés exist for a reason. As long as people don’t tire of bad-boy tropes, extremely-successful-woman-too-sceptical-about-love, clumsy-girl-meets-rich-business-tycoon, they are never going to stop making them, and there will never be quality content.
Example: How to lose a guy in 10 days, Wedding Crashers, The Proposal
8. Romanticising and/or trivialising illness
So depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety become character quirks that are swiftly overcome when a character gets together with their lover, whereas terminal diseases like cancer, mostly, because it’s easier to explain it to the audience, is a pity-generating machine where the character is reduced to a depleting commodity to be cherished before it is over. No that there is anything wrong or insensitive about it, but to be movies use this card to garner pity feels like this was the last resort to get the audience hooked. Sure, some films have gotten them kind of right, but a more serious take on it is yet to be seen. It is worse when a serious mental illness is trivialised to a trait that can be easily overcome without any professional help. Not to mention, this heavily affects the audience who have begun to think that a fairy-tale romance is the only way to get out of depression.
Example: Friends With Benefits, A Walk To Remember, 50 First dates, Me before You
7. Convenient side characters
Hollywood clutters its films with too many characters who live to sacrifice their own happiness for a protagonist. Some of them end up being more relatable than the main character, but the fact that they end up investing more of their lives in the happiness of the protagonist rather than just being a good friend ends up making things way too convenient for the story. These characters drop hints and pointers all through the movie, sometimes creating ideal situations for the main characters to get closer, and you’ll probably see the protagonist in a conversation with them right before the big declaration of love, when they hit realisation after being guided to the conclusion by them. Even though they are given token stories of their own, these characters are dropped from relevance on convenience, and their stories are usually given a rushed conclusion for the sake of evading questions. The shallow characters could easily have been dropped or given more relevance according to a story, if not, they could all have their name changed to Convenient Disposable Sidekicks.
Example: No Strings Attached, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Clueless, Twilight