There’s a trend to have the hero in be a loser in film romantic comedies. For example, in Failure to Launch the guy lives with his parents. In Knocked Up the dude is an unemployed pothead. Sure, that’s funny, but it’s a gag that wears out quickly, and it makes me wonder why there are so few good romantic comedy feature films. Emphasis has been on the comedy, not the romance.
Have production companies forgotten how to make a romantic comedy?
If so, here’s a suggestion: Look back through the film vaults for examples. Remember Sabrina? How about Bringing Up Baby, It Happened One Night or The Princess Bride? Use those as blueprints. And remember, a rom com is about two people and their road to finding love. It should be witty, clever, sexy, and the circumstances of the humour should not revolve around how stupid the hero (or heroine) is. They can make stupid choices, or get into strife due to someone else’s stupidity, but for God’s sake give the man a brain. Make him appeal to the heroine and filmgoers. While slap-stick funny, a pothead is not an appealing romantic hero–is it?
Well, is it?
How many of you girls out there really want a doobie smoker to sweep you off your feet? Do you actually dream of hooking up with a guy who lives in mom and dad’s basement or attic and think, hmm, here’s a great potential life partner.
Are any of you are bouncing up and down shouting, meee mee?
Not getting any good screenplays? IS tha tthe problem? Well here’s another heads up:There are many romantic comedy novels out there that aren’t being optioned as films. My top picks for books with a wide audience appeal? Well, for a start,
Jenny Crusie’s Fast Women
Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ It Had To Be You and Natural Born Charmer
Rachel Gibson’s Sex Lies & Online Dating
Why those? Simple. The heroes are normal. They have jobs that will appeal to men (Private investigator, Football player, cop) while appealing to women on the hero front. These heroes aren’t stupid, they’re vicitms of circumstance and they’re grown ups. They come from various socio-economic backgrounds, just like Linus Laribee, David Huxley, Peter Warne, and Westley.
Am I projecting? Is this what I hope for my own Rom Com writing?