Growing up a child of divorce and raised by a single mother, it would’ve been really easy for me to go all angsty and anti-love. I mean, with no couple to look up to or emulate in real life, how could I ever hope to attain love in my own? Instead, I became a rom com addict. I will literally watch anything that involves an American girl traveling abroad and meeting some dude with a vaguely foreign accent (see my other Examiner article on just that topic). Failing that, I’ll revel in watching a clumsy career girl fall head over heels in love with a dashing…architect (Thank you, Mindy Kaling, for defining all the rom com tropes).
Lately, however, I’ve noticed a serious lack of quality rom coms. I know the economy continues to rest/rust at neutral, and that there are two wars going on, and a contentious presidential campaign mere months from kicking off. So we get lots of fantasy fare, some Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers, and far too many reboots of comic book stories.
Though the last “chick flick” I enjoyed, Crazy Stupid Love, didn’t follow the typical romantic comedy path, I’d be happy for anything at this point (and by “anything” I do not mean This Means War). I am an avid moviegoer. So much so that my Christmas stocking was filled to the brim with movie tickets. But here’s the thing—I have used NONE of them. Because I haven’t felt a movie was targeted at my demographic, the twentysomething, city dwelling college grad who is maybe too young to completely identify with Sex and the City but wants something slightly more age appropriate to swoon over than the barely legal male cast of The Hunger Games. Rom com writers, movie makers, studios…you want me, you want my friends, and yet you’ve left us holding a purse full of AMC vouchers just begging to be used.
Hollywood, here’s what I want:
In the interest of staying topical, let’s say our sassy heroine (maybe Emma Stone or someone similar) gets laid off from her job as an Editorial Assistant at You! magazine, a glossy staffed by back biting snobs who cut down our heroine’s ideas for happy, body positive articles as well as her snarky pieces that lampoon too much worship of celebrity culture. She returns to her apartment carrying a box of past issues, and, because she’s clumsy, drops said box into a huge puddle, splashing herself and what, her old college flame who just happens to be in the neighborhood (meet cute Ryan Reynolds?). College flame and former EA decide to meet for coffee. We can have some colorful telephone conversations with her adorable parents (played by maybe Kathy Bates) encouraging her to move home after we see a montage of disastrous job interviews. She keeps in touch with old college flame, and encounters some of her sad hometown buddies and high school friends. She rekindles the romance with old college flame, and he encourages her to pursue her passion for writing by starting her own fashion/pop culture blog—something like Jezebel. They don’t necessarily get married, but our heroine rediscovers her passion, gets the boy, and follows her dreams.
Put in some Natasha Bedingfield soundtrack action, add in some Nancy Meyers-light lifestyle porn and call it a day.
And hey, maybe nothing about that story reinvents the wheel, but it definitely hits so many key points missing from the films in our multiplexes—maturing millenials searching for meaning in a difficult world, returning to your hometown crestfallen and searching for your next big thing, and finding true love.