I admit it. I enjoy a good romantic comedy. There's no shame in that, right? But, I mean, not the romance part obviously. I like the comedy parts! They are funny! That other stuff is lame.
Last night we rented a great romantic comedy with a terrible title. "What's Your Number?" was the newest flick in the Redbox, and since movies were free at the Redbox yesterday I snapped it up. I have to tell you, it was really funny. I LOL'd multiple times. But when it came to the romantic bits, I kind of just ignored them.
The thing about romantic comedies is that the "romantic" half of them is going to be cliche. You know that going in. There was no doubt in my mind when I sat down that the two main characters were going meet in a cute way, slowly fall in love, have some sort of falling out, and then wind up together at the end. That's how it works. When the on-screen couple had their fight, I rolled my eyes and felt nothing, even as their characters moped about on screen, because I knew that they were getting back together. There were no emotional stakes at all.
But I was not watching the movie for emotional stakes. I was watching for the jokes. The romantic comedies that I do not enjoy, are the ones with nothing at all new to say, and that play at stale gender stereotypes without bringing any sort of new point of view to the table. There are tons of those, and they are bad romantic comedies. You may recall from the first paragraph that I enjoy a good romantic comedy, not a bad one. They may be few and far between, but if you can hang some interesting characters and some great jokes on the framework of the traditional romantic arc, then you've got a movie that I will probably enjoy watching.
Of course I know there are people out there who like the romantic parts better. People who want to see people falling and love and getting together over and over again. That's fine. I don't need to see that, but it's okay if you do. And as long as I'm laughing hard enough, I won't even notice you crying two seats over.