The Rom-Com Revival is Finally Here!
2018 has been the summer of my dreams; finally, after years of waiting and wondering with no hope in sight, rom-coms have returned and let me tell you, the wait might just have been worth it.
After growing up in a time of Ten Things I Hate About You and Notting Hill, I was understandably distraught after my beloved romantic movies were replaced with superheroes and never-ending blockbuster franchises. The big studios stopped making movies about heartbreak and heartthrobs and we entered what I like to call "The Great Depression". But this story does have a happy ending -- perhaps the genre had to die so it could re-emerge from its ashes as a triumphant phoenix, and 2018 was the year it did.
The Big Sick helped usher in the new age of rom-coms when it made an amazing debut at the box office and went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, recognition that this genre rarely receives. The Big Sick proved that there is still an appetite for a good rom-com, especially those that reflect the modern landscape of relationships, and the big studios started to take note.
Earlier this year, 20th Century Fox made history with Love, Simon, which centered on a gay, teen protagonist; then there was Paramount’s Book Club about older women on the lookout for love; and Pantelion Films' remake of Overboard¸ a bilingual comedy with Anna Faris; Netflix got in on the action as well with Set It Up, which plays as a more classic throwback to the genre but with realistic characters that have actual responsibilities other than their love lives; and most recently, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which stars an Asian lead and a fictional boyfriend that has everyone obsessed.
All these movies and I haven’t even gotten to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again or Crazy Rich Asians, which broke box offices worldwide and confirmed once and for all that the rom-com is back and (hopefully) here to stay.
2018 has been a revelation for this genre -- it has given us diversity and representation and honest characters that we can get behind. Somewhere along the way, rom-coms earned a negative connotation, but finally we are getting stories that reflect our complicated and contemporary society and I am living for it. If recent years have taught us anything, it’s that good things are hard to come by, and we must hold on to them at all costs. So please, for me, go see a rom-com and let’s hope Hollywood takes note and keeps making the movies we want!
(Image via Netflix)
- Kyla Killackey, YH Contributing Writer