romcom /’rɒmkɒm/ (informal): a romantic comedy.
Once again, I’m back to present you with the ever glorifying announcement that I spent another night watching another movie, in bed, again.
Over the past month, I’ve watched at least five romantic comedies ranging from Nora Ephron’s Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, to the classic sci-fi comedic tale of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and Enough Said (the only Romcom I’ve seen so far starring the over-40s), and rewatched (500) Days of Summer twice (and of course Rom-coms isn’t the only genre that I’ve caught – Juno, The Breakfast Club, Midnight In Paris were all great movies that I watched over the span of August as well).
I’m aware that most people spend their time at night before they sleep rushing through avalanches of assignments, or use the time to catch up on some revision, or simply, like one of my bookworm friends, dig into novels. I’ve tried reading novels before I sleep and I’d say I end up sleeping a little early than I initially planned to. You know, when you stare at black and white you enter this trance of just mindlessly glancing through these sentences when you’re supposed to actually absorb what’s going on in the plot – and things get pretty much worse because of your location – being in bed with dear Blanket.
By being this impatient, lazy reader of books and novels (although I definitely still adore them), I choose to turn to moving graphics and visuals as a form of before-bed entertainment instead.
Star-studded casts, epic quotes, and plots that have successfully encaptured the hearts of many – I felt the necessity to engage myself in these as well.
On a sidenote: don’t you dare indulge in the practice of guilt-tripping by firing me with questionable looks and eyebrow raises as you get busy wondering “doesn’t she need to study? Exams are less than 50 days away,” and likewise my sister partakes heavily in my guilt-tripping by sending me these texts containing a few words namely “Tick” and “Tock”, “Have you been studying?” so I replied “Shut the fuck up, I know my priorities”. Okay.
Comes the question: Why Rom-coms?
You know actually, I’ve never been so drawn to this genre before. I caught my life’s first romantic comedy 13 Going On 30 when I was around 10, only deeply intrigued by the fairytale-like plot with the transformation of the 13-year old persona into 30-year old Jennifer Garner (given a chance I’d love to transform into America’s sweetheart Meg Ryan back in the 1980s) – and that’s it. Incredibly I missed out entirely on the part where Mark Ruffalo appears (even forgot that he starred in it) and forgot about the classic quotes like when Jenna says “I think all of us want to feel something that we’ve forgotten or turned our backs on, because maybe if we didn’t realise how much we were leaving behind.” (and apparently Google had to remind me of this.)
I love romance. Not the 19th century Nathaniel Hawthorne kind of Romance, but the overly idealistic, fairytale, comedic kind of romance – more of the Nora Ephron. In Sleepless In Seattle, Sam and Annie are illustrated as two people who have never met in their lives before, live 26 states away from each other. And you know what, the best thing is they somehow, with the highest absurdity present in cosmic connections, or simply coincidences, meet each other and were able to fall in love, in an instant. I’m aware of how typical love-at-first-sight movies are fucking ridiculous, but do note that yours truly actually cried when I watched Sleepless. Before you judge, I shall explain why some cliche Rom-coms make me cry:
- Many male lead characters are these rare, non-existent creatures who are exceptionally sentimental and, well, sweet. Refer to Sam in Sleepless:
Doctor Marcia Fieldstone: Tell me what was so special about your wife?
Sam Baldwin: Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.
Do you feel me? Which guy professes his love openly for a woman in such a sophisticated mannerism in reality? Damn.
- The crazy “OH MY GOD THIS IS IT” quotes that I relate to, and believe in. Take the golden wise words from Sleepless:
“Destiny is something that we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.”
“Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it’s our pathetic need for it that gets us into trouble.”
“You make a million decisions that mean nothing, and then one day you order take-out, it changes your life.”
“What if someone you never met, someone you never saw, someone you never knew, was the only someone for you?”
I just love movies that make me go tearful and “Yes, yes! Exactly! Finally someone knows how I feel” during the times when the portrayed ideals of love and life align with mine. And somehow these overly romanticised films heighten my level of expectations – of how the perfect partners should be, of how relationships should be. Because they tend to end up with perfect endings, resulting in this effect of my illusions colliding with actuality, warping and distorting my sense of touch with reality. I love things that give me hope – hope that maybe somewhere out there, the idea of perfection exists.
Oh you can call me silly. You can call me the Blanche DuBois of the 21st century, constantly trapped in this sphere of deception and delusional thoughts. You can call me the Annie Reed in fact. She believes in almost everything that she sees in movies. She stares at the TV screen with her friend Becky, rewatching An Affair To Remember (Cary Grant, god dammit) and exclaims in this extremely memorable scene:
Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance… nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was…
And then dear Becky replied Annie,
which also basically sums up the story of my life too.