Romantic comedies, or rom coms, have faced a serious decline in popularity on the big screen. Once at their peak in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, rom coms have been relegated to the indie screen, where they have become products of subculture, rather than a point of mass entertainment. But could this change?
Rom coms initially began falling out of popularity on the big screen in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, as many rom com films fell back on the same tropes and plot points, causing the genre to look too repetitive and unoriginal. These tropes include cute-meets, love triangles, happy endings, mid-movie break-ups and change of hearts, last moment change of hearts, and many others that led movies to become repetitive and unoriginal. The good rom coms were mashed together with the many bad ones, and audiences lost interest.
Rom coms moved to the indie screen as a result, and major media companies practically gave up on the genre for more profitable endeavors. Rom coms became parts of subculture, with more dynamism coming in as a result of having the “indie freedom” that comes with being made without having to appeal to the general populace. And with this decade being dominated by a distinct lack of rom coms, it seemed like they were never coming back.
That was, until the announcement for August’s release of Crazy Rich Asians was announced. The film, released by Warner Brothers and based off the bestselling book by Kevin Kwan, is creating discussion around whether or not the genre can come back to the big screen. Increasingly, there is hope that the film with give the genre a much needed rebirth, bringing the genre back to a newer audience.
While I don’t know about the film bringing an entire genre back, it does have the potential to give romantic comedies an entirely new look, shedding old tropes that really needed to go.