The modern guide to romantic comedies

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Women’s role in film has been changing as fluidly and dynamically as the role of women in our modern society. One genre, in particular, has been reflecting this change as of late. Say hello to the new romantic comedy.

‘Girl’ has always been an essential component of Hollywood’s favorite plotline. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl experience trials. But eventually, boy and girl fall in love and achieve a ‘happily ever after.’

It’s simple, lighthearted and enjoyable. Easy. Easy, though, is now being set aside in favor of doing both components of Hollywood’s favorite plotline justice. Reese Witherspoon stars in “Home Again,” the female-driven fall flick of 2017. The girl, now woman, we remember as Elle Woods has plenty to say about what separates this film from the average rom-com.

Reese Witherspoon stars in “Home Again,” the female-driven fall flick of 2017. In an interview with Refinery 29, the girl, now woman, we remember as Elle Woods had plenty to say about what separates this film from the average rom-com.

“I don’t think its about creating false feelings about romance or the need to be in a relationship,” says Witherspoon.

She also mentions that her character’s romantic life does not define her. This is the trope that so many figures in these films fall victim to. Lauren Kainrath (’21) says that “most rom-coms surround women who always go for the guy. It’s never the guy that chases the girl.”

But any modern feminist would argue that the movement is not about advancing just women. Leon Ramos (’20) says “feminism is more geared toward equality for everybody.” The boy-meets-girl dynamic is a well-balanced one. But it completely ignores another faction of the population.

Though there’s a small emergence of them in our modern era, there’s still a serious lack of LGBTQ-centric romantic comedies on the market. Seriously, look through Netflix for some. You can count them on one hand. Kayla Leonardelli (’19) agrees that it’s important that “they show a variety of relationships, not just heterosexual.”

This is just another example of how we’ve made serious progress in film representation. But there’s still quite a ways to go.

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