Recently, I introduced both my husband and his little sister to the charming little film called 13 Going on 30. This movie comes from an era of cheesy rom-com’s with predictable plot lines. These films aren’t usually heralded for their Oscar-winning screenwriting or for the most imaginative storylines.
But here’s the thing, most of us like to watch a wholly predictable and wonderfully cheesy rom-com every once in a while. They comfort us and bring us joy and show us that things like true love are true and the things that we don’t think could ever happen sometimes do. These films help us to believe in everyday magic. Now let’s scoot past some of the misogyny and lack of female independence some of these movies peddle. (I’m not saying these things are good, I’m just saying for the sake of my argument, let’s ignore them for now.)
Let’s get back to that everyday magic because I think it is important and valuable and we should all look for those everyday magic moments of hope. Like me, you may have noticed that the era of the rom-com seems to be over. It used to be that every season a new rom-com would hit theaters and we would all head out on a Friday night with our girlfriends or obliging significant other and have an evening filled with simple joy.
These days, it seems new and modern rom-coms are few and far between. This dawned on me that recent night when watching 13 Going on 30. I’ve heard and read all the reasons that we don’t have many of these types of movies anymore. I know that they perpetuate the idea that women are helpless without a man. I know that they often portray women as weak, and I totally don’t think this is okay.
But, here’s the truth: we need movies that make us hope and sometimes help us to believe the unbelievable. We need art that reminds that there is good and hope and imagination in our lives.
I see that we are making more well-rounded films. I see that gaps in the movie industry are being filled and that is good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring back something that is lacking.
When something like a rom-com enters our lives, we are reminded of not only the hope there is in love, but also of hope in general. A rom-com is often cheesy and many times the goings-on inside of them don’t make a lot of sense, but at the core is a story that teaches us to hope.
Predictable stories can be boring, but if they are created well, predictable stories can be just what we need to be inspired. We need to see a girl down on her luck unexpectedly fall in love and then encounter a problem, only to live happily ever after. We all know the movie version of happily ever after doesn’t exist in real life. I think we can all recognize that real life can’t be fully and accurately portrayed in a 2-hour movie.
But, the cheesy movie happily ever after has the power to teach us to seek out our own fuller and wilder and messier real-life happy endings. It reignites the lost hope we have in our hearts. It gives us this new perspective on things in our real lives that might seem hopeless.
So, I for one, am calling for a resurgence of the rom-com. I need that kind of idealistic hope to inspire and remind me of the bigger, fuller hope I have in my real life. Maybe we need to make a few revisions to rom-com rhetoric, but I think we all would be better off if we had a few more rom-com’s in our lives.
What about you? Do rom-com’s bring you hope?
Hi, I'm Emma!
A Maryland girl who moved to Washington state seeking adventure, I adore writing and delight in sharing my favorite things. I celebrate whimsy and you can find me doing a happy dance when something really strikes my fancy.