Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Rom-coms are troublesome, unrealistic

Let’s get one thing clear: Those self-pitying girls that wear black and post Facebook statuses on the moral perils of buying into Valentine’s Day are not to be condoned.

Some normal, sane plans for the day that celebrates a flying baby are as follows: stuff your face with way too much chocolate, call one’s boyfriend and dissolve into a sobbing ball of regret after staring at a trash can full of Hershey wrappers.

Protests or boycotts are generally rendered futile and unpleasant (too much effort, too cold, not crafty enough to make a sign, etc.) but if there’s one thing that should be boycotted just in time for the Feb. 14, it’s romantic comedies.

To be blunt, they’re prescribed, humorless, semi-insulting subpar vehicles for actresses that will make approximately 12 such movies, date Colin Farrell and then resurface 20 years later on “Dr. Drew’s Rehab.” In honor of the upcoming suckfest that is “The Vow” here’s why romantic comedies inherently suck. Katherine Heigl and your ilk, how much would the creative minds of the past hate thee? Let us count the ways.

First of all, the protagonists always have to meet though some outrageous situation. This doesn’t include Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant falling in love while raising a leopard named Baby. That was witty and featured Cary Grant in a jail cell, so it’s excusable.

No, this involves about 90 percent of movies featuring someone named “Jennifer” (Garner, Aniston, Lopez). Situations in which these women have met their one true love include: time travel, being chased by a bounty hunter and married assassins (not the sexy one with Brangelina).

And there’s a disturbing trend of women finding love with a friend while mourning their husband/boyfriend’s death. Sorry, but if every woman’s boyfriend moved past their tragic ice skating accident by making out with the woman’s best friend, that would be nearly as coyly cute as Hollywood seems to think it is.

Romantic comedies, however, expect women to put themselves in Heigl’s shoes and picture themselves meeting a caveman-esque Gerard Butler in a hot air balloon, falling in love within two hours and parachuting to the ground while simultaneously getting married. Nobody can even hear anyone else talk while they’re in a hot air balloon – a situation which is just downright silly.

It will be incredibly difficult to meet someone who found their significant other by falling in love with the officer arresting them for peeing on a public monument, but romantic comedies lead women (and men) to believe that their soul mate is just an endearing-ridiculous-silly shtick away.

Furthermore, the screenwriters have got to be the laziest people in Hollywood. Seriously, watch five romantic comedies (sorry to put you through that) and try to name some major differences that set the heroines apart. You’ll probably only find one, maybe two.

The women are always super-duper glam, and even though they have Crest commercial teeth and a figure like Gisele, they’re (sniffle!) just so unlucky in love. Additionally, these women always somehow have the most fabulous jobs in Manhattan. Oh, you’re fresh out of your master’s program in Nebraska? Here’s the Chief Curator position at the Met! Majored in journalism and getting drunk at the University of South Florida? Vogue columnist! It’s probable that thousands of Lisa Frank-loving middle school girls wanted to be lawyers after watching how much fun Elle was having studying for the bar in “Legally Blonde.”

Revelation: none of it is real.

These women would not have these jobs, apartments or bodies, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t be single and miserable. To compensate for this implausible scenario, filmmakers give these women a single deprecating personality trait. Oh cutie, you’re so clumsy and forever alone.

Ugh, your job as Chanel’s publicist has got you so uptight. Must be why you’re single.

Don’t worry though, since you apparently can’t do anything solo, Hugh Grant and his accent are here to save the day and immediately turn you into the graceful, relaxed swan you deserve to be.

The wildly unrealistic lives of the women the audience is expected to fall in love with isn’t escapist or fun – it’s insulting and annoying that Hollywood thinks that people are too stupid to realize how outlandish the storyline is.

Sadly, this weekend, millions of squealing young women will presumably mob the movie theaters and sob into their no-butter popcorn as Channing Tatum embarks on the super-difficult task of making Rachel McAdams fall in love with him even when he doesn’t have his shirt off.

Everyone likes entertaining amusement, but this desire should result in the form of a belly-laugh producing Judd Apatow flick or a well-scripted drama, not a bi-monthly insult starring someone named Jennifer.

Emily Merlino can reached at [email protected].

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  • E

    Emily MerlinoFeb 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Fair enough.

  • J

    janetFeb 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I would still rather have Gerard Butler anytime.