I was channel surfing during a study break this evening when Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I ended up watching it through to the end, the whole time making a mental checklist of all the stereotypes this movie seemed to fulfill. I know, I know - pretty much any major Hollywood flick is formulaic and built on cliches, but the RomCom genre sticks out because not only are these the types of flicks that are marketed to my demographic, it's an entire genre built on a rigid gender dichotomy. Here's what I was able to come up; add your own in the comments:
a) The only people who ever fall in love are young, white, attractive, cis-gendered, able-bodied, and heterosexual.
b) Any gay people or people of colour may exist, but only in sassy supporting roles.
c) The female lead has a coveted media job that allows her to wear a phone headset and wear cute designer dresses to fancy galas. (but nothing too ambitious or rigorous! After all, a career is just a stepping stone in the path to true love! Any woman who is too successful is a frigid bitch who needs to be taken down a couple of pegs.)
d) Women are obsessed with getting married but are unable to speak up about it; if only their pesky boyfriends could get the hint!
e) Cockiness is charming, but only if you're a hot male lead.
f) Stalking and sexual harassment? Totally charming and romantic! Unless the person doing the stalking is ugly, in which case it's just comic relief.
g) Oh, and the two attractive leads always get together, despite the build up. Even if Sandra Bullock unethically threatens her employee Ryan Reynolds with his career unless he pretends to marry her. Even if Gerard Butler is a sexist asshole who routinely demeans Katherine Heigle at her job. And while I could rehash movies that have already come out this year, I thought I should set my sights forward and see what lies ahead, in the form of youtube trailers.
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Well let's see, a) & g) are givens, it does look like Sarah Jessica Parker's character has a glitzy job (hello, shiny dresses!) so that's c) and what's that? Sassy female police officer who happens to be a POC? Hellooo b)!
When in Rome
We have stalking is hilarious, the phone headset, and while Kristin Bell doesn't speak of getting married in the trailer, there is an extensive wedding scene that set's everything up, so I think that's worth at least half a point.
Oh lordy, Amy Adams, this is what you're following Julie & Julia and Doubt up with? Here we have a), d), e) and g) as givens (and it looks like b could easily be fulfilled!) Of course, the tables are turned here - after months of waiting for her boyfriend to propose and getting her hopes up (she practiced her surprised face, guys!) Amy Adams finally decides to take things in her own hands. On Leap Year. You know, the one day every four years where, according to this trailer, women are allowed to be assertive. Hope that adorably cocky stranger she's stuck with under hilariously unfortunate circumstances doesn't mess things up for her!