Cinema Article: Written by Geoff Talbot
Mediocrity in Romantic Comedies:
Romantic stories are nearly always war stories, two souls bravely fighting the inevitably obvious, they cannot live without each other.
Dull love stories are about happy people, coexisting, never fighting this inner and fiercely frightening desire and need to be loved by an equal and opposite other. The rock band “Smashing Pumpkins” once said “love is suicide,” and if movie romance doesn’t cut your heart with a dangerous thrill, then you might as well come round to my house and watch my tedious two hour wedding video.
Something is always at stake, something must be fought for, a heart must be conquered before its thick wall is weakened and vulnerable enough to be open to love.
Secret Number 1: Dull love stories nearly always center around romantic leads who are a little too perfect.
A good love story insists that people have flaws that impede even the possibility of love. Take Billy Crystal’s Harry in the 1989 (When Harry Met Sally), a crass, sex crazed man, who seemingly lacks the ability to understand the importance of friendship in romantic love. Only love can see through such imperfection.
Secret Number 2: Dull love stories suffer because nobody or nothing dies.
Love is costly, perhaps the most costly of all things; and this cost is what makes it so incredibly valuable. If there is no price, there is no value. The most expensive thing on earth is human life, and the second is probably time. So the great love stories nearly always involve the agony of both grief and loss. Take for example “The Notebook” (2004), a love story for the ages, where the biggest tragedy is the loss of love over a prolonged period of time.
Secret Number 3: Dull love stories suffer because there is too much “cheese”.
As we said at the beginning the best love stories are war stories, two souls fighting in mortal combat, till the point of death. Until they surrender themselves and the preoccupation that they have with either their own loveliness or their own frailties, love can’t happen. The journey is rough and full with pain. People in love do shitty things, they often contradict themselves, they fall over so often, they often end up wounded beyond recognition.
Not to many love stories follow secret number 3. Maybe it’s time to get writing?
Of course we’re just talking about the movies in this blog. In life, simple uncomplicated love is so much better… isn’t it?