Suddenly 30, Bridget Jones’ Diary It is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. What do the three films have in common? In short and not surprising to anyone, the trio is among many people’s favorite romantic comedies. – Or Millennials, at least.
In addition to these three, several other productions can enter this list, of course. Featured titles are As if it were the first time (2004) and Love Doesn’t Take A Vacation (2006), for example. Another point in common is that they were all released in the late 2000s.
There’s no denying it, the beginning of the century was marked by the golden years of romantic comedies. At the time, big names in cinema were best known for acting in this type of film, including Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Drew Barrymore, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Grant.
Box office drop and loss of interest
According to Franthiesco Ballerini, film critic and author of the book History of World Cinema, There are several reasons that could explain the boom of romantic comedies in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
“Hollywood in the 21st century begins with an optimistic essence of the end of the Cold War and the prosperity of the American economy. This, of course, was reflected in the cinemas. Just as it happened in the post-war years of the 50s”, he explains.
Suddenly 30 is one of the biggest hits of the career of Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner
The truth is that, from 2010 onwards, the genre has been losing its shine at the box office. In the list of the 50 highest-grossing romantic comedies in the United States, for example, only one film released in the last ten years appears in the top positions. Crazy Rich (Crazy Rich Asians), from 2018, appears in the 6th position, with a collection of $174 million in the country.
For curiosity purposes, in the top 3 are Greek wedding (2002), What Women Like (2000) and Hitch (2005).
At the world box office, the trend is also downward. To give you an idea, the last time a romantic comedy appeared among the ten highest-grossing films of the year was in 2008, with Mamma Mia!. Before that, however, films of the genre appeared with some frequency in the list of highest grossing of the year – devil wears prada in 2006, Mr. & Mrs. Smith It is Hitch in 2005, What Women Like in 2000 and Greek wedding in 2002).
With the decline of public interest in this type of story and the financial return being directly proportional, it was to be expected that the big studios would reduce the productions of the genre.
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson became better known after starring in romantic comedies
Actress Kate Hudson, one of the main names in romantic comedies of the 2000s, recently spoke on the subject. For her, the popularity of the genre has dropped due to the lack of stories that are really good.
“I think sometimes people think that romantic comedies are just about the cute date. They’re really about finding love, discovering love, falling in love, breaking up, and then showing how the characters get back together.” together. This is a very traditional structure”, he says.
She further states that the genre has “dumbed down” over time. “I think the problem is that the best romantic comedies are really, really hard to make.”
And the streams in all this?
Franthiesco Ballerini believes that consumption of romantic comedies has actually been pulverized by streaming. This is because, before streaming platforms, it was much easier to know which films were successful, since the box office was the only analysis thermometer. Now, not all streaming companies release data about their most watched movies, making this type of analysis more nebulous.
Kiss tend and the adaptation To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, for example, are some of the most popular Netflix movies released in the past five years. On the other hand, other streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney+, only disclose specific results for films and series.
- Also check out: 14 Bad Romantic Comedies That Are Actually Really Good
change of scenery
Throughout the 2000s, we saw the film market scenario gain new air. Super-productions gained momentum, with superhero movies and the resurgence of 3D technology. With so much technological innovation to see on the big screen – especially after the release of Avatar in 2009 – the clichés of romantic comedies were losing ground in the hearts of the public.
In addition, the advancement of social agendas made the younger public question the ultra-romantic approaches and happy endings (not to mention the lack of representation) of novels. If people used to look to movies for an escape from the real world, nowadays the role seems to have reversed.
Good examples of “real” movies are the great (500 days with her (2009), La La Land (2016) and the series Normal People (2020).
Normal People addresses the complexities of romantic relationships
Audiovisual Production student, Jaqueline Villatore, 23, confirms that she is a fan of novels with approaches closer to reality.
“I grew up watching movies where absolutely everything works out in the end for the main couple. Everything ends well, whether in the relationship, at work, in the social circle… This does not convey the truth, but an idea of something unattainable”, she explains, claiming that a good romance film, for her, must also show the complexities of the relationship and the characters.
Light at the end of the tunnel
But if you’re a fan of romantic comedies, don’t despair. The genre has not died and is unlikely to ever go away. Film analysts indicate that a new phase of this type of film is beginning to appear on the horizon – and, thankfully, it will arrive with significant changes in the aspect of diversity.
Crazy Rich It is Fire Island: Pride & Seduction are good examples of romantic comedies that managed to bring diversity in the cast, in addition to really good plots. Both even have great approvals on Rotten Tomatoes, with 91% and 94%, respectively.
Everything indicates that romantic comedies have everything to grow again – if they continue to invest in different stories. Now, all that’s left to do is wait… Or watch a movie with Sandra Bullock for the thousandth time.