No, Living the RomCom hasn't become a 24/7 Girls zone, but I can't help taking note of Sunday night's finale, a typically controversial Lena Dunham special, in that it once again reversed expectations... in perhaps one of the last conceivably shocking ways.
After all the dark and disturbing character turns, the archly meta cultural commentary, and the perversely reality-based tweaking of romantic comedy fantasies, in the end [spoilers!] Dunham and her crew chose to honor that mother of all rom-com clichés by having anti-hero-turned-white-knight Adam run, literally run to the rescue of damsel-in-distress Hannah, kicking down her door and sweeping her up in his manly arms.
I suspect that Dunham, Apatow and staff may have availed themselves of Pixar's Rules of Storytelling #9 ("...Make a list of what wouldn't happen next...") to arrive at this unexpected conclusion to their scary roller-coaster of a Season 2, but it was true to the determinedly irony-laden spirit of the show.
Adam you may remember as the ugly sexual abuser of his current girlfriend, so not so much attired in shining armor (he was buff-ly shirtless), and Hannah wasn't so much about to get on a plane to Paris as she was about to disappear down her bedcovers rabbit-hole prior, perhaps, to a stint at Bellevue. But the effect and the execution was about the same: there was even pounding emo-rock on the soundtrack (hey, nice synch between the drums and Adam's footfalls on the stairs, sound editor person!), courtesy of the writer/director's paramour.
Did your heart swell, nonetheless? Mine did, though I was simultaneously laughing, both at the bald absurd logic of the conceit, and its incidental execution: the detail of Adam barking at Hannah on his iPhone as he ran was about as perfect a 2013 rom-com update as one could wish for. And it is heartening, I gotta admit, to see a trope as old as... well, romance still delivering the goods, at this late date. Be as po-mo proto-feminist as you like, Dunham's resolution suggests, but you'll still swoon for an archetypal clinch.
Proof that we do live in a time that's a little different from medieval can be found in this excellent link, wherein some savvy Brooklynites have managed to specifically locate and time Adam's rom-com run down to the second, suggesting that while we may still fall for the same old shtick, we've gotten a lot more efficient at annotating it.