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E.C. Henry

Great thought proving post. The "Neo Rom-com", hmmm... Wasn't Neo the main character of "The Matrix" who was lost in society, but found his place in computers -- literally! For my money Neo of "The Matrix" was a lost soul. So... in naming this new sub-genre, I'm wondering if you're subconciously implying that this generation is lost, as to how it interrelates with romance and romantic comedies?

I totally agree with your point about men with pornography and women with female grand-sweeping romances. Both can corrupt, but pornography can have way, way worse an affect on a person, in my opinion.

You and I, Billy, approach the subject of "reality" in the movie from very different points of views. I DO NOT like mirroring society in romantic comedies. I hate it infact. Why? Because when you do that your kissing goodbye your chance to change society for the better. I'm a HUGE fan of striving for ideals. THAT'S one of the best things a good rom-com can do: make you want to be a better person so as to experience something resembling the more ideal romance portrayed on the screen. Remember Melvin Udal in "As Good as It Gets"?

Ideal vs. reality. Guess you like reality. I see TOO MUCH reality. Know it to well, and I don't like it. And I prefer the ideals that can be epressed in a good romantic comedy.

mernitman

Hey EC: Wow, I hadn't thought through all those resonances of "Neo," but you could be onto something there...

Meanwhile, I don't think there's truly a "reality vs. fantasy" dichotomy in romantic comedy, meaning: only one way or the other. A good rom-com can have one foot in each side of that equation, and your citing of AS GOOD... is a perfect example. Melvin is one psychologically sick puppy; Hunt's child is seriously ill; Greg K suffers a severe homophobe's assault. These are all realistic situations, realistically portrayed. In the end, love brings about a happy ending... and there's your idealistic fantasy. Mix works for me!

Debra Montoya

Hi Billy- I know you disagree with me on this, but here it is anyway: I don't think the demand for the traditional romcom is dead - I just don't think anyone has done a good one in a very long time. The audience is still out there - waiting for Hollywood to supply a charming, romantic, fun, sappy love story without all the gross "edginess" that permeates the genre now.

Someday, someone will do it again - then the studios will be shocked (shocked!) that it worked. And then they'll proceed to over-analyze the obvious fact that true romance has always been alive and well.

mernitman

Hey Debra: I don't really disagree, and your prediction rings true. Again, it's the demand for a particular type of formulaic rom-com, the one I call "Career Girl Gets Alpha Guy," that's diminished, but sure: the next time someone hits a bullseye with a "charming, romantic, fun, sappy love story," it'll be Everything Old Is New Again, again.

Debra Montoya

So glad to hear this Billy - you are a hopeful romantic after all!

But I'm really going to push my luck now and say that I think even a "Career Girl Gets Alpha Guy" story would work - IF it was done really well AND had lovable charmers in the lead roles.

But who in Hollywood has the cojones to greenlight THAT?

Cheyenne Dhraga

I've been struggling myself with how to write a rom-com that hasn't been done a dozen times already. So, I really enjoyed this post on the Neo-Rom-Com Rules. Especially #1.

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