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E.C. Henry

BRILLIANT post, Billy. Honestly, this one may be your best of all-time. And so true. "Getting To Know You" is a vital subset of the overall, rom-com genre unbrella. Why hasn't someone discovered this before?

You're a modern-day Columbus, Mr. Mernit!

Wish I had more to add, but you really nailed this one. Also wish there were more "Getting to Know You" rom-coms movies out there, because of all the subsets under the rom-com umbrella I think this one is the one that truely deserves to be studied, and gives the audience the highest degree of take-home fodder to discuss.

Most rom-coms of today only deal with surface contact in the infamous gets-looses-gets paradgim which you've already detailed in your "Writing the Romantic Comedy" book. So what comes after a superficial meet-looses-gets affair? A deeper romance; the "Getting to Know You" romance.

I sense more fodder for your next rom-com book here, Mr. Mernit. Can't wait to read your listeners comments to see their reaction to the sub-genre you've coined a name for. Columbus lives! Yes, indeed he does. - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Tim Miller

What he said. Oh, and High Fidelity leaps to mind.

Neely O'Hara

Nice essay, Billy. The "Getting to Know You" subgenre is probably my favorite in the romantic comedy universe.

One example I really like is "Brown Sugar." The would-be lovers in that film, from the start, already know each very well, maybe too well. The drama (and comedy) is all about getting them to move one another from the friend box to the lover box, where they naturally belong.


EC, thanks for the kudos!

Tim, ditto, and HIGH, I think is an in-betweener; takes place mostly in a short time span present, and rather than tracking Laura & Rob's interactions as its arc, is more about Rob doing some self-improvement on his own - but yes, in its basic thrust is closely akin to a GTKY.

Neely, welcome: I confess I missed SUGAR and will check it out!


What about THE CUTTING EDGE? Light on the comedy and heavier on the sports side, but definitely a GTKY structurally speaking.

Henry Sheppard

Interesting post.

ANNIE HALL is a GTKY-then-leave-you.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY is a GTKY-then-divorce-you-then-decide-I-really-neeed-you.

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS is a GTKY-have-an-affair-with-your-sister-decide-I-really-love-you-and-stay.

Rob in L.A.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Judith Duncan

Hey Billy,
I love that you pose these sorts of questions,because as a writer I need to be aware of these kind of things and sort them out for myself. I think the usual romcom deals with that wonderful new energy we feel when we meet someone new and if someone can plug into that,it can really keep the movie flowing.

I think the GTKY rom com really needs a deft hand to keep it interesting,because that energy isn't there. I think there needs to be a deeper understanding of relationship to be able to play with it. I love 'Eternal Sunshine'which found a fantastic way to explore that and 'Groundhog Day' which found the metaphysical aspect of the rom com. I do remember seeing Two for the Road ages ago on t.v. and now I want to check it out again.
Thanks again :)


Steve: Yup, EDGE has that build-over-time thing going on.

Henry: Nice. The HANNAH category is particularly choice.

Back at ya, Rob. in L.A. - Happy Post-Food Coma Weekend to you!

Judith: True and astute - it is a different kind of energy, and thus the harder to sustain (for both the fictional characters and the writers).

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