Extremely random thoughts on romantic comedies
One habit I've been spared from developing is a love of romantic comedies, aka "chick flicks". They make me want to kill myself, particularly any with Meg Ryan in them, being oh-so-adorable and just a little but not too quirky. But pretty much all of them make me wildly self-conscious, because I am far from immune to wanting to believe in the fantasy. Who doesn't want some man to come out of the blue and see you as the wonderful gal you really are and sweep you off your feet? But then you get back to normal life and people who are just taking each other for granted and frankly, it depresses the hell out of me. So romantic comedies and me are not friends.
Romantic comedies make me sort of wish that the women's weepers would come back, especially the ones where everyone doesn't realize how much they really loved the heroine until she's passed. Well, okay I don't want them to come back because the mere thought of watching something like Beaches again makes me throw up a little in my mouth, but really, it just seems more satisfying to me to fantasize about how sorry everyone would be if you just disappeared rather than fantasizing that one day someone might really notice how great you really are. Of course, this all makes me think that a real blockbuster movie would combine the two elements--you know, instead of the heroine dying, she is carted off by John Cusack in a convertible, leaving behind her ungrateful husband and kids to gnash their teeth and wish that they had appreciated her while she was there. Of course, someone has probably already made this movie for all I know.
The romantic comedies that are exempt from my "kill 'em all" rule are the ones from the 30s and 40s where the hero and the heroine wear each other into love through endless teasing. That's just good, clean fun. True, it's just as much a fantasy as anything else--in real life, most people do not even befriend someone who rides their ass, much less fall in love with them--but at least in this fantasy there are some good jokes. And of course, there's sexual tension, which makes the romance far more believable than a story about why Wildly Romantic Men and Annoyingly Cute Girls simply have to be together. Annie Hall gets to live as well, because while it's classified as a romantic comedy, it's really more of a failed romance comedy. If you haven't had your own version of the spider scene happen at least once in your life, my friends, you don't know the weird ways of love.
If you want to be a romantic sucker this Valentine's Day, I recommend small, easy-to-manage bursts of romantic fantasizing. 'Tis a far, far better thing to enjoy a good love song rather than an insipid date movie. RJ at Night Light has a great suggestion list. He is my new hero for including "Amanda" by Don Williams, the one and only song with my name in it that I like. If Barry Manilow ever finds himself alone with me in a dark alley, I'm telling you now that he's gonna wish he had never written "Mandy".