Are Rom Coms Re-emerging?

Are Rom Coms Re-emerging?

Angela McKinzie '21, Staff Writer

If you haven’t heard of Noah Centineo or Lana Condor, you have probably been living under a rock. More than ever, romantic comedies have been making a comeback in movie theaters, books, and on Netflix, but why are these new rom-coms gaining popularity so quickly and becoming a topic of discussion on all social media platforms?  

Rom-coms are making a comeback in a big way with movies like Kissing Booth (2018), To All the Boys I Loved Before (2018), Love, Simon (2018), and Crazy Rich Asians (2018) with each premiering before, during or at the end of the summer. This new wave of rom coms depicts a new side to the genre that hasn’t been seen before: as Erin Carlson, author of the book I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy, put it, “They [romantic comedies] didn’t reflect the way that society was changing. They were all about white, straight couples. They fell back on the conventions that define the genre.” With theses new movies, it is clear that there is no more carbon copied rom-coms with a slightly altered plot, now they are representing more demographics, races and sexualities. This shift allows the genre to reach a wider audience and allows viewers to identify with the varying tales of love.

In the era of technology and social media rests Generation Z, with an age range spanning from the mid-1990s to 2012, so from Kendall Jenner to Blue Ivy. This generation, as well as Millennials, acts as a perfect catalyst for rom-coms to prosper in the public eye. With social media being our basis of almost everything (news, communication, entertainment), it is not hard for word to spread on something we love, which may allow fame to follow suit more swiftly than if the means to do so were not present. Since the rom-coms on Netflix and in movie theaters are a topic of discussion amongst young adults, they can make a bigger “plunge” into the pool of differing movie genres with their new and improved plots.

Another aspect that helps the recent rom-coms cater to these two generations are the amount of hopeless romantics. Aesthetic clothing, emo poetry and indie artists: a Millennials or Gen Z’s take on a hopeless romantic. Those who are hopeless romantics tend to interject love into almost every aspect of life and have a different, idealistic perspective on love itself. What does that mean? They are a perfect target for rom-coms. These hopeless romantics will absorb almost any movie involving love and, in these two generations, there is a plethora of this group of people as a result of the sense of loneliness young adults are feeling from being left out and the stress of school. Having more of these types of people secures the future of rom-coms and the direction they are starting to go in.

Rom-coms were beginning to become overdone and bring nothing new to the movie industry but 2018 and the several new releases that came along with it are giving a contemporary, unique look to the genre and the public cannot get enough!