There's been a recent awakening in the film business. Studio executives seem to have realized–again!–that people of color, specifically black Americans, want to see movies that reflect our cultural and individual experiences with love.
Film bigwigs are investing dollars in movies like the burgeoning Think like a Man franchise, The Best Man Holiday, and the other black romantic comedies slated for release in the coming months.
There are few women as pleased and disgusted with the sudden revival of black romantic comedies as I am. I'm infatuated with romantic comedies. I'm not ashamed to admit that I spend hours watching modern princesses claim their princes and gallivant off into the skyline of Los Angeles or New York. These days, I watch romcoms for work: I'm a media studies scholar working on a thesis about romantic comedies.
When it first started, Girls was automatically compared to Sex and the City, mainly because it was about four female friends in New York. And really that's where the similarities, for the most part, end. All season, our characters have been messy and aimless, desperate for things that they seemingly cannot attain. And that process has been rife with ugly, rotten situations, and depressing, humiliating sex that has no place in the alternate reality of Sarah Jessica Parker's show. But last night's show—the season finale—veered into rom-com territory.
Mindy Kaling believes in the power of the rom-com. The world of The Mindy Project, Kaling's great sitcom that FOX just picked for a second season, isn't a romantic comedy world. But the humor of the show comes from Mindy's expectation that those same rom-com rules will apply. Unlike in the movies, when Mindy uses the unrealistic traditions of romantic comedies to take her own romantic risks, the results are hilarious, ridiculous, painful, and embarrassing.
This video of Nate Smith and Freddi Scheib acting out romantic comedy press junket interviews reminds us that rom coms are usually ridiculous and starring some white guy plus Jennifer Aniston. The faux movie posters are my favorite part—I would be the first in line to see Justin Timberlake in The Love Goat. Make it happen, Hollywood!
Quiz: Is this still from... a) Jenny Slate's new short Eff-You you Effing Eff-wad? b) a promo from the 2009 Quirkfest Filmfest?
or c) Juno II: All Grown Up?
It's actually from Obvious Child, a short film by Gillian Robespierre which combines a little of all of the above, but with one major difference: it's a funny, well-made movie that deals with unplanned pregnancy. (Spoiler alert: she gets an abortion and doesn't think twice about it!) Read on for the full film!
A week prior to the film's release, the marketing team for He's Just Not That Into You has released a video of three of film's male stars - Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, and Kevin Connolly - trying to persuade men to see the film. The reason they think men might actually like the film? Because, they claim, He's Just Not That Into You avoids the top 10 cliches of chick flicks.