The RomCom Is (Un)Dead

Twilight has killed romantic comedies. Wait, don't go yet.

Twilight has killed the fantasy genre too.

There, I think we've covered it now. Let me explain though. I'm not going to just say it and leave you wondering why (though really, are any of you wondering?). No, I'm going to walk you through it.

You see, as genres are pushed forward (and believe me, I use the word forward with as much levity as I'm allowed), going back no longer becomes an option. When you have a "love" story with "vampires" and "werewolves," one with neither will seem needlessly plain. Simple. Boring.

It's why Breaking Dawn ads (and just about nothing else) are on every commercial break. Studios know what's selling so they sell it.

There's a story about that Reese Witherspoon movie from a year or so ago. I think it was called "How Do You Know?" I couldn't honestly tell you because I don't really remember it. I never saw it. Hardly anyone did. That's actually the story.

They spent $120 million on that movie. A romantic comedy. Looking at the numbers, it made about $48 million of that back in the theaters. That's not even half. The question isn't, of course, why it took the operating budget of a small country to produce a movie about characters falling in love. It's more about why close to no one went to see a movie starring Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

Those aren't little known actors.

And sure, we can't blame all of that on Twilight. It was likely just not a very good movie. Crazy, Stupid, Love was a movie in a similar vein (though remarkably better, judging by the reviews for the former). It managed to make $83 million or so at the box office. Not bad really, until you notice that the first Twilight movie almost made that on its opening weekend.

The problem is that good writers and good directors don't want to risk it anymore on romantic comedies. Not unless they're in the Judd Apatow rated-R style.

Once again, it's probably not all Twilight's fault. But if we're pointing the finger at who's to blame for telling us that a good old fashioned love story just doesn't cut it anymore, I think that'd be a pretty good place to start.