I have often wondered why I am hooked to romance/romcoms/romantic comedies where the protagonists meet their soul mates, find true love, dream jobs, dream homes et all, and all is well in the end. I have watched romcoms like While You Were Sleeping, Pretty Women, Runaway Bride or Dance With Me many times over. I still turn to them to cheer me up once in a while. A hooker landing a billionaire or a man (ever so handsome Richard Gere) convincing the commitment-phobic Julia Roberts to give in to love. Wow! Yet, I forever meet commitment-phobic men 😊
I have been addicted to romance or romcoms since I was a teenager. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind, Bridget Jones’s Diary (I love the movie as well) have been my favourite books growing up. I also gorged on Bengali romantic novels by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. There was a Mills and Boons phase but after a while, I found those romances too stereotypical and chauvinistic. I have been watching the above-mentioned romcoms and their ilk’s since I was sixteen.
At that time, of course, life was rosy and dreams seemed achievable. I would imagine myself to be a protagonist in one of those romances – falling in love, being wooed fervently and then of course the happily ever after. Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett O’ Hara was my favourite.
But I am a big girl now. I have learned the hard way that life doesn’t play out like romantic comedies, well, most of the time. Also, the concept of ‘one true love’ is kind of jaded. But I am still a sucker for romance and the genre has also adapted to our changing lifestyles and taste and changed the storylines accordingly.
Let’s take the impossibly romantic Netflix comedy series like The Good Witch or Offspring for instance. I can’t get over how Cassandra Bell (aka Cassie) and Dr Neena Proudman (aka Neens) breeze through their lives and loves despite many hurdles. There’s a man waiting for Neena around the corner no matter how badly she goofs up or how stupidly she behaves. For a successful obstetrician, her idiosyncrasies can be sometimes off-putting. And Cassie Bell’s smile at times seems plastic. But who cares, life works out perfectly for these protagonists and their families and friends as well!
So, even though I am often put off by Neena’s endless shrugs and pouts I stay up till late watching Offspring – I laugh at her, I laugh with her, I feel happy for her, I willingly suspend my disbelief and believe that love is actually waiting around the corner. For despite their foibles, there’s something these comedies give us – Hope!