Following a recipe

There are movies I watch where I expect little and receive little. There are movies where I expect a lot and I receive a little. There are movies where I expect a lot and I receive a lot. There are also movies where I expect little and I get a lot.

There are movies where I expect simplicity and I get simplicity. There are movies where I expect complexity and I get simplicity. Are you getting the picture, or must I continue?

Last night I was expecting a romantic comedy. Yes friends, I like romantic comedies. Between my fondness of girly movies, my dislike of pickup trucks, and my relatively low tolerance for pain, I will never be a “man’s man.” Well, we all have our crosses to bear. Now back to the movie. There are certain things I expect from a romantic comedy beyond the obvious, namely romance and comedy. Last night’s movie was right on formula, just what I’ve been programmed to enjoy, romantic, funny, engaging characters, decent story, a real hoot and sniffle. Then the end let me down.

There are countless movies out there that let me down at the end. They say the hardest part of story writing is finishing. This movie went beyond your standard bad ending. It was a formula movie with a non-formula ending. It wasn’t romantic. Worse, it was a non-romantic ending disguised as a happy ending. It was just plain wrong.

What is romance? It is guy-girl stuff. It is two people forsaking other temptations for the sake of a personal relationship. It’s the good guy (or gal) getting the girl (or guy) in the end. It is not, “girl looses guy, but gets a great job.”

Girl looses guy, but gets a great job? That’s how it ends? What kind of self respecting, Hollywood cookie cutter movie ends with the protagonist happy that she’s freaking alone? She (or he) is supposed to be leaving a good job for the sake of romance. There is a point in every good romantic comedy where I begin to worry; not whether or not the protagonist will find love, but whether or not the writers have done it in a satisfying and sufficiently unique (yet still plausible) manner. Then this movie draws to a close and the only love the woman finds is a job. Am I supposed to ignore thirty three years of programming by romantic comedies, pounding home the message that careers are poor substitutes for love? Damn it all, I’m still a little depressed.

A freaking JOB?!?

Nope, I’ll never be a “man’s man.”