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10 Romantic Comedy Myths About Women

Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and Nora Ephron walk into a movie theater...

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

July 8, 2014 - 11:00 am
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10. We’re so fiercely independent that the only thing we need to be happy… is a man.

Post-second wave feminist romantic comedies rely on the Sheryl Sandberg boilerplate: upper-middle class, successful career woman with an impossibly huge apartment in big city stuffed with everything she could ever want. (See: Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven.)  The genre gives the image one slight twist: our heroine is secretly one step away from cultivating her very own cat collection. (See: Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.) True to Hollywood fashion, who better than the big, strong male superhero to fly in to save the day?

Top Rated Comments   
Akshully I think Nicholson nailed women in 'As Good As It Gets' when he said he wrote women characters like men, after removing reason and accountability. Btw, I've seen none of these flicks and don't feel the loss.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the Bad Old Days people had to grow up.
Prosperity has been rough on men, but an
absolute disaster for women.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
#1 myth: Women get off on promiscuity the same way men do.

Unfortunately, it seems a lot of women fall for this myth in real life.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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Sorry, I'm not clear. Which ones are the myths?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't wait for the accompanying article laying out the 10 myths of the proliferating "Warrior Princess" genre. Like no matter how big and bad a male villain is, our 115 lbs. heroine can incapacitate him with one swift kick. Just kidding, I know that isn't in the works.

I am curious, if these "myths" or "stereotypes" are so bad, and driven by the fact that MEN direct these movies, why is the box office for these films driven by females? If that isn't the formula they want to see, then why are they dragging their significant others to see them? Is it some sort of punishment for their husbands and boyfriends?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
What’s “mythic” (in the negative sense) about these examples?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given the nature of the newest wave of feminism, their vision would be like the terrifying future in Terminator, where either men are hunting women with giant laser guns or vice versa. Perhaps a robot comes back in time to a-bomb the Huffington Post and anyone who twerks.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It could be argued that the stereotypical rom-com woman is so popular because, out of the top 200 grossing comedies from the past decade, women have directed only nine of them." ~ SUSAN L.M. GOLDBERG

It could be, and that would be a stupid argument.

The reason every rom-com features the same stereotypes is that the customers (women) want it that way.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Rom-com women promote the myth that even the most successful and self-actualized among the female gender require sex in order to be bearable human beings."

Um, yeah. Anyone who thinks those movies are about sex, not love, has some serious issues. :-/

Those movies are also as much about the male characters as they are about the female. Take "Just Like Heaven," for example. Ruffalo's character was stuck in a depressive funk since his wife had died. He needed an emotional connection (not sex per se) as much as did Witherspoon's.

In "The Wedding Date" Mulroney played a gigolo who had completely suppressed any sort of romantic feelings and viewed sex as a transaction & love as non-existent.

The funniest remark was the whinge about "99% white chicks." The author needs to get out more. Try "Daddy's Little Girls," "Something New," "How Stella Got her Groove Back," "The Wood," or "Last Holiday." There's lots more where those came from, like the raunchier "Booty Call," or "Hitch."
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regardless, I still have a crush on Meg Ryan. :-)
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then you likely haven't seen here in a while. She attempted to avoid aging gracefully through plastic surgery and the results were horrifying.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, I used to think rom-coms were full of sh*t about men and women. You've convinced me that they at least get the broads right.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stereotypes, or a single treatment in 10 parts.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. And here I thought these movies were only funny because they took the most negative female stereotypes (indecision, emotional impulsiveness, neurotic tendencies, etc.) and exaggerated them. You know, kind of like how Adam Sandler movies did for the most negative male stereotypes: eternally being booger-joke telling frat-boy man-children (yeah, I know, I'm showing my age here; Seth Rogen, etc. nowadays for all you kids - GET OFF MY LAWN!).

That's what comedies tend to do. They take a small part of our personality and blow it out of proportion to the point of absurdity. That way it's relatable to the audience while being funny but not insulting, because it's obviously absurd.

Maybe I'd better go tell my wife I just don't get women.

And maybe I'll go rewatch Anger Management. That scene where Jack Nicholson makes Adam Sandler sing "I feel pretty" is hilarious!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Akshully I think Nicholson nailed women in 'As Good As It Gets' when he said he wrote women characters like men, after removing reason and accountability. Btw, I've seen none of these flicks and don't feel the loss.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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