Do you love romcoms? I do! I usually find chocolate or brownies or a cuppa coffee good accompaniments to a romantic comedy flick – a surefire way to relax after a busy day at work.
Recently however, I found that instead of relaxing, I was stirrred up and annoyed.
I have watched countless Hollywood and Bollywood (Indian Hindi) movies – romances amd romcoms – where the heroine is depicted strong, independent and able to have her opinion – until she meets the hero and gradually changes into just putty. There’s a long period when she denies she could be attracted to him and then she succumbs amd instantly you find subtle changes in her – in her make up, her hair – instead of being tied up neatly in a severe bun, her hair come down, her dressing style changes to more fluffy and feminine, she does more make up or winds down or becomes adventurous or something.
Now I’m an avid romance reader, writer amd a romantic. But I don’t get why the woman’s whole personality should change when she falls in love. As though she was wrong before. As though being strong and independent are traits she must ditch in order to discover falling for the hero which is her ultimate destiny and these traits are standing in her way to do so.
The second objection of mine is to the softer, more made up look. She definitely gets a new wardrobe. Why does she need a complete makeover while the hero continues as blithely as before? The obvious point is that falling in love affects women more, that she was somehow on the wrong side of the fence and now discovers what she can be.
Laws of Attraction, which I watched recently, is a similar case in point. Entertaining and full of eminently watchable Peirce Brosnan it might be, but maybe it’s the era it was set in. Times have changed, but it is that particular outlook I’m commenting on. He is always right at every point in the movie, even when he uses unscrupulous means to get his way. She’s just wrong. She’s right only when she realizes she must beg for his apology for refusing his love. The last line, 80% of women are really lonely…just about made me go arrghh! Why can’t be a woman happy and settled and still find love?
If you watch Bollywood romantic flicks, you can pick up the character transition almost straightaway. In the older movies, the heroine would start wearing traditional clothing instead of western which she wore before falling for the hero, depictig she’s now ready for domesticity. I can’t name one right now, but maybe you can think of it, there are quite a few around.
Have you felt the same way about some romcoms? Watched Laws of Attraction recently? Loved it and disagree with what I said?
In contrast, while No Reservations (another one I watched recently) followed a similar pattern, at least the story made sense and didn’t put hero in the right even when he was in the wrong. A much more enjoyable movie – though the end left me fretting about out the kid’s studies. I wish they’d also shown her taking interest in school, because she had been shown ignoring it. But that’s probably the anxious mom inside me and a topic for another day.
Do you think being strong and independent excludes a woman from finding love? Do you like heroes to also fail sometimes and not be faultless and know-it-all? Any movies which you watched and felt had similar issues?
Do you think the expectations from a romcom are changing with the times?