Watching movies is one of the most favoured leisure activities of all times. Who doesn’t like to kick back and watch a couple of movies; spend Sunday afternoons in movie marathons with your friends and family? It’s one of the most sought after activity. It relaxes your mind. And for those couple of hours you forget about your everyday worries and hassles and are transported to a far away land where you are a silent yet an involved spectator. Where there can be magic, excitement, adventure. Movies take you on a breathtakingly magnificent journey; across oceans, world’s continents generation and sometimes even time. And they do it in a picturesque and smooth manner. No wonder movies are loved by all, age generation, culture no bound. And movies perform all these tasks beautifully. In fact there are a plethora of genres to pick a movie from and watch it work its magic. There’s horror, action, thriller, mystery, drama, comedy…. And then there’s rom-com’s; the genre of romantic comedy movies that have healed the aching hearts of millions of girls worldwide for generations now, and been the sole companions as buckets and buckets of ice cream were devoured in its comforting presence.
It’s often considered a cliché that men prefer the tough, action packed movies, whereas women generally (a much generalised statement seeing as there are many women who prefer action movies too, me being one of them) seem to settle for the mushy rom-com movies. No matter how irked the feminists out there get by this statement, there is but some truth to it. And no one can deny that they enjoy watching rom-com movies. Just the other day a conversation with a friend of mine set my mind thinking as to what it is about these romantic comedy movies that attracts us towards them.
You pick any rom-com and they have a very predictably defined story, one whose outcome you can narrate half through the movie. Rom-com movies in themselves are very clichéd. There’s always a guy and a girl, some complications, problems, but in the end they end up together. Even before we sit to watch the movie we know how it is going to turn out, yet we can’t pry our eyes away from it and can’t help but weep, laugh and feel along with it. They follow a tried and tested plot line, which seems to wok brilliantly seeing as rom-com is a hot favourite genre.
But what is it that attracts us to these movies, time and again. Upon some introspection I managed to reach an explanation that somewhat satisfied my ever curious mind. As children we grow up listening to fairy tales. We begin to believe in magic, prince charming, true love and happy endings. But then as we begin to grow up, we are faced with reality, which is much harsher and completely different than the fairytales. There are complications, obstacles, difficulties. Things don’t always work out, there may or may not be a soul mate. There is no perfect and happy ending, instead there’s heartbreak and problems and imperfection. All of which can be very heavy and taxing on the free spirit which longs to believe in the magic of love.
Reality can be depressing as it is. We use movies as an escape from these realities, it only makes sense to use it as an escape to a land where things do work out, where people are happy and optimistic. People don’t want to see the representation of their imperfect lives on screen as well; it makes the reality far harsher and real. But watching movies where the magic of love exists, gives you some shred of optimism even if it is clouded by heavy pessimism. It becomes like the silver lining to our dark cloudy lives.
We know that things don’t often work out in reality, so instead we try to gain satisfaction by completing our heartbroken and incomplete story through these rom-coms. We try to live our love stories through these characters; sometimes finding ourselves profusely rooting for the lead pair to end up together and experiencing immense joy when they finally kiss at last. Because in those moments, our life isn’t a sad story anymore, but instead we are living our love life through those characters. In that two hour span of the rom-com our life isn’t imperfect anymore but in fact the most perfect thing ever.
Some would consider it a very sad thing, to feel the momentary elation in such a manner, to those cynics I would only ask one thing, Why not find happiness that way? So what if its momentary, and it isn’t really real, what matters is in that moment you feel happy. And often that happiness gets carried forward and suddenly there’s a spring in your step, a smile on your face, and you are happy. We used to believe in fairytales at one point, now that same child within us that has grown up believes in rom-coms. So I say go pick up your favourite rom-com, feel along with the characters, and watch the magic spread through you as the lead pair finally kisses. Give yourself that momentary guilty pleasure, because god knows you deserve it!