The Romantic Comedy: A Guy’s Survival Guide

Perhaps it finds you as you’re chatting with friends outside the library. Possibly you’re debating about whether to go out or stay in. Maybe your girlfriend wants to have a quiet night together. No matter the situation, most men find themselves looking for an exit when faced with the Romantic Comedy. A trap, you’re thinking. 'Comedy' is just a word they’ve tagged on at the end – I won’t be caught!

Reasonable fears, I assure you. We’re all a little disarmed when it comes to dealing with silver screen romance. Put me in a bar fight, give me an oil change to perform, drop me on a mountain – those are all situations I'd like to think I know how to tackle. The secret to surviving the Romantic Comedy, though, is having the right tools.

Don’t Lose Your Nerve
Relax. Filmmakers know their audience, and I promise it includes you. Genre films have a cast of men who are typically
as bewildered by circumstance as you find yourself currently – zero in on them as your means of navigating this narrative.

Recommended Viewing:
Crazy Stupid Love (2011) Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling play sensitive and
suave players, respectively – this is a movie about what it means to be a man as much as it is about love.

Make Smart Decisions
'Romantic comedy' usually connotes melodrama and lots of emotional catharsis. Find movies that have sharp
dialogue and take themselves a little seriously. You’ll find yourself forgetting about the genre and – if you’re lucky – enjoying the film.

Recommended Viewing:
When Harry Met Sally (1989) Brilliant delivery from Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, this is a film about how to deal with friendship, sex, and love.

Go Leopard Hunting
Genre films are flexible, so expand your romantic flicks to screwball comedy territory. These films typically
have something hilariously absurd that a couple needs to address – and the resulting chaos emphasizes the comedy aspect.

Recommended Viewing:
Bringing Up Baby (1938) Wild spirit Katharine Hepburn entrusts paleontologist Cary Grant with 'Baby'; a leopard.


Stock Up on Ammunition
Have a movie to suggest! If you don’t know the territory, you might get sucked into
a film you’ll regret. Do your research and recommend a film you know you’ll enjoy.

Recommended Viewing:
Amelié (2001) A personal favorite. Not your classic Hollywood romantic comedy, Amelié
explores the comic ways a young woman changes her neighborhood and falls in love.

Surrender (Well, Sort Of)
One of our biggest concerns with romantic comedies is that they require us to recognize and admit we have feelings. A terrible idea,
I know, but the romantic comedy is a great way to exercise those heart muscles. Embrace it – at least until DVD release of The Expendables 2.

Recommended Viewing:
500 Days of Summer (2009) An honest perspective on the friend-zone and how relationships begin and end.
The tagline: “This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”


Title Image sourced from Favim. Ken Levine, MovieDraft, Miverva on the Net, Cine-Vue and CoverShut. Compiled by Nicole Horgan.