Open discussion: Rom-coms, Ars Marginal style

Not too long ago, there was Black folks and romance – getting it right.

Then I thought, “There’s no reason why we should limit ourselves to Black romance. Why don’t we take on all the rom com bullshit? Let’s subvert the fuck out of what this cliche-ridden drivel shovels to us about sex, love, and romance!”

So let’s play a game, shall we?

Take something you hate about rom-coms, then flip the script and make it something awesome!

Do it as many times as you want!


11 thoughts on “Open discussion: Rom-coms, Ars Marginal style

  1. If I never see the Sassy Gay Best Friend aka the avatar of hetero privilege whose only station is to be the confidant of the straight woman and provide a queer eye and metrosexualize the straight male protagonist, it will be too fucking soon.

  2. I would like to see more women (and men) of color in Rom-coms, as main characters and NOT in their designated roles as “plucky friends” of the protagonists or exotic “set pieces”. (I’m looking at you, “Accidental Husband”.)
    I’d like the successful female character not always to be portrayed as somehow *lacking* feminity/needing to trade something important for success/generally unlikeable. I want her to gain love to what she already has, instead of getting it as a *reward* for lowering her standards. (Still looking at you, “Accidental Husband”. And at you, “The Ugly Truth”.)
    I want a likeable male love-interest (or even a female one?). I’m sick of “the bad boy” (= the asshole; “The Ugly Truth”) and how women who could have anyone are basically portraited as needing a “real man” to be happy.
    And how ’bout less “rich people in REALLY fancy houses”? And no, “Cinderella” stories don’t count. I want blue coller RomComs! (Like “Frankie and Johnny”! Of …which I’m not sure if it counts as a RomCom.)

  3. Here’s some:

    No more “foreign investment groups” for the company that the protagonist and/or love interest to embarrass themselves to (My Super-Ex; Along Came Polly). Also, no foreign restaurants where spicy food is served to make the guy rush to the bathroom for 5 minutes of toilet humor (any Adam Sandler/Ben Stiller flick).

    Oh, and stop these jaunts to “exotic” lands for any reason, please (SATC2).

  4. The day women being violent and abusive to men stops being played as comedy is the day I actually start watching these without being wrangled into it, and when writers stop thinking it’s okay for the men to be complete dimwits to make the women look better. It’s insulting to both sexes.

  5. For them to be romantic and comedic. And by comedic, I mean an attempt at real wit rather than gross-out humor, mean spirited jabs at strawman characters, or pointless pop culture references. Consider casting people that can actually act and have real comedic timing instead of the privileged, good-looking white guy that’s going to be the next big thing whether he can act or not. The same holds for pretty blond white stick-girls. Speaking for myself, there are few things more endearing than someone who can make me laugh.

    I second removing the jerkass as the love interest. I don’t want to see shallow, manipulative a-holes get the person of their dreams by being being shallow, manipulative a-holes with good looks who succeed at some scheme or another. I don’t care if they’re ‘secretly a good person’, if their actions in the film show the exact opposite.

  6. I’ll admit it: I hate love triangles. I think they’re just lazy writing and overused. But since I know writers are going to stick them in anyway, can we stop with having one of the competing suitors turn into an asshole 15 minutes before the movie ends? I know it’s supposed to make me root for the One True Pair (TM), but I usually just end up thinking that the person being fought over has really poor judgment.

    While your at it, stop with the proposing at someone else’s wedding too. That ruined The Best Man for me (and I would kick someone’s ass if they tried to steal the spotlight at my wedding).

  7. I would like to do away with any misunderstanding that could be solved by the main character blushing slightly and admitting fault. Say it with me now: “Yeah, I made a mistake/broke that valuable whatsit/was a little bit clumsy and caused an accident. I feel really bad about it. How can I make things right?”


    But watching someone lie to cover a silly mistake, and then to watch the lie snowball, makes me lose not only respect and sympathy for the character but any interest in seeing how they get their happy ending.

  8. Give me a non-heteronormative film. Where the woman doesn’t have to be shamed to be relatable- enough with the life lessons already! Some place where women of color and queer people can flourish as fleshed out strong characters. Die, ‘sassy best friend’ trope, die.

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