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RomCom Scripts: Still Relevant?

Romantic Comedies, also known as a RomCom, were a major part of movie theatres in the past, especially around Valentine’s day and later in the summer. Unfortunately, the genre is nowhere near what it was in the past, with RomCom aspiring writers unsure if it’s even relevant to write a script in the genre anymore.

Many point to how dominated the box office is by superhero movies nowadays. Though that is a reason, there are plenty of other reasons why the RomCom genre—like many other genres—isn’t how it used to be. Let’s discuss if these scripts are still relevant and why they faded in popularity.

Are RomCom Scripts Still Relevant?

No one can deny how popular RomComs once were, with the films being a major success for studios all the way to the early 2000s. Most major studios, if not all, are shifting or have shifted priorities to big-budget film franchises. Obviously, it’s not possible to develop a cinematic universe within the RomCom genre.

However, that’s not necessarily a result of RomComs themselves, since there are plenty of other genres hindered by this notion. Regardless, RomComs are still being made today, some of which have gained a large following. Many of these films are written with the intention of getting picked up by a streaming platform, which is worth noting.

Practically every filmmaker understands the negatives of streaming and the impact it has on movie theatres. Still, there is the optimistic lens where films get another option to be seen by people rather than solely worrying about performing at the box office. So, although RomComs aren’t how they once were, there’s still a selling point, you just have to know what that is.

Why RomComs Faded in Popularity

Blaming superhero movies for the sole reason RomComs faded in popularity is foolish. There are plenty of points you can bring up that speak negatively of superhero films, but it’s not the only reason. Like anything else, there are many reasons why selling a RomCom script isn’t how it was in the past.

Big RomCom Stars Moved On

Part of what made RomComs so appealing in the past is the big movie stars that were connected with the genre. It was impossible to see a new RomCom in the early 2000s without Matthew McConaughey. Others, some at different times, included Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, and countless others.

Eventually, these big names moved on, usually as a result of wanting to seek creative ambitions elsewhere rather than cash hefty paychecks. Without the big stars backing the genre up, Hollywood failed to get replacement RomCom stars. Many went to the theatre for the familiar faces and didn’t care about the genre as much when they weren’t there.

Less RomCom Filmmakers

Many directors were known as fixtures within the genre and RomComs have suffered in the last decade or so without a figurehead representing the genre. Many iconic RomCom filmmakers such as Gary Marshall and Nora Ephron have passed away, while others struggled to get financing for new movies.

As studios scale back the number of RomComs they make, the directors commonly linked to the genre haven’t been able to create movies that could demonstrate the value of the genre. Thus, younger directors and writers aren’t as inspired to pursue the genre since they’re not growing up with a RomCom appeal as it was in the past.

Box Office Numbers

As much as studios want to pride themselves on allowing artists to create, most of them, especially major studios, only really care about making money. Towards the end of the 2000s, RomComs suffered at the box office. Studios panicked and focused on what made them money, which ended up being superhero franchises.

The spectacle of streaming made audiences not rely on the movie theatre as much as they did in the past. Today, the average person only attends a movie if it’s a big spectacle like the latest marvel movie. From their point of view, why waste your time going to the movies when it’ll be on streaming eventually? Furthermore, Studios can’t rely on DVD sales as they did in the past. There isn’t that added cushion to recover funds if the movie flops at the box office. Thus, you have movies either being made at a lower indie budget or a massive budget. Medium-budget films—the budget most RomComs fall under—aren’t utilized as much, if at all.

Younger Audiences Don’t Relate to the Genre as much as they Did In Past

Part of the issue why RomComs don’t do as well as they did in the past is the genre isn’t relatable for younger generations. Younger audiences feel a need to overly relate to or sympathize with a film or be completely immersed in something. It’s why comedies aren’t made as much nowadays. There are still younger fans of the genre, but it’s usually for a smaller indie film that’s on a streaming service, rather than a bigger budget box office RomCom.


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