February is the month of Valentine’s Day and of love, so it’s the perfect time to discuss romantic comedies. Over the past few years, Netflix has produced a plethora of original rom-coms. While not all of them are top-notch quality (yes, I’m thinking of the slew of Noah Centineo vehicles they made after the success of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (2018)), they’ve proven themselves to be the top studio for this sort of movie.
Genres set certain expectations for a film’s narrative. While yes, the characters and plot most likely differ for each film—audiences know what to expect based on genre. Horror should scare, a documentary should inform, and comedy should cause laughter. Undoubtedly then, a romantic-comedy should have two characters who seemingly shouldn’t be together, end up together. Right? They meet, they usually don’t like each other, they end up falling in love—then, there is some type of conflict that separates them, but by the grace of the genre, the love overpowers any type of reality. In the end, the two romantic characters end up together, falling in love—happily ever after, just like the fairytales told us so. The genre presents an expectation, a safe space. But—what if it doesn’t?