A Winter of Romantic Comedies
As the days get colder and shorter post daylight savings time, we tend to yearn for familiar favorites and feel good movies. From comfort foods to heartwarming rom-coms, autumn and winter are all about filling your soul with love and warmth to beat the seasonal blues. From Nora Ephron’s beautiful depictions of New York in autumn to the cozy small town Christmas aura that Hallmark movies exude, the cold seasons are all about embracing the spirit of rom-coms.
If you’re a fan of the romantic comedy genre, then you are no stranger to Nora Ephron and her majestic portrayal of love in New York City (and sometimes in Seattle). Ephron was a very prominent journalist, author, and filmmaker, and even though she passed in 2012, her work has influenced generations beyond her years. From looking at some of her most famous films (obviously featuring Meg Ryan and/or Tom Hanks), we can celebrate the changing of the seasons, love, loss, and everything in between. The portrayal of the holidays in these films alongside the slow burn romance is just the fuel needed to warm anyone’s heart during the season.
Arguably, Ephron’s mastery of rom-com films influenced many others and set the bar high for the genre standard. After her films shaped the genre, plenty other rom-coms came to the scene in the early 2000s like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Love Actually, or Crazy, Stupid, Love. Following very similar formulas of “boy meets girl” or “girl meets boy,” filled with funny quips and dazzling holiday scenes, these few rom-coms end up defining the holiday season without being outright holiday movies.
These proclaimed rom-com “classics” signify all that is valued during the holiday season from family to relationships to joy and comfort. As Hallmark and Netflix came on to the romantic comedy scene, films became more formulaic as they tended to focus on the small town America aesthetic alongside this slow burn, “will they or won’t they?” romance. This is where the genre is mostly hated on as the mass produced Hollywood films occasionally lack substance and pile on the cliches. These types of movies are further hated on as people proclaim them to be “chick flicks” which disregards the integrity of the films purely because they’re catered towards women.
As cliche as some Hallmark Christmas movies or rom-coms may be, the genre is extremely popular and should not immediately be disregarded based on the notions that it lacks substance or artistic cinematography, especially due to them being “chick flicks.” Cheesy as some are, there’s no denying there is a very wholesome element to watching a nice rom-com during the cold winter months and feeling giddy watching the romances play out on screen. Plus the underlying hatred for rom-coms seems to come less from the art and cliches of the movies, yet the dislike for more female driven and catered films. In true holiday fashion, we should spread joy, not hate and celebrate all of which rom-coms give us. From love and comfort to holiday inspiration and aesthetics, romantic comedies are the perfect warm escape from the cold and isolating winter months and should be regarded as a respectable genre to ring in the holiday season.