Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
And then they lived happily ever after…
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Posted By: Pratiksha Rao
That sums up how all our favourite rom coms end! If only, our real life tales ended half as perfectly as the reel life stories. Even the recent Bollywood release,
, despite its failed attempts at being a new age film, reasserts the belief that a “happily ever after” ending is a must for a romantic comedy film to be successful at the box office.
Albeit, the film had a love triangle, live-in-relationships, pre-marital sex and all that you need to look new age, the film concluded with Gautam, played by Saif, choosing the demure, traditional and the not-so new age Meera (Diana Penty) instead of the wild, outspoken, independent and sexy legged Veronica (Deepika Padukone).
The initial romance between Veronica and Gautam fades off as Gautam finds himself slowly growing attracted toward the ideal Indian bahu, Meera; even her name resonates those qualities. Perhaps throwing in that moralistic lesson in the movie is an attempt to appeal to the older audience that may not have gotten drunk on the desi daru and slept off midway.
Instead of tackling contemporary issues of love, the film escapes by using the trite love triangle as the centre of conflict and re-enforces the age old belief that men don’t want to marry the women they date and vice versa.
must certainly be applauded for hitting the right “cheese” and glam quotient and filling the void of a much needed rom-com in our lives. You can sense the audience’s desperation for a mind numbing and feel good rom-com when you see the figures of this film’s weekly collections.
The heady music, beautiful locations, even more beautiful women and of course the grande finale of the two lovers Gautam and Meera reuniting was just what you needed to create the mood to graduate to the next base with your date.
Fortunately, we are blessed with a canton of romantic films that go beyond pedantic lessons and present the many challenges of a dreamy romance that regular people face.
And romantic comedy films add a touch of humour to them ending on a happy note, reaffirming every little (and not so little) girl’s fantasy of her knight in the shining armor rescuing her from all her problems and loving her for who she really is.
Rom-coms, inspired by Shakespearean comedy, first gained mass popularity in the US during the great depression in the 1930s, when the class differences were extremely rigid and stark. Whether it’s the brawl between the Capulet and Montague in
Romeo and Juliet
or Elizabeth Bennett’s initial aversion for Mr. Darcy’s highbrow ways in
Pride and Prejudice
, the most successful romantic stories are all about the struggles of love. And in the contemporary setting, nobody knew that better than the late author, director, playwright and producer, Nora Ephron.
"To state the obvious, romantic comedies have to be funny and they have to be romantic. But one of the most important things, for me anyway, is that they be about two strong people finding their way to love." After three husbands, more than 10 romantic film scripts and many more essays on love and its trials, Nora Ephron understood love better than most of us. She was also one of the first few brave ones to explore a key element of any successful romance, sex, in the romantic comedy genre.
When Harry Met Sally
, perhaps her most celebrated film and my personal favourite, showed how even a rather prude Sally could have a keen interest in physical act of love. The famous scene between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal shot in a Jewish deli called Katz Delicatessen, now a must visit for all New York tourists thanks to this blockbuster, showed Sally publicly proving to her man’s man kinda friend, Harry, that women are not as easily satisfied by fancy dinners and diamonds as men might think. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, watch this clip.
Now, a scene like that would never get past our censor board. Any portrayal of sex is strictly reserved for the
of our industry. The rom coms have to make do with a few PG jokes about sex and completely skirt the topic by making vague references to it and almost never in the context of the romance between the two protagonists.
In the west, however, rom coms have slowly turned into sex coms: romance that develops as a result of drunken debauchery, and we have many examples of this such as
What Happens in Vegas
Friends with Benefit
. Nonetheless, the stories of all these movies culminate in one big happy family or wedding, if you’re lucky. And that is why we love this genre of romantic comedies coming from Bollywood, Hollywood, or any other wood.
We love rom coms; despite the cheesy dialogues, the Bollywood actors’ pitiful attempts to look 20 years too young, the excessive teary eyed drama. And we love the happy endings even more, no matter how unrealistic or irrational they might be. As Rosie O’Donnell’s character explains to her friend played by Meg Ryan in another Ephron classic,
Sleepless in Seattle
“That’s your problem, you don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.”( which might explain the increasingly high divorce rates). And if even our movies can’t give us our happy endings, then we might as well just give up and stop dreaming.
Here’s to our happy endings if not in real lives, then atleast in the lives that we live vicariously through the 2 hours and sometimes bordering 3 hours magical escape of romantic comedies. Cheers!
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