Film: Why I’m sick of the average romance movie

Posted by Sam Bouchat on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 4:40 pm.

Kissing in the rain. Unfounded jealousy. Clumsy accidental first meetings. Perfectly witty, off-the-cuff banter. These are some romance movie clichés I’m sick of.

Give me awkward pauses. Give me insignificant misunderstandings. Give me women who don’t jump to irrational conclusions and men who understand common decency toward the opposite gender. The average mass-produced romantic film is chock-full of tropes that have been beaten to death and that I, along with many film buffs before me, see as lazy screenwriting and directing.

Even movie posters are losing originality, blurring together into a one-size-fits-all red-and-pink-colored picture of two beautiful white people looking longingly (or disparagingly) at one another. Can’t we have a less-than-perfectly attractive male and female lead? Maybe take a break from hetero-normality?

I’m just waiting for someone in the movie making industry to take a chance.

It has been eight years since “Brokeback Mountain” challenged popular views of what romantic movies need to be. In 2012, “Savages” turned monogamy on its head, introducing the audience to the lesser-known concept of a polyamorous relationship. Certainly, there is no dearth of ideas when it comes to revamping an old genre, but major studios, it seems, are reluctant to embrace unique approaches that are outside the norm, even though those risks have proven time and again to be successful — the dysfunctional romance in 2008′s “The Reader” won Kate Winslet the Best Actress Oscar, and that same year, Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” featuring a polyamorous relationship among people of different ethnicities, won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy).

I implore those in the movie business to put down the habit-made manual on how to create the dime-a-dozen romance flicks and try to push the emotional and physical boundaries of human behavior when it comes to love. A quick look at reality shows that the fictitious world of film is playing it safe on the romance front.