Jul 7, 2009

Article: Forced Romance

Jul 7, 2009
People who know me, know I don't get passionate about much besides James Horner and creamed corn. And there's near nothing I get passionately angry about.

I do, however, have a 'thing' when it comes to Forced Romance. You will have seen it many times - Two people who dislike each other and/or are not looking for any kind of relationship, instantaneously and often miraculously develop a deep, energetic love for each other.

I, uh... well, you wouldn't call me a fan.

It's become so frequent in films recently that many of my friends have come to believe I am not a fan of romance at all. Pure slander of course, but an understandable impression as the Romantic Sub-Plot has become more obligatory than credits.

True, it does appeal to the female demographic. And yes, it often provides boyfriends with the 'and they fall in love' argument - allowing men the world over to see films their better-halves would never normally agree to.

These are both noble pursuits, but luckily that doesn't mean the Romance has to be a pinned-on optional accessory. It doesn't really do anyone any favours in the long run; not the females, not the boyfriends, not better-halves and certainly not the film.

So, now I'm working under this self imposed Either-Or, and invite one-and-all to join me:
1. The Romance is planned from the beginning, to be an integral part of the story and to be relevant to both the characters and the themes.
or
2. There is no Romance.
That way, hopefully we may avoid such 'resolutely unlikely' partnerships as in Titan AE where the two Romantic leads (who had met only once before and irrationally hated each other) magically knew the other's name as they made out at the end. Or the quite supernaturally out of character one-night stand in Gabriel.

Or, you know... maybe it's just me.

7 comments:

  1. i didnt know you had friends.

    anyway, i totally get this, i was once forced to watch a terrible film in 2003 called " how to lose a guy in 10 days", the two leads hate eachother, loathe eachother, then you blink and all of the sudden they did it in a bathroom and are now in love....

    too many films do this like its the typical hollywood formula, im not often a fan of female leads in mainstream movies, because how often they are used for plain romance, or a sex scene, or for the young male audince (tranformers)

    one of the main reasons why i like reservoir dogs so much is becasue there is no female lead or even character in the whole film.
    also i liked how in iron man, a main stream film held off on the typical kissing scene between the two leads at the end,

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  2. Hey, yeah! I totally forgot that they didn't do that in Iron Man!

    Now that I think about it, Iron Man handled the whole "lead male/lead female" relationship quite well.

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  3. *high fives Jen*

    Yes. Exactly.

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  4. yeh i felt like downeys character respected paltrow's character and surprisingly didn't have sex with her, like youd expext, and there was no flirty banter, which is so painful to watch.
    so it was refreshing,one of the reasons it is a great film

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  5. I think my 'gunsnammo' track mind does me the favor of editing out crappy romance scenes in the abundance of action movies I watch.

    Now that I think about it, I don't think I have ever seen any silver screen romance that I liked, EVER. I only seem to like the romances I read in books and web comics.

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  6. I'm not a fan of forced romance either. But I think there is some good stuff out there.

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  7. Good observations. I do find it awkward more often than not, relationships on film. This is because they are not genuine obviously. (not in all cases) And general God given chemistry is substituted with having to act and perform which intern produces this awkward forcefulness.

    And there are other times when films get it just right, and you are unashamedly in the middle, enjoying that hug or kiss. Because it completes and enhances the story. There is nothing wrong with happy endings. As this is what people need to and enjoy to see.

    Yes forced is not good. So many potentially great films include an inappropriate scene just for the heck of it. With no genuineness. It seems to be just a formula or thing you have to do. As Mutt said. It shouldn't be in there if that is the case.

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