The mash up of a romantic comedy and action movie is the ultimate date night compromise. There is a love story for her and explosions, bullets and car chases for him. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of them out there. I can think of maybe three off the top of my head, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, RED (2), and Killers (2010).
I tend to watch one “chick flick” a year. They aren’t the thing that typically interest me. This year, I think I watched Bring It On. I still have the Lucky One and Bridesmaids sitting on my shelves in the cellophane waiting for me to feel in the mood to watch them. Back when it came out in theaters, a friend dragged me to Maid in Manhattan. I remember the white coat scene only because I like fashion and that’s about it. They also dragged me to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was the better movie of the two. That one I have watched again. A lot of times, I’d just rather watch a girly movie that I know is good like Ever After or America’s Sweethearts. I find most romantic comedy, chick flick types of movies excruciatingly painful to watch because of the horrible dialogue and situations where if the heroes just talked to each other it would be resolved in like five minutes. If your plot has to bend in three different ways to make the entire story work, I’m just not interested.
Chick flicks and romantic comedies also tend to play more to stereotypes both gender and character. In a lot of ways I find this extremely offensive. I understand the fantasy, but I also understand how damaging this can be to young girls who are trying to use these movies as role models for acceptable high school behavior. Watching a movie where the protagonist does awful things to people who are supposedly her friends and in the end is most likely never called out on their behavior makes me cringe. I would rather watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. At least for the first few seasons, the mane six teach some valuable lessons about friendship and manners.
This might be why my favorite and go to chick flick is either A League of Their Own or St. Trinian’s. Both movies involve a lot of female characters and don’t revolve around men in the romantic sense. Of the two, St. Trinian’s is the more absurd and the funnier movie, but it was never meant to be taken seriously.
Otherwise, my go to movies are action movies (or animated movies, but a lot of those have action elements.) Action movies tend to be more straight forward, and while their romantic subplots are often cringe worthy and pasted on, they are easily muted or fast forwarded through. I’ll take five minutes of cringing over an hour and a half to two hours worth.
Both romantic comedies and action movies often rely on absurd situations to pull off their stories. Not all of the time, but often. When you stick them together, this tendency tends to be amped up to eleven. If anything, I love absurd situations. I love watching them. I love writing them. I am thoroughly accepting that I’m at heart a romantic comedy writer, but if the romance has a bunch of explosions and dodging bullets, then I’m all the more happier for it.
Romantic comedies tend to be female driven stories while action movies tend to be male driven stories. When you crash them together, it really depends on the writer whose story gets focused on more. If you read any of my review, you know female stories are important to me. I have an entire cookie dedicated to whether or not the female of the story was more than just the girlfriend or the damsel in distress. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like stories that involve men. The romantic comedy action movie allows to give each gender equal opportunity story time. There is an opportunity to have more balance than just an action movie or just a romantic comedy.
I’ve spent time on talking about what an action movie is already. I won’t rehash.
Romantic comedies tend to hinge on lack of communication and secrets kept from the other party. The way whacky hijinks ensue as people lie or try to stay out of sight or otherwise get around actually discussing the problem. An action movie tends to compress this a bit so there is less time spent avoiding the problem and more time confronting it while being acted upon by outside forces trying to kill them. This might be why I prefer these types of movies over straight up romantic comedies. Less lying, less trying to murky the waters, more problem solving.
In a romantic comedy action film, the truth of the feelings the couple has about each other comes out, as well as the type of people they are because little lies can’t hold up under the hail of bullets. This is what makes these types of films, this putting the couple on the edge of the volcano and finding out who they really are. Or at least, who the writers of the film think they are. And because they are romantic comedies, and these types of movies almost demand happy endings or hopeful ones, the couple remains intact by the end of the film. This is extremely important. When I get behind a pair of main protagonists, I want them to be happy in the long term. Rooting for a couple who is going to cheat on each other, lie and in the end break up is for the realms of soap operas and romance novels. While there are people who enjoy reading about characters being in misery, I am not one of them.
Whether or not more of these types of movies are made is heavily going to depend on their fiscal success. Each one in my list has made less and less money than the previous film. Whether or not this is due to the star actors in the film, poor marketing, bad reviews or lack of interest from the film going public, I don’t know. I wish there were more of them because two of those three plots in my list are almost exactly the same and that’s sad. If more of them were made, then the stories could have some more variety.