I am the author of a story collection entitled (for better or worse), Nine Romantic Stories, available as Kindle edition. I wrote many of these stories under the spell of Hollywood –Hitchcock’s radiant Vertigo, Preston Sturges’s witty The Lady Eve, and Woody Allen. I liked the notion of replicating the same wit and charm in a modern way- and I’ve been pleased that some readers have noticed.
But where are the great Hollywood romances today? A recent Atlantic article asks Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad? How did American films go from screwball comedy and the touching funniness of Annie Hall to the crude comedies of today? When did scatological humor replace wit? When did men turn into versions of The Three Stooges. Call me prejudiced, but I never dreamed of dating Mo or Larry.
Everyone blames modern culture and of feminism, but for my money, TV is the big culprit. Shows like Moonlighting, Friends, Ally McBeal stole the thunder and left movies without a place of their own. Sadly, movies turned to gross when TV was at its wittiest. And gorgeous actresses got stuck with toilet humor.
Even worse, critics have consistently ignored the more literate romantic comedies. Films like The Answer Man, The Giant Mechanical Man, and Management were all cut from the old-fashioned, well-crafted cloth, but with modern conflicts and concerns. It was gratifying to see actresses like Lauren Graham given meaty roles– and if anyone can resist Chris Messina of The Giant Mechanical Man, then they’re not a romantic. It is a pity that these films are under the radar.
The same prejudice is found in literary circles as well, but that’s a subject for a different blog post. You can read more at carlasarett.blogspot.com.
You can also find Carla here on Amazon: