The romantic comedy is a genre which typically follows a specific formula. An unsuitably matched couple fall in love. About two thirds the way through the film, their differences prove too much and they break up, the break-up seeming unresolvable. In the concluding several minutes, they realise that their love is too good to give up and there is a happy ending.
This collossal predictability is what makes the typical romcom fall into a wider realm of churned out, disposable cinema, much like the typical 1980s slasher film.
In these gorefests a bunch of teens are typically picked off one by one by a bogeyman or axe-murderer. Usually the ones who get it first are the ones getting stoned and/or having pre-marital sex (Friday the 13th, 1980, Prom Night, 1981, Psycho III, 1986). Some theorists have argued that this is conservative, Reaganite moralism, while others state that this provides the characters with a convenient distraction so as not to notice the approach of the fiend.
Modern Romcoms take a liberal approach to such liasons, getting the given need for immediate sex out of the way so that the romantic development of the story can be focused on. (Friends with Benefits, 2011, Knocked Up, 2007, The Back-up Plan, 2010, The Rebound, 2009)
Romcom Death Trip is a visceral reaction to romantic comedy in general. A lot of people seem to want romcoms when they are exhausted, ill or hungover – perhaps because they already know how the film will play out before it has started. A similar thing could be said for cheap slasher fims – we usually know who is about to cop a facefull of axe. In a time where we can watch the extra features of a blu-ray disc whilst watching the movie itself, perhaps the ultimate food for the half-dead Sunday brain is to enjoy an empty romcom and a bad horror flick simultaneously.
Images distorted using the VLC Slug™ technique. Booklet will be published in March 2011 by Plethora books…
Click the images to view L A R G E R…