16 Oct Rom-Com Revival – Comparing Then and Now
After years of watching action-packed blockbusters and twisting dramas, Hollywood decided to bring back an old
Crazy Rich Representation:
2018 was a year of films that made Asians proud. However, Asians have had a history of having infamous characters – characters we would rather forget. In 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s pulled at everyone’s heartstrings. Back then, people seemed to ignore a white man pretending to be a stereotypical Chinese
Fast forward to 2018 and we have an all-Asian cast in Crazy Rich Asians, portraying three-dimensional diverse characters. We also have the lovable Lara Jean and her sisters in To All The Boys I Loved Before, where no one bats an eye at interracial relationships at the forefront of the love story.
Gender Roles are a Loser:
Rom coms have always attempted to break traditional gender roles. If you think about, the biggest archetype in every rom com is the “I’m not like the other guys” / “You’re different than most girls” trope. Yet, it captures our hearts every time. In addition, rom coms are the only genre that actually portray men as emotionally invested and capable of serious relationships. We can go back to 1989 and look at Lloyd in Say Anything, an eternal optimist who would do anything to earn the love of Diane. Girls everywhere learned that you should never forgive a guy unless he stands outside your window with an open heart and a boom box. The ever so dreamy male leads continue to 2018 with everyone’s favourite, Peter Kavinsky. He never gave up on Lara Jean and, like Lloyd, was never afraid of getting hurt in the process of being with the girl he loves.
Meanwhile, a lot of action-packed have always tried to have non-conventional female leads. Usually, these women who don’t live up to certain beauty standards or etiquette are crowd
Don’t stick to the status quo:
There’s nothing more tragic than a pair of star-crossed lovers. Rom coms have a habit of showing two people who are made for each other but society keeps driving them apart. Class struggle was a focus in a lot of older films, including Pretty in rom-com 1986. The rich Blane wanted to be with poor Andie before his rich friends harassed him but (spoiler alert) they both overcame the
Movie Musicals, here we go again
Nothing can quite capture love the way a song can. These bubble-gum pop, upbeat movie musicals may be over the top at points, but you can’t help but watch them over and over again. Just look at Singin’ in the Rain which was released in 1952 and is still considered one of the best musicals ever made. The star-studded High Society in 1956 was also a hit. Despite the lack of ABBA and the presence of Sinatra, the film has some similarities to the beloved 2008 Mamma Mia/ 2018 Mamma Mia 2. Both films got attraction due to its combination of high profile stars; High Society had Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Cosby while the Mamma Mia franchise had Meryl Streep, Cher, and Colin Firth. Both films also involve an independent young woman having an affair with three dashing men and ends up with who she considers her true love. However, Mamma Mia is different than other musicals as its songs weren’t originally made for the musical but were just covers of the original ABBA tracks. Still, it follows the playful nature of the other movies mentioned above while others like West Side Story(1961), Footloose(1972), Grease(1978) and Dirty Dancing(1987) use the music over more dramatic situations. No matter the plot, all musicals have two criteria when making a score: the song has to capture the moment in the story, and get stuck in people’s heads for years to come.