BY ANNABELLE ROSA
In the modern digital age, various streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have come to be known for their original series. Shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Stranger Things” have captivated audiences by depicting fantastical, frightening stories and making use of a platform that allows people to watch an entire series whenever they want.
Let’s face it, people love to binge watch Netflix series. Streaming platforms are optimal for viewers because it allows for their maximum viewing pleasure, with the freedom to choose whether they’d like to watch things at a fast or relatively slow pace. Regardless of how quickly each show is viewed, each person is able to personalize their experience.
With that said, Netflix has begun to make use of this fact by delving into the realm of romantic comedies (commonly referred to as rom-coms). First, they began by uploading older movies, such as “Leap Year,” “Love Actually” and “13 Going on 30.” The company seemed to have realized the popularity of the genre, as they’ve recently started producing their own rom-coms.
On June 15, 2018, Netflix released yet another rom-com- featuring two interns who try to set up their workaholic bosses.
These films tend to fixate on a female protagonist who is quirky in her own fashion and has experienced some form of trauma. Often, these characters aren’t seeking love when suddenly- and without warning- their love interest appears right under their noses. These films are formulaic and predictable, but they provide a sort of escapism that is appealing to an audience that would just like to turn their minds off for a moment and see a girl, potentially like themselves, get swept off her feet.
This past summer, the Netflix original movie, “The Kissing Booth,” was released. Though the film only scored a 13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, many people still found it entertaining.
“I think this movie is just a cheesy teen romance that everyone is obsessing over,” Common Sense Media commenter Stacey Y said.
“The Kissing Booth” tries to imitate the same sensations John Hughes films tend to stir within people. Teenage angst, the human condition, first loves and friendship are all themes that Hughes constantly touched upon in classics like “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink.” “The Kissing Booth” emulates these traits as well, so much so that the casting even reflects the desire to be associated with the late director. Molly Ringwald, who starred in both “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty and Pink,” was casted as the mother of the main character’s best friend.
Rom-coms allow people to escape into a world where love is so grandiose that your true love might meet you at the top of the Empire State Building.
On June 15, 2018, Netflix released yet another rom-com- featuring two interns who try to set up their workaholic bosses. “Set It Up” (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) is a film that is reminiscent of the iconic Nora Ephron film “When Harry Met Sally.” Both of the movies revolve around two friends who, unintentionally, fall in love. Not only is this a staple of the rom-com formula, but it also sits very well with Ephron’s trademark of having two strangers growing close and falling in love. She used this recipe in “You’ve Got Mail,” where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks fall in love by sending anonymous emails back and forth.
The most recent in the line of Netflix rom-coms is the movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). This might just be the most cohesive of the films Netflix has released in the genre, and it follows the rom-com format of exploring first loves and the human condition.
Rom-coms are simply fun and that’s why it’s great that Netflix has started to produce them.
After a long day at work, school or whatever it is a person does to occupy their day, sometimes, they just want to feel and be amused. Rom-coms allow people to escape into a world where love is so grandiose that your true love might meet you at the top of the Empire State Building. Rom-coms are simply fun and that’s why it’s great that Netflix has started to produce them.
After the days of Nora Ephron and John Hughes, it’s been significantly more difficult to find decent romantic comedies that aren’t from the 1990s or ‘80s. But Netflix has made use of a platform that allows people to watch new films about love. Though these films aren’t necessarily perfect or refined, they have the potential for their makers to begin a new era of rom-coms that can finally complement the legacies of Ephron and Hughes.
Photo curtesy of Penguin Teen