Romantic comedies are dead, according to a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter.
The magazine made the declaration in its October 4 issue, where writer Tatiana Siegel posits that it's impossible to get the genre greenlit these days because it's no longer lucrative at the box office. Siegel spoke with several Hollywood bigwigs who confirmed her thesis, with one producer summing up the dire straits of the rom-com thusly: "The meet-cute is dead."
THR notes that rom-coms no longer earn enough money to make big budgets (or any budget, really) feasible, citing the recent examples of "The Five-Year Engagement," "The Big Wedding," and "What to Expect When You're Expecting," none of which recouped their costs at the box office.
"As studios increasingly focus on films that can be sequelized and play in overseas markets, the one-off, dialogue-dependent rom-coms are a difficult sell," Siegel explains. "In addition, the decreasing appeal of young movie stars is translating into less demand for romantic pairings built around their star power."
And what stars once ruled the genre -- think Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore -- are defecting for other fare, while reigning "Next Big Things" like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone make a point to avoid typical rom-com roles. Still, "The Vow" director Michael Suscy doesn't see the "romantic" side of the rom-com equation as the problem, but rather the formulaic nature of the genre.
"There is still a demand, and there always will be, for fresh and innovative stories that are smart and nuanced," he said.
Here's hoping Hollywood can figure out a way to pump new life into the fading fast genre. For more analysis of the romantic comedy's woes, check out the full story at THR.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]