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My love for the romantic comedy is similar to how most people feel about a beloved childhood pet, but not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s because they didn’t grow up with them, or maybe they’re viewing them through the same lens as something more critically acclaimed. To me, it seems most people’s discontentment with the genre comes from the fact that they’re cheesy, predictable, with no purpose or heart. I recommend these people watch any Fast and the Furious movie for comparison. There are 12 to choose from.

27 Dresses follows a young Katherine Heigl obsessed with weddings, and her model-like little sister who gets everything she wants. Heigl has been in 27 weddings as a bridesmaid, and does not appreciate the comments people make about how she likes to spend her time. She’s in love with her philanthropic boss, who is in turn instantly-in-love with her younger sister. They get engaged within two weeks and take over Heigl’s dream of getting married in the same way their mother was (in the Central Park boathouse, wearing the same gown). Heigl’s obsession with a certain wedding vows columnist turns to a nightmare when he is intrigued by her after meeting at a wedding where she traveled back and forth between that one and another where she was also a bridesmaid, paying a taxi driver to drive between the two as she swaps dresses in the backseat. The columnist covers the sister’s wedding as a way to learn more about Heigl, culminating in him writing a story exposing her wedding fetish—though by this point they’ve essentially fallen in love. Over the course of the film the sister turns into a bridezilla while Heigl is in anguish planning the wedding of the man of her dreams. She breaks down at their engagement party, showing a slideshow of all the lies the sister has told her boss. Happy ending eventually ensues for all.

In the reviews about this film it seems to come down to many people claiming the point of the film is to tell young women that their greatest aspiration in life should be to get married. I would like to reiterate at this point that this is a romantic comedy, a genre known to end in happy endings, which in our society often means a big wedding. In addition to this, the closest people around Heigl consistently show disapproval for her way of thinking so single-mindedly on weddings. And come on! The love interest is James Marsden of Prince Charming Enchanted fame. It’s not that serious.

I wonder what they think a better ending would be? A movie where every scene is plagued by weddings, a main character who is a full-grown adult capable of understanding why she spends her time as she does, and a love interest who is becoming less cynical about the idea of marriage as time goes on… Yes! Everyone should end up alone and finding new hobbies they surely just had a hidden, off-screen interest in the whole time.

Or, are they suggesting that this movie shouldn’t exist at all? This, I think, would be even more ridiculous. Imagine saying watching someone hope to marry their crush and help people have an enjoyable wedding day is worse material than, say, the multiple several minutes long uninterrupted shoot-outs in Heat

Romantic comedies are not some great-kept secret of film greatness, or made as a way to send an important life message to their audiences. The reason they’re almost synonymous with Hallmark is because they exist just to make you feel good. Who doesn’t want Ryan Reynolds to confess his great secret love to you in a mansion in Alaska? Or Matthew McConaughey chasing down your taxi, forgiving you for lying? 

The obsession with making your favorite things out to be better than they are is truly pointless, because no one wins. Things don’t need to be great to be your favorite. The Office is not some comedy miracle, it’s an average television show that millions of people have watched and loved. It’s made to be familiar and relatable, and that’s why people find it so great, not because it’s actually groundbreaking. Gilmore Girls, another staple of 21st century media, is essentially visual comfort food. Soft lighting, low-risk drama, junk food being the only thing consumed in every episode. And yet, one of these series is held as an important and unique facet of current media, and the other a sequential chick-flick. Neither of these have to be better or worse than the other to be beloved.

27 Dresses might be corny and pointless, but it’s also not trying to be anything else. Personally, I wouldn’t dare watch Mission Impossible and try to find a deeper meaning than Tom Cruise runs good. Imagine having the worst week of your life: Your partner has broken up with you, your parents said something cruel, you failed your chem test. You want to do something passive. You want to stuff your face with grease and sugar and ignore all human contact – what are you watching? Because I am not watching The Revenant.

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