In Defense of Rom-Coms


Chance encounters, ex-girl-or-boyfriends, and at least one candle-lit dinner are all involved in every romantic comedy. It’s these beginnings that encourage people to turn off Sleepless in Seattle or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and flip to watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead or instalment of the John Wick franchise. People expect it to be completely and utterly useless, only something teenage girls or single women in their 30s watch. But let me skip the don’t judge a book by its cover lecture, and tell you something else.


Newsflash: watching romantic comedies is actually good for you.


First and foremost: they make you feel happy. No matter what, no matter how cheesy the movie is, the setting, or the situation, a happy ending makes you feel good. My prime time for watching romantic-comedies is after a long, sad, or unfulfilling day when I’m in the mood to watch, do, or read something that makes me feel good; this probably goes for many people. Interestingly, the slang term for romantic comedies is ‘feel good’ movies. Watching a simple rom-com movie could, in fact, make you happier and keep you more open to positive possibilities. From my experiences, when I’ve had a long and tedious day and I need something to calm down, I’m not going to watch an action movie or a horror movie, because how calming is that?

Next, you become a better person when you watch romantic comedies. A research team studied how different movie genres influenced people’s’ sensitivity to five different ethical impulses: fairness; loyalty; respect for authority; purity (both biological and metaphorical); and harm/care (aversion to the suffering of others). They published that “repeated exposure to [romantic-comedy] films led to increases in sensitivity for four of the five moral institutions.” This basically means that watching this genre of movie improves a person’s morals and self. This is important for everyone in the world–it is definitely not limited to teenage girls or cat ladies.

Now we get to the interesting part. As a matter of fact, while I was researching some evidence to prove that romantic comedies could literally be the best genre out there, the majority of the evidence I found went against what I was saying. Google had article titles like “Romantic Realism and Romantic Relationships” or something along the lines of “Romantic Comedies are Shaping Your Love Life”, declaring that society is setting the bar higher and higher for what love really is and has unrealistic expectations for love. Now you can call me cheesy or somebody who watches way too many romantic comedies, but when you feel love and know what it is, how can you set the bar higher? There is no bar for love.

Anyways, if you have made it this far in the article and are not under the impression that I’m persuading you in any way humanly possible, then I suggest watching Pretty Women or Just Go With It to prove to you once and for all rom-coms are worth your time. Even if this genre is not your cup of tea, science shows they can be good for everyon