According to Hollywood it's Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back. This paradigm has become the dominant form of so many Hollywood Romantic comedies for decades but in the last few years it's started to feel as though the paradigm has been tested to its limits, that the rom-com is broken. Growing up on films like Sleepless in Seattle, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pretty Woman, Love and Basketball, Working Girl and When Harry Met Sally, I've always loved a good romantic film and for me romance encompasses a broader umbrella than just the increasingly creaky rom-com form. I love romantic dramas, romantic thrillers (Unfaithful, anyone?), bittersweet romances and all the category defying romantic stories in between. Though they have been few and far between lately there have also been a few recent romantic films that I've loved. Friends With Benefits (the one with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis - NOT the other one with the similar title) was a totally unexpected treat, Something New was a much needed fresh perspective and Ruby Sparks was a sharp, inspiring, Indie, feminist and tricky romantic, anti-romantic eye-opener (just watch it!). At the moment I'm anticipating Before Midnight so much that I probably need to give myself a stern talking to so my expectations don't ruin it for me.
As a writer of romantic fiction, it's safe to say that romantic films and of course books have had a pretty big hand in my development. From my slight over-investment in Jo and Professor Bhaer's relationship in Little Women to my obsessive suppert of Eric/Sookie in both the Sookie Stackhouse Books and True Blood Series, to the fact that I've watched Notting Hill a disturbing number of times, I have learned a lot from and been inspired by good romantic books and films. It's safe to say that these books and films have uplifted me, given me hope when I felt I'd have train-tracks on my teeth till I died and acne forever. They've probably also massively distorted my expectations of my romantic life... but that's another story.
So the aim of my new series of posts GIRL MEETS BOY will be to blog about those romantic films and also TV romances or romantic arcs in TV shows that have moved, excited and challenged me.
I hope you'll join the conversation too, in the comments below and also on Twitter and on Facebook. What are your favaourite romantic movies and why? I'm eager to grow my must-watch list of good 'uns.
And check back next week where I shall be blogging, without shame about my love of Hugh Grant in most things but specifically in Notting Hill. Drop me a comment if there are any other romantic films, which you think I should check out.