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Anna’s Adventures: are rom-coms getting old?

Igor Ovsyannykov
Anna Maxwell explains whether or not rom-coms are getting stale.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day last week, I decided to watch some old rom-coms and also some that have come out fairly recently to get in the holiday spirit (making myself feel as single as possible). I have always loved movies like “The Notebook” and “Never Been Kissed” because they feel very nostalgic and showcase beautiful, complicated romances, which is just the way a rom-com should be. However, now that there are so many out there, and directors do not seem to be stopping their production anytime soon, are the themes and plots in these films changing significantly enough to justify how many are out there?

Well, after watching both “Anyone But You” and “Players” this past week, I have realized just what a good, new rom-com needs: a secret element and enjoyable comedy. When I say this, I mean that each rom-com stems from a basic plot. 

However, after watching this plot over and over again, it can get boring. Initially, somehow the characters meet each other and then have to be together constantly as a result of some scheme or fate. At some point, they begin growing closer until they finally end up together, but right before their happily ever after, they are thrown apart by some kind of misunderstanding or argument. Then, there is an outpouring of love and regret from one of the characters, and the other easily forgives and forgets, ending with a sweeping kiss. 

The trick is to deceive the audience with some odd and intriguing addition to this basic plot that they were not prepared for when starting to watch the film so that they are taken aback and can enjoy the movie without trying to anticipate the entire plot. Both “Anyone But You” and “Players” added an element of mystery to their plots by not adhering to the typical rom-com timeline and by not revealing every detail of the plot in their respective trailers. 

Additionally, rom-coms are entitled this way for a reason: there is romance and there is comedy! Some recent rom-coms have faltered in the comedy department, leaving their audiences bored with miscommunication and woe throughout the entire movie. 

As I watched “Anyone But You” and “Players,” I found myself laughing immensely, which enhanced my enjoyment of both movies. Other side characters added to the comedic nature of both films as well, enhancing each scene rather than boring the audience with random halts of action. In the end, rom-coms should have an element of surprise and fun, innovative comedy to be worth the watch.

But many watchers will still ask: how can these movies compare to the originals, like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “The Notebook?” Well, quite simply, they can’t. But these new movies also shouldn’t be compared to the iconic movies that came before. Iconic rom-coms became so well-known because they were not pitted against other movies that came before, but were allowed to speak on their own and were given a chance by their audience. As a matter of fact, the creators of iconic rom-coms were also not attempting to copy other work, which could be the plight of some of the less popular new rom-coms out there today. 

All in all, rom-coms are not getting old, and will not get old, as long as there are new elements to each story that keep the audience entertained and invested in the love story ahead. As a self-proclaimed expert in rom-coms, I am always willing to watch a movie about two people that I already know are going to get together, as long as the journey of their story is intriguing and exciting for me to watch. “Anyone But You” and “Players” were great examples of new rom-coms that worked and were very fun to watch. Hopefully, there will be more where those came from. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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