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Although they can be formulaic and even caveman-like -- boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end -- many women simply can't resist a good romantic comedy. Most of my friends are hooked: Laurian because of the happy endings, Brenda because they give her the "goosies," and Nhora because nothing beats "laughter and love put together." This is no surprise to psychologist and attorney Dr. Sheila Forman. She explained to me that these movies speak to our primitive needs of forming a relationship and added, "Women flock to them like chocolate after a tough day."
Film Industry Mainstay
The romcom has been a mainstay in the film industry for eons, and no wonder when there are so many "awww" moments, such as this line from "Jerry Maguire": "I love you. You … you complete me." And the equally iconic response: "Shut up, just shut up. You had me at 'hello'."
Film professor at La Salle University, Br. Gerry Molyneaux, Ph.D., explained the intellectual reasons why women love these movies: "The women characters are at least the equal of the male counterparts or sparring partners and often their superiors in wit and action. It's fun to watch the pair overcome the obstacles to their goals … of discovering what a perfect match they really are."
The Cheese Factor
It's true that some people wouldn't be caught dead at a chick flick, or at least that's what they say. They feel as if they are losing brain cells with each passing scene. But these people just don't get it. The cheese factor they object to is part of the charm; it's the escapism and guilty pleasure aspects that make these movies fun. Even some of these romcom snobs secretly enjoy at least some aspects of the films, and the others, well they might need to lighten up a bit sometimes.
For Men, Too
Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist and relationship expert, said, "A good romantic comedy will cater to both men and women. I will openly admit that I like most romantic comedies and have teared up at a few -- when no one was looking."
Other movie genres share some elements with romantic comedies. Remember "Home Improvement" child star Zachery Ty Bryan (the oldest kid)? He and his business partner, Adam Targum, producer for "CSI: NY," have their own movie production company now. While Bryan told me his films go to "the extreme other way" from romcoms, they still share many of the same elements. Bryan and Targum's damsel in distress and dark character study films "explore how people interact with each other, much as romantic comedies do," said Targum. And while neither are big fans of happy endings, Bryan said he and his wife "love to go to romantic comedies and hold hands." Awww.