I enjoy a good rom-com. I enjoy a bad rom-com. I have enjoyed many rom-coms. As someone who frequently enjoys this genre of movie, I want others to do the same, but I fear the trope among many men in this world is that rom-coms are primarily for women and they are only to be viewed with a girlfriend or wife. This, while inherently untrue in my opinion, is something that I seek to remedy in order to allow the largest number of people to enjoy some absolute classics. I understand romance movies are not for everyone, but I think many of you have secretly been enjoying a version of overarching romance/comedy crossover material this entire time.
Taking a critical look at the larger genre as we currently understand it, this is the assessment I came down with.
One single overarching category: Movies featuring both comedic and romantic elements
1. Com-roms - Movies that are primarily comedy driven but also have a strong romance-driven plot.
Examples: Knocked Up, Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bridesmaids.
This is essentially the space that Judd Apatow's generally operates in. The man has just absolutely cleaned up in the space, and for good reason. When you sit down to watch any of the aforementioned movies, you likely aren't thinking about the romance part, but it is integral to the plot of all these stories. They simply do not exist without it. So, if you like any of these movies, begin coping with the fact that you like semi-romantic movies. Sorry!
2. Rom-coms - Movies that are primarily romance driven but also have a strong comedy-driven plot.
Examples: 500 Days of Summer, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Crazy, Stupid Love, The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians.
These are movies that are not quite serious enough to be dramas, and have some really funny moments, but tip the scale to the side of romance over comedy. Crazy, Stupid Love was the toughest placement here, but I think is a great example and cornerstone for this category.
We need to stop labeling every movie that is funny and also has intertwined romance elements (which about 95 percent of movies overall) as rom-coms. It simply does a disservice to the movies on both sides of the spectrum. By breaking down this genre into these two, you not only paint a clearer picture of what someone is in store for when sitting down to watch a movie, but also includes some beloved classics that are very similar to movies you may not touch otherwise.