A few months ago I watched a movie that no one was impressed with. It was a modern film that is a kind of mystery and sprinkles some romance in. It sparked a thought in me that made me wonder if anyone else felt the same as I do. In the outlet where I asked, everyone reacted in a negative way, which made me feel like I’m off and wrong. But hey, sometimes it’s okay if you have the lone opinion. What this film did get me thinking about is to question if there is a slow shift in a softer and more romantic approach in film. Is there a shift in romance storytelling?
I’ve seen many (many) romance films over the years. Some I’ve watched multiple times and others only once, while others still I count as favorite “classics” that never go out of style. Some of them are better and more honest and others are mediocre yet supremely entertaining. But approximately 3 months ago I watched the Nora Roberts adaptation of Brazen on Netflix.
Right or wrong, it’s this film that made me question, is entertainment shifting its romance game?
Before anyone questions using Brazen, the purpose of this isn’t to hype the film as it is how the romance feels. Minor though it is, the romance, especially compared to peer content like prior Roberts adaptations, is interesting. The romance is very simple and uncomplicated which isn’t always good from a story telling concept, but also it’s never bad to see something more straightforward and simplistic. This one is more authentic in that its likely late 30s or early 40s would-be couple is upfront: they like each other. They share some good scenes and some that feel really poignant given the story line before the writers put them in bed together. While the story veers off its more old-fashioned approach in this, the getting there feels more charming and worthy of rooting on.IS ENTERTAINMENT TRENDING TOWARDS A NEW WAY TO ROMANCE? #OPINION #UNPOPULAROPINION #MOVIES #ROMANCE #ROMANCEMOVIES Click To Tweet
This is all something I’ve been pondering off and on these many weeks later. As I write this, I recently saw a Twitter thread talking about a popular period romance and another article I saw, weeks ago, that says Gen Z finds holding hands more intimate. The article makes the conclusion that it’s not so much because they’re condemning hookup culture, but rather that the act of holding hands is more emotionally intimate. Some of the science it walks through makes sense as does the point that hookup culture inspires a kind of “secret” whereas walking down a sidewalk, holding hands makes a statement. Thus, holding hands is more intimate than other physical acts.
Entertainment today can be dishonest, and promotes the culture that dominates our lives today. However, despite us blaming entertainment for what informs us to live life, is it really the movies or us that informs movies?
Another thing I find interesting is a popular period drama taking a softer approach to romance in its latest season. This based on social media observations. In an article about the show, the producer made remarks about taking the romance in the direction of hand grazes or a look. There’s conversation that this is from the book’s content rather than a shift in viewpoint, which I can respect. However one of the stars also suggests that this “more restrained tone would be maintained in future series.” Whether or not this is true remains to be seen. But I do find it interesting how entertainment shoves agendas or content down our throats and expects everyone to be fine with it. There’s a reason why we love more, to use the actors word, “restrained” romance. It’s because it IS better. There is MORE to it and there’s more payoff in something imagined.
There’s a reason why viewers enjoy the Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell archetype romance stories. It goes beyond them just being penned by these women, and is more about the type of story they can tell.
Does any of this suggest romance is moving towards the era of 90s romantic comedies rather than the premises now? Likely no. But it does help me appreciate the few movies that do a better job of showing something with more substance. Whether or not there is any shift in the romance storytelling or not, it’s fun to think about.
What about you; are you seeing any kind of shift in romance storytelling? Do you like more restrained and subtle romance? What type of romantic storytelling do you prefer? Where do you find the best kind of storytelling? Comment all the comments.
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