Where Have All the Great Romantic Comedies Gone?
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
There are fewer and fewer wholesome, fun, uplifting, chaste romantic comedies such as the Golden Age of movies like IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER and more modern movies like SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and RUNAWAY BRIDE. This question has come up with several interviews with the national news media, because the media sees MOVIEGUIDE® doing the economic analysis that helps them understand where the box office is heading.
There could be many reasons why romantic comedies aren’t being made. The most obvious reason, for instance, is that the most successful movies seem to be action blockbusters and animated fantasy movies.
However, a very important change in the demographics and psychology of the audience is that there’s less concern for romance and marriage in contemporary society. For many younger people, who used to look for romance to lead to marriage to lead to family, the cultural decay has produced a solipsistic hookup culture and pansexual culture that sees no need for anything but immediate gratification. Of course, God wants us to enjoy marriage, to be fruitful, and to make a lifelong commitment or covenant with our spouse when we marry. In fact, God’s directive from Genesis through Revelation produced a civilized society where marriage was honored, family was honored, and children were protected.
Without getting into the sociological and cultural implications, the problem the movie industry has is that their shift toward more premarital hookups and more variant sexual activities has made their movies less appealing, less interesting and less financially successful.
Years ago in one interview about SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, the writer said the difficulty was keeping them out of bed until the end of the movie, and that keeping them from hopping into bed produced better comedy, better drama and better box office.
Having grown up in New York City with my father on Broadway without the blessings of Christian values, I still couldn’t fail to notice that those areas of 42nd Street and Broadway, which had the most porn and girlie shows, were the most financially depressed.
So, if the movie industry wants to continue down the road to economic depression, it can ignore values. However, if it wants to build an audience, it needs to build families so that there’s another generation that wants to see new dramas and new romantic comedies so that they too can find romance, a family and a future.
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