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I Want to Live in a Romantic Comedy
Mindy Kaling’s laugh-out-loud (in an actual laughing way, not in a typing LOL way) piece in this week’s New Yorker parses the archetypes of romantic comedy chick flicks. For example, The Klutz, a "hundred-per-cent-perfect-looking female is perfect in every way except that she constantly bonks her head on things." Or "The Woman Who Is Obsessed with Her Career and Is No Fun at All," or "The Forty-two-Year-Old Mother of the Thirty-Year-Old Male Lead."(The entire piece is pretty hilarious—read it for Kaling’s spot-on dissection of “The Ethereal Weirdo” and the truth about architects.)
While it’s true that these movies can be pretty silly, Kaling’s piece got me thinking about the (admittedly, equally unrealistic) aspects of romantic comedies that we can all learn from. And I don’t just mean emulating "the gorgeous and skinny heroine is also a ravenous pig when it comes to food."
1. Making Enduring Friendships. Okay, Kaling’s got a point that friends in chick flicks are usually overly sassy and have nothing going on in their own lives. But they’re always there for each other, aren’t they? I found myself watching “Bridesmaids” recently and thinking, what a paean to female friendship! Kristen Wiig’s character is heartbroken not because her best friend is marrying a man, but because she has a new bester best friend. I strive to have a single best female friend to be this endlessly devoted to. Maybe we could have some giggling wacky times too?
2. Having Exceedingly Clever Inner Thoughts. Characters in romantic comedies are perpetually narrating in strangely eloquent sentences, or participating in snappy, witty conversations. I think of myself as being like this, but in reality conversations with me tend to trail off as I mumble, “What was I saying?” I’d like to hire a screenwriter to craft me some clever, Dorothy Parker-meets-Nora Ephron style zingers, even if only to think to myself.
3. Being Brave. In the end of these movies, the main character always makes some crazy leap of faith, some epically bold move—usually risking it all for love. It’s easy to say that you would choose love over what’s convenient or familiar, but how many of us really would? May we all live our passions as completely as one of these characters, even, maybe, occasionally leaping up into the air for no reason at all.
How Mindy Kaling lives her best life.
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