This week over at Jezebel, Reuben Fischer-Baum made a fabulous infographic to show how much romcoms have started to suck the decline of the romantic comedy in the past few years. The gist of it is that Jennifer Aniston pretending to have guy trouble is losing ever-greater amounts of market share to the 17th Fast & the Furious Film, So Much Faster and Furiouser. But the thing is, not only are these films just worse than they were in the 1980s and 1990s, they are also making far less money. From Jezebel:
“From 2004 to 2006, more “Rom-Coms” were released than ever before, but total receipts plummeted 40 percent. The top four hits were Hitch, 50 First Dates, The Break-Up, and Along Came Polly, respectively starring Will Smith, Adam Sandler, Vince Vaughn, and Adam Sandler again Ben Stiller. They made an average of $150 million, $99 million shy of the surprisingly well-acclaimedThere’s Something About Mary. Studios were dipping back into the same well — why don’t we try making Rom-Coms for men? — but finding there wasn’t a lot of water down there to begin with.”
Basically with the exception of a few (Bridesmaids being one) romcoms have gotten more and more terrible, and fewer people are going to see them. The women are always earth-shatteringly beautiful and yet we are supposed to believe they are single because they are clumsy, and everyone always plays a friggin’ magazine editor. But they only show the fun parts of the job. Why don’t they do a story about a female scientist or, you know, someone who doesn’t work in fashion? As Mindy Kaling wrote in her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, “I simply regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi in which the world created therein has different rules than my regular human world. Then I just lap it up.” Except apparently we aren’t lapping it up. Here is a look at the decline of women in romcoms in 11 slides.