The ol’ Boy meets girl story has been around for a very long time, with so many romance films and rom-coms being released its hard for people to get excited about new ones coming out.
But for every five sloppy, cheesy and clichéd rom-coms released comes out one different well-written romance film which will make you fall in love with the genre again.
So what makes a good romance film? In this article I’m going to dig deep and discuss 8 things which makes a romance movie great.
I know some romance films are unrealistic which sometimes makes them sweet to watch but there are some which are completely unrealistic making it hard to watch without thinking “this would never happen” or “they would never work out”. Therefore adding some sort of realism makes a good romance movie. The best romance films are the ones which are the most realistic or relatable despite a cool Sci-fi twist they may add to make the film interesting. But having two characters falling in love over a weekend or trying to create a romance film with two characters that would simply never work is ridiculous. Unrealistic elements like those damage the story and make it hard for the viewers to watch and enjoy the course of the relationship.
With various romance films being released frequently, the only ones that will stand out and grab people’s attentions are the different ones. Creative romance movies are always the most enjoyable to watch, they feel fresh, interesting and different. They manage to captivate you, keep your eyes glued to the screen and leave you with a big fat smile…. Well, if the film is executed well. Some examples of good creative romance films are: 500 Days Of Summer which stood out due to its creative, non-linear storytelling. About Time a sweet romance film which stood out due to its time travel twist and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind which stood out due to its story being told through memories.
One thing I dislike about watching romance films is having to sit through clichés, cheesy and cringe moments. No-one wants to watch a bland clichéd romance story that has been done many times before. It’s understandable to have a few romance clichés, but not too many that it becomes unbearable and predictable to watch. Therefore a great romance film usually avoids clichés or tries to develop the clichés so it feels a bit different.
Most romance films, good or bad, manage to cast actors with good chemistry, the fact that most romance films manage to do this just proves how important it is. Chemistry is key to making the relationship believable, holding the viewers interest and giving them a reason to care for their relationship. Unfortunately some movies fail to get actors with chemistry, and when the actors don’t click, the film can be absolutely painful and tiring to watch. So actors with decent on screen chemistry can be sweet and bearable to watch. However actors with great on screen chemistry will put you in awe and allow you to become emotionally invested into their relationship.
Shaking things up.
What’s a relationship without problems? Non-existent, every relationship has arguments and problems, so why not shake a few things up in a movie relationship. Shaking things up makes things interesting and gives people a reason to keep watching making an intriguing film. Have dark secrets be revealed, something that will put their relationship in jeopardy even though we know all will be forgiven and they will get back together. Great romance films can usually shake things up in a relationship in an unexpected way.
What most Rom-coms lack is balance; they struggle to balance laughs and romance as some lack laughs and have a lot of romance whereas others have a lot of laughs but don’t really show the romance side of the film. Great rom-coms can mix humour and romance perfectly creating a funny and sweet love story. Some examples of movies that do this well are Enough Said, About Time and Submarine.
Likeable Characters & captivating conversations
The best romance movies usually have likeable characters but with contrasting personalities or ideas, which could potentially cause problems in their relationship. (e.g Punch-Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Submarine) The movies focus is the characters and their relationship so it’s always good for a romance film to have cool, quirky, weird characters that the viewers are interested in. Once a romance film has its contrasting character what it needs are interesting and captivating conversations between those characters. If the plot is simple, captivating conversations can really elevate the movie. Conversations which hold the viewers’ attention and make them feel some sort of emotions can do a lot for a film with a basic plot (e.g Z For Zachariah, The Spectacular Now, Blue Is The Warmest Color).
A Vague ending
Every movie needs a good or memorable ending; if the ending doesn’t deliver it could ruin the whole film. A lot of romance films have the sweet happily ever after ending, if done well it won’t feel too cheesy. But a lot of good romance films like to have a vague ending making you wonder “Did they get back together?” Endings which get you thinking are the best, and not every romance film needs a happy or definite ending.