“Which came first: the music or the misery?” As you probably know, that’s a quote from High Fidelity. It’s part of a monologue in which Rob (played in the film by John Cusack) opines on the belief some people hold about kids who play violent leading to a culture of violence, yet no one ever ponders how listening to thousands of songs about heartache could lead to a life of misery. The thing is that it’s love songs that make me miserable. The same can be said for romantic comedies.
I actually like rom-coms. Well, some of them, anyway. Rock and Roll is an American invention, but the British perfected it; I feel the same way about romantic comedies. Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of my favorite movies; more for the comedy than the romantic aspect. That’s one of the reasons I have watched it so many times over the years, and why it holds up to this day. British rom-coms tend to be less sappy and sentimental than their American counterparts, which I often find hard to watch.
I like Tom Hanks as much as the next person, but I cannot stand Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail. I’m not going to list all the genre cliches these films employ, since every other website has already done that. On a positive note, they are more romantic than the Twilight saga, and more comedic than any Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
One of the things that is lost to history (which is probably for the best) is the treatment I wrote for a sequel, right after watching Sleepless in Seattle. My idea was that Bill Pullman’s character (whose only “flaw” was allergies) seeks revenge on Tom and Meg’s characters. He goes to Tom’s impossiblely cool house, and with the help of some tools, sets it adrift. It then floats off toward China; and in what I like to call a “99 Red Ballons situation,” World War III begins. Everyone dies. THE END.
One staple of rom-coms is the “meet cute.” I have never experenced this phenomenon, but then again, I have never been descibed as “cute,” so I guess that one’s on me. The nicest thing anyone ever said to me was, “I wouldn’t spit on him,” which is memory I dredge up every time I have a bad face day.
If I ever do meet someone, it will most likely be described as a “meet awkward,” for I am socially inept. One time, I had what can only be described as a “meet bored.” Well, I was bored anyway. That one did have a awkward ending, though.
She calls me on a Thursday evening and gives me the “We need to talk” routine. She couldn’t talk on the phone, nor at her house, which was only a couple of miles away. No, we had to meet at her favorite spot by the lake, which way out of the way.
When I arrive, she says, “I think we should see other people.” I said, “Okay,” and started to leave. I had been trying to break up with her since we met, but she couldn’t take the hint. Or the statement. I guess it had to be her decision.
She calls me the next evening and asks, “What are you doing tonight?” I reply, “Seeing other people.” It was a lie, because no one wanted to see me. She kept trying to convince me to do something, and by “something,” I could only assume she meant be a taxi service for her, her step-brother, and his a-hole friend (boy, do I have stories about that).
When she realized that I wasn’t about to acquiesce, she had the nerve to ask me for my friend’s phone number. Of course I refused. There are any number of stories I could tell you about her, like the one involving her and a married man, but I won’t.