Movie critics are praising Ol Parker’s ‘Ticket to Paradise’ for bringing the romantic comedy genre back to the top of the hypothetical movie pedestal. The film, starring rom-com veterans Julia Roberts and George Clooney, has the typical rom-com equation; attractive leads, a gorgeous location and a “will they won’t they” element
that we are all too familiar with. But did the romantic comedy genre we all grew to know and love ever really fade?
The Romantic Comedy dominated the second half of the twentieth century, with filmmakers such as Garry Marshall and Richard Curtis bringing new stars into homes across the world. One of Marshall’s biggest hits ‘Pretty Woman’ not only has made over $432 million across the worldwide Box Office, but introduced us to the rom-com darling of the 1990’s, Julia Roberts. The success of her role as sex worker Vivian Ward not only earned Roberts her first Ocar nomination for a Leading Role, but confirmed Robert’s as a rom-com legend. Her newfound icon status led to her taking on leads in other 90’s films such as My Best Friend’s Wedding, Runaway Bride and Richard Curtis and Roger Mitchell’s 90’s classic Notting Hill, where Robert’s plays a caricature of herself as Anna Scott, an American actress who falls for the quintessentially British Hugh Grant. As of 2021, Notting Hill was still the highest grossing British film of all time, grossing over $360 million globally since its release in 1999.
The early and mid noughties took the comedy in rom-com to new heights. Films such as Mean Girls and Miss Congeniality kept the romance as a subplot in order to bring female comedies to the forefront of what was long known as a male dominated genre. Although successful rom coms such as The Holiday and Maid in Manhattan were still being produced, the mega genre that Romantic Comedies had become began to slide.
The resurgence of the Romantic Comedy could very easily be attributed to streaming giant Netflix. With film franchises such as The Kissing Booth and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before taking the internet fandoms by storm, Netflix’s investment into the rom-com genre could very well be the push the film industry needed to bring back the classic structure.
Hollywood has been watching closely, with Warner Bros. Pictures bringing Kevin Kwan’s novel Crazy Rich Asians to the big screen in 2018, as well as 20th Century Fox bringing a rom com for the new ages from page to screen with Love, Simon, a story about same sex love in a straight world.
Ticket to Paradise may have brought the rom com mould back to its origins, but it certainly won’t be the last, with rom coms such as Bros, His Unfaithful Heart and The QB Bad Boy and Me ready to bring audiences back to their Romantic Comedy roots in the upcoming months.