Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Is Brief Encounter a comedy? Well, IS IT?

I’m sorry to go on about this. But the tendency to describe any film featuring kissing as a “romantic comedy” is driving me bloody crazy. Our latest exhibit is an execrable new Jennifer Aniston film entitled Love is Nice. No, hang on …

Fri, Oct 9, 2009, 19:15

   

I’m sorry to go on about this. But the tendency to describe any film featuring kissing as a “romantic comedy” is driving me bloody crazy. Our latest exhibit is an execrable new Jennifer Aniston film entitled Love is Nice. No, hang on a moment. That was a parody in The Simpsons. The latest Aniston atrocity is actually called Love Happens. Throughout Mad Pete Bradshaw’s review in The Guardian, the film is repeatedly referred to as a “romcom”. About half the reviews I have dug through elsewhere also describe it thus. Let me repeat an admonition from my own rant in today’s paper. Love Happens is not a comedy! I don’t mean this in snarky way. I’m not saying the film-makers tried to make a comedy and failed. I mean it’s not supposed to be a comedy.

When did this happen? When did the romantic drama — a genre that takes in peerless pictures such as Now Voyager and The Ghost and Mrs Muir – become so debased that the marketing Johnnies felt compelled to sell every one as a yuckfest? Remember Adam from earlier this year? Remember PS I Love You? Disappointing romcoms, weren’t they? No, no, no! They were disappointing romantic dramas. If Brief Encounter were released today it would be marketed in the same way. Is Brief Encounter a comedy? Well, is it? IS IT?YouTube Preview Image