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Cupid is as Cupid Does - Romance

Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 14, 2019


I don't know much about the Romance Genre. I've never read a romance novel. Not that I recall, anyway.

Of course, I've seen a fair number of romance-focussed movies, and have consumed HUNDREDS of stories with a love subplot. Love is still the most common subplot, and probably always will be. It's oh-so human, after all, and an essential part of the human experience - whether it's romantic love, family or friend or pet love, or two cops who need each other more than they'll ever admit.

Finding love, losing love, rediscovering old love, getting rid of love, avoiding love, being tricked or manipulated by love,'s so often there.

Not always, of course - there are plenty of stories out there that have nothing to do with love. But far more that do.

Anyway, to rattle off a few of my favorites on this Valentine's Day…

– It's an epic where the love story is the A plot and the freakin' Titanic is the B plot.
what can I say. It gets me. It's a good story!

Lethal Weapon and its sequels
–I haven't seen it in a few years, but this codifying franchise in the “buddy cop” genre is just magic. No greater chemistry there is than Riggs and Murtaugh in their day.

Hot Fuzz
–the only contender that comes to mind to rival Lethal Weapon. You gotta love buddy cops!

Y-The Last Man
–In comics, I gotta give a shout out to the relationship between Yorick, the last man on Earth, as he searches for his missing girlfriend. No spoilers here, but things went how I wanted them to go…until they didn't. Highly recommended!

Love and relationships are an important part of my own comic. Finding images for this page was EASY just by skimming through my old pages. Love isn't always the main focus in the comic, but I think the relationships between the characters are what holds Typical Strange together more than anything.

What do you think of love in your stories? A fan? Not a fan? What do you like and not like in fictional love stories? Ever written a romance?

Have a fine one, and remember - first and foremost, love yourself!




bravo1102 at 2:21AM, Feb. 15, 2019

There's always been a stalkerish bit to romance. I mean just what is Romeo doing outside Juliet's balcony? I loved Sleepless in Seattle because that had the whole An Affair to Remember fangirl subplot. And its Meg Ryan -- not Melanie Griffith. Though my favorites with her will always be French Kiss with Kevin Kline and When Harry met Sally with Billy Crystal.

Ozoneocean at 10:57PM, Feb. 14, 2019

If you can just suspend that sort of thinking and get into the groove of the film then it probably doesn't matter how one sides it is. I don't think it used to bother me when I was younger, I didn't even think about it... these days I do though.

usedbooks at 8:04PM, Feb. 14, 2019

@oz Nice observation! I notice so many romance plots are one-sided in terms of audience empathy. The best relationships are partnership spotlight sharing. The "guy gets the girl" thing is the real eye-roller. Guy and girl (or guy and guy or girl and girl or guy and girl and guy or whatever) best get *each other.* That's one big appeal of the Cary Grant rom coms. The leading lady is typically an equal lead. Now, I actually love Romancing the Stone, although it's an epitome of wish fulfillment, it is on the woman's end of it. (And the climactic battle where she has to save her own self because her knight in shining armor guy just takes too damn long is the best.) Same thing with Ever After. I love the "girl gets the guy" dynamic in those movies for the novelty of it.

Ozoneocean at 7:52PM, Feb. 14, 2019

I really quite like rom-coms, they can be really good- as long as they're well done... I'm not sure how to define that but I think it's that the wish-fulfilment rom-coms are the worst, whether it's from the male or the female perspective. Also Tom Hanks and Melanie Grifith romance movies: You've got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, there are a lot of super cringy and stalkerish moments in them, they were nice, but the stalker stuff creeped me out... -Funny that in Sleepless the lady is the stalker and in Mail it's the man. Their first film Joe Versus the Volcano was a great movie, very weird and silly with a big romance plot, but it's spoiled by being a bit too wish fulfilment from the male part: he gets his dream girl, which reduces her humanity. I think a good romance has to have equality- both the partners have to be fulfilled and "real" people... equal, you know?

Banes at 3:36PM, Feb. 14, 2019

@Avart - sounds cool! Yeah, romance isn't necessarily all nice!

Banes at 3:35PM, Feb. 14, 2019

@usedbooks - I like seeing an established couple, too. It's more interesting and seen less often than the usual "will they or won't they" or "boy meets girl" thing.

Avart at 10:42AM, Feb. 14, 2019

I'm making changes to my story, kinda Drama - Thriller. In fact, love is the main plot, but it's disguised of a "vampiresque Romeo + Juliet" plot. Love could drive your story in many ways, not necessarily a candy coated one.

usedbooks at 8:52AM, Feb. 14, 2019

I can't write romance. I'm not romantically minded. I try to write realistic character dynamics to the best of my ability, but if I try to be sincerely romantic, I think my sarcasm overrides it and it becomes farce.

usedbooks at 8:51AM, Feb. 14, 2019

I actually prefer the stories where we jump in after the initial meeting, will-they-won't-they, and hot burning romance stage. I am a sucker for seeing the dynamics of happily married or long-term couples. Or empty nesters rekindling. (True Lies is a fun romance, imo. Among others.) I love to see family dynamics. I also like the single or already married protagonist with a secondary character engaged in a "new romantic subplot" (like Willow). All that said, I am a fan of Cary Grant. Charade is one of my favorite movies.

Banes at 7:26AM, Feb. 14, 2019

@KAM - Yeah I had the same thought, but I don't think I have enough interest to read enough romance novels to get it. Yeah, there are the greats and the terribles. Probably a good idea to read the whole spectrum in the genre one wants to write!

Banes at 7:26AM, Feb. 14, 2019

@Amelius - and agreed on the love/hate relationship to love in fiction. I look forward to your post on this!

Banes at 7:23AM, Feb. 14, 2019

@Amelius - I've heard great things about the Thin Man movies. Definitely gonna try and find those!

KAM at 7:10AM, Feb. 14, 2019

Years ago, before I did a webcomic, I'd heard romance novels were a good way to get published, so I tried reading some to get a feel for the genre... In retrospect I should have realized that buying a bag of books for a dollar from a used bookstore was not going to have the best examples of romance novels, so I saw a lot of the same bad cliches.

Amelius at 6:44AM, Feb. 14, 2019

Hahaa, I was writing an article on the subject of romance too! (though a bit of a different one!) I have a love/hate relationship with romance in media, there's just so many examples of it being handled poorly, but when it works I love it. My list of actual romance stories I like is very small though! I second the Thin Man movies Bravo mentioned, I have at least 2 references to them in my comic, hahaaa!

Banes at 6:06AM, Feb. 14, 2019

I've seen some of those, bravo, I want to see more of the classics you mentioned!

Banes at 6:05AM, Feb. 14, 2019

There's gotta be a genre that perfectly combines the shark movie and the rom com! ...The Jaws of Attraction? One Fin Day? It's a beautiful thing when Boy Meets Gill !

bravo1102 at 4:54AM, Feb. 14, 2019

Love Actually. Three weddings and a Funeral. Oh, so many great romances. I'm a romantic. I have two A&E boxed sets of romances. Jane Eyre. Surprisingly I also like when a version of Taming of the Shrew treats it as a love story.

bravo1102 at 4:49AM, Feb. 14, 2019

An Affair to Remember. When Harry met Sally, Casablanca, any of the Thin Man movies and of course Gone with the Wind. Nearly any Jane Austen based movie ( to include Bridget Jones Diary).

Gunwallace at 1:07AM, Feb. 14, 2019

I'm a big fan of rom-coms, but my wife prefers Shark movies. So we compromise a lot, and watch rom-coms. I meant Shark movies. Definitely Shark movies. Dear God, Sharknado 5 was crap.

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