Romances are constructed around the idea that love is an obstacle course, but if you keep your nose to the grindstone, the rewards can be immense.
That is actually the theme of every Jane Austen novel, and of every movie based on a Jane Austen novel. Romances are built upon the idea that Prince Charming actually exists, but he may be a bit rough around the edges or temporarily unavailable, like Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre or the long-lost boyfriend in A Very Long Engagement, or the weird guy who keeps popping in from the future in The Time Traveller's Wife.Joe Queenan, obviously a dude, writes for the Guardian Co UK. In his article, Joe Queenan's Guide to Romantic Cliches, he writes in a clichéd way about every clichéd romance plot he can think of. Queenan jumps seamlessely from classic novels to films, making no distinction between the two. Really, Joe. Really? Is there truly no distinction between a classic novel that has managed to persist through the ages despite stiff competition, and some cheap Hollywood film like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days that was hurriedly thrown together for the masses with a couple of B actors?
I am tired of romances being such easy targets for both male and female critics. Frankly, the shoot 'em ups and world weary dramas with enigmatic endings that leave the reader or watcher wondering what the heck they'd just been spending their time slogging through are equally clichéd. It is a rare occasion, indeed, when a writer conjures up a story so original that nary a single cliché was used once.
So why is it always open hunting season on romances, but not on the other clichéd genres? Is this simply an accepted form of female bashing, since females overwhelmingly prefer this genre? Feel free to vent in the comment section below.