|Dec 29, 2019|
All films are romantic comedies. Just the label, the mere title of the genre as such, when you stop for a second and think about it. "Romantic comedy". What the hell is a romantic comedy, and does something other than that even exist? And if it does exist, why? If you could be a romantic comedy, why would you ever want to be anything else? Once humanity managed to drag itself to 1596, in rolled Plato and laid all the necessary foundations, sorry, I mean Shakespeare, and just as the headline "Republic" pretty much sums it all up, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a title that basically hands you over everything you need to know about the world. Hello romantic comedy, goodbye everything else.
This is also where my real encounter with French occurred. While for others it might have been the Godards or the Rohmers that turned them on to French studies, for me it was when I began watching super-mainstream, standard, current, popular, off-the-shelf, in-your-face romantic comedies. The fact that I sort of knew what was going to happen made it easier to focus on the language. Also, Netflix has a superb subtitles mechanism. The simple act of changing the subtitles from English to French was a big bang for me. Later, when I wanted to expand my horizons beyond the Netflixian domain, I had to look for French subtitles files in every dark corner of the internet. I found it absolutely infuriating that "French exercises" are bringing in millions of google results, while the plain, modest, .srt files are so hard to find. This is the real Alliance Française, and I firmly believe that the French government "should do something about it".
As we look to the next decade, dreading the havoc that Artificial Intelligence may or may not wreak upon our lives, we can take comfort in a 2019 standardised French romantic comedy, in which the protagonist is an AI fridge, inspiring wild passion in the lead actress while infuriating the lead actor. Let me save you the trouble and time: following a bourgeois married relationship - one which includes the lady and her automatic lover - the film ends in a wholesome, kid-friendly threesome. Fridge, man, woman.
So you see, a romantic comedy can teach you everything you need to know, and this time it’s a basic truth: the French will save the world.