Let me just come right out and say that I'm a huge fan of epic love stories. Novels, movies, you name it. I love them. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that The Vow was hitting theaters the weekend before the most romantic holiday of the year: Valentine's Day. It's perfect, right? I mean, a ridiculously handsome guy loves his ridiculously gorgeous wife so much that he attempts to make her fall in love with him all over again after she loses her memory? That's powerful stuff, which got me thinking about how important romantic dramas are, not just for chick-flick enthusiasts like me, but society in general. The point of these films is to restore our faith in love and help us believe that, against all odds, things can eventually work out for the best. For better or for worse, in good times and bad, these movies keep us hopeful.
However, there are a certain set of guidelines every romantic drama should adhere to if it hopes to be a truly epic love story. And while certain films like The Vow seem to have got it right, others have fallen short in the past. So to help ensure the future success of all romance films I've decided to create my own set of vows I think every romantic drama should take. Think of it as a contract of sorts, set in place to help distinguish your garden variety chick flick from the classic, sweeping gems. So listen up all you Rom-Dramas out there and please repeat after me:
Each Couple Will Have Great Chemistry
Let's start with the most basic of necessities. The lead couple needs to have great chemistry together in order to be believable. No one wants to sit through a two-hour movie if they're not fully invested in the characters' relationship. There would be no point to it. And while you'd think this would be a casting director's top priority, I've seen a fair share of cinematic couples that just don't have the spark. Without a great pairing, you won't have a great movie. It's as simple as that. Additionally, having good looks won't hurt things either (please see: Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum).
To Provide Comedic Relief When Necessary
I know it's called a romantic drama for a reason, but it always helps to provide a few lighter moments every so often. Whether it's an interaction with the funny best friend or a cute "Oops, I Saw You Naked" scene like what's been teased in The Vow trailer -- it doesn't matter. Just don't forget to include some silliness amidst all the love and tears. Love is not without a sense of humor and each movie should reflect as much.
Love Music Will Play Upon Every Couple's First (or Reuniting) Kiss
Nothing makes a kiss more magical than having a powerful love song crescendo in the background as the couple falls into each other's arms. This kind of dramatic music is essential and the foundation of what separates a movie from real life (without it, the audience would feel like they were intruding). I can't even tell you how many times I've wished a love song would bust out while I'm kissing someone. It makes the moment magical, not only for the characters, but for the movie-goers as well. Just try watching a romantic kiss happen on mute...it's awkward and unbefitting to an epic love story.
To Contain At Least 1-2 Sex Scenes
Unless this is a kid's Disney movie, I want to see some skin! Granted, we don't need to get carried away with full-frontal (though my opinion could change depending on who the actors are), but viewers should at least be privy to some sexual rendezvous or else you're going to lose the audience's interest (we're all sex-crazed animals at heart), especially the male demographic. Don't be afraid to let the sparks fly!
All Obstacles Will Be Conquered in the End
Whether a love triangle ensued or a memory was lost, it's important that loose ends get tied up if we're to fully rejoice in the happiness of everlasting love. Naturally, everyone wants true love to win out in the end, so it only makes sense to guarantee that the two of them end up together -- otherwise what was the point of it all? It would be upsetting to invest so much time and energy into loving a couple and not get to see them live happily ever after. Some may dub that a little too predictable, but we're not solving crimes here -- we're falling in love. There's a big difference. If, for some reason, it's essential that the couple not end up together, then at least try to leave an opening for a possible reunion in the future. That way we can still hope the duo will find their way back to each other in the sequel!
By the powers vested in me by the industry of entertainment, I now pronounce you an official romantic drama.
***Please note: if at any time you violate or break the vows you pledged above, I have the power to terminate your right to be called an official member of the romance genre.