There are some movies that make you wonder if the creators had a list of things that they felt the need to include to make it obvious that the movie is a romantic comedy. When I see so many comedies that look as if they were written after a certain pattern, I can not help but wonder: is there a certain list that one must follow when creating a romantic comedy?
If that’s the case, then here are just 5 ingredients that, when mixed together, are guaranteed to result in a typical romantic comedy.
1. The future couple
First of all, you need two people who are guaranteed to form a couple by the end of the movie. It doesn’t matter if it’s a married man, and a woman who just got out of a bad relationship, or a girl and her best friend’s boyfriend, or two people who love each other, but are living miles away. The important thing is that you see right from the start that they are meant to be together. It helps if the actors playing them are regulars in romantic comedies.
2. The complication
Once you have the future couple, you need a complication. For example, the man can make a bet with his friend that he can make the woman fall in love with him. Or the woman is planning to get married to a man, just to find out that she is actually in love with her ex-boyfriend. Anything will do, as long as it’s as complicated as possible, and the result is as predictable as it gets.
3. The confession
This is the climax, the moment when, if you didn’t know any better, you might think that this movie is not going to end as expected. It’s when the intrigue of the movie is revealed to all the characters involved. Girl finds out that boy got her in bed with him just to win some bet, even though their love is real and true. Or boy finds out girl has been playing him all along, he was just a rebound, even though he knows they were meant to be together. They all spill the beans and for a second it looks like there won’t be a happy ending for this one.
4. The kiss in the rain
This is a crucial moment for the writers, because they have to make a choice: either they surprise the audience and risk disappointing them, or they add one more ingredient that can make this movie a typical romantic comedy. And that is the kiss in the rain. Bare this in mind: if you want a typical romantic comedy, you must always end the complication with at least one of the characters running in the rain, trying to reach the one they love before it’s too late, and seal the relationship with a kiss…preferably, also in the rain.
5. The predictable happy end
No romantic comedy is complete without the happy end being literally spelled out for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scene revealing the characters at their wedding, or ten years later taking their children to school. All you need is a scene that makes it clear for everybody that the characters lived happily ever after.
And that’s it. 5 simple ingredients to make a typical romantic comedy. Of course, you can also add other ingredients like the airport scene, where everything concerning airport security just magically disappears to help the character be in the same plane with his loved one. But whatever you do, be careful to make your movie as predictable as possible, and everybody will watch it. Because, no matter how much fun we make about them, we all end up seeing at least one typical romantic comedy a year.