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The Problem With Romantic Comedies

Why Rom-Coms Won't Improve Any Time Soon

In her Tuesday column Maureen Dowd talked to Sam Wasson, author of pop culture expository Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman and my favorite person for all of today, about the decline of the American rom-com.

How could Hollywood continuously put out movies that are so removed from the reality of romance? Because they work — that is they make money. Even if a movie is a box-office flop, it finds profit in foreign distribution, DVD sales, and cable reruns. There doesn't need to be innovation because it's not broken from a fiscal perspective, and Sam Wasson doesn't even think female executives can save the genre.

“Even the studios that are run by women aren’t run by women. They’re run by corporations, which are run by franchises," said Wasson. "Unfortunately for us, Jennifer Aniston is a franchise. So is Katherine Heigl and Gerard Whatever-His-Name-Is, and even when their movies bomb, their franchise potential isn’t compromised."

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