Who Killed the Love Story? - TIME
Here's a couple of paragraphs that really popped out at me . . .
But it's not just familiarity that breeds contempt for love stories. It may be actually getting harder to get people to believe in them, acknowledges Richard Curtis, writer of such indelible romances as Four Weddings and Notting Hill, because our expectations have changed. "If you write a story about a soldier going AWOL and kidnapping a pregnant woman and finally shooting her in the head, it's called searingly realistic, even though it's never happened in the history of mankind," he notes. "Whereas if you write about two people falling in love, which happens about a million times a day all over the world, for some reason or another, you're accused of writing something unrealistic and sentimental."
More than anything, this is because what we see onscreen in those can-we-connect romances does not seem to have any relevance to what's happening around us. What now, for example, are the differences a man and a woman have to overcome to get together? Their lives look pretty alike. They worry about what they do, about whether they're maximizing their talents, about what others think of them, about the way they look, about if they will be able to make the money they need. A love interest is no longer an alternative to or solace from the rat race; she's another rat. As such, it's perhaps understandable that a suitor expects to be able to pull her over for a quick mating session and then get back on track. Where is romance in all that?
And it's not just happily-ever-after that has changed. The global nature of dating--the access to a limitless pool of mates just a click away--means that people feel they hardly need to overcome difficulties in relationships. If the whole getting-together thing proves too hard, they can just move on. Juliet's a Capulet? Bummer. Back to Facebook. Finding a soul mate is no longer a determined steeplechase over every obstacle. It's a numbers game--about as fraught with epic drama and desperation as recruiting a new middle manager for the nonperishables division. Perhaps it's not surprising that the romantic movie that most touched a nerve in viewers last year was The Break-Up.