Emily Henry’s romantic Beach Read offers all you hope to find during a coastal getaway. Packed with the flirtatious fun expected in a romantic comedy, Gus and January’s banter have you grinning constantly. Both authors facing deadlines and writer’s block, the former rivals unite in creating a challenge to finish their new books. Clever connections to classic movies, budding love, and a fun story setup keep you glued to Beach Read. To prove the story goes beyond the “everything is roses” layer, it explores deep topics as well. These issues allow character and relationship exploration that seal the book as a full picture of love and personal growth.
The new romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic might parody the genre, but it also hints at a truth behind a detail to which Rebel Wilson’s character Natalie initially scoffs. Though arguably unrealistic, romantic comedies remind us of the magic surrounding us. Sure, we may see more of the dull, hard work the movies don’t show, but we do possess a hope to find what we seek. Those desires for romance and fulfillment come naturally, and we have the power to step forward and progress those goals (with some reflection and work of course). Ultimately, we see that life offers more than what we notice everyday.
Natalie wakes up in a romantic comedy where her surroundings seem too good to pass as real. She comments how New York no longer stinks and how it looks as thought it had a beauty filter over it. Flowers surround her as she walks the streets, and people look her in the eye because they notice her. These details can happen outside a romantic comedy. Maybe actual flower arrangements don’t adorn every doorway and table, but beauty exists around us; a stranger or even a loved one can reflect God’s face as they take the time to notice and listen to us. Sometimes a potential love or job we want might stand right in front of us, simply waiting for us to recognize it and step toward it. Looking through a positive lens of hope rather than one of disappointment allows that.
We all desire romance, and that doesn’t mean we live with our head in the clouds. Our hearts naturally long for intimacy, and we see proof of that beauty throughout the bible. Song of Songs expresses the more physical side, and numerous New Testament passages demonstrate the benefits of marriage union and community. Like Natalie eventually discovers in Isn’t It Romantic, we can accept these desires rather than scoff at them. Perhaps the acknowledgement leads to fulfilling them. We possess a hope that brings a romantic comedy like magic to our ordinary lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, especially with its Valentine’s Day timing. It proved my philosophy that love does surround us in all its cheesy and intense ways, whether culturally accepted as realistic or not.
For further reading, I recommend this Christianity Today article that describes a hope often overlooked in romantic comedies.
In (500) Days of Summer, a movie in my all time top 10, a story of boy meets girl begins on January 8. Hopeless romantic greeting card writer Tom sees the new assistant Summer and falls into a moody love at first sight. However, as the narrator informs us in the film’s introduction, this boy meets girl story is not a love story. The romantic comedy shows us a couple effects of falling into a Summer Daze.
- A sweet boy meets girl beginning does not always have a happy ending. Watching Tom notice and pine after Summer has its sappy appeal. It gets even better when they ride the elevator together and Summer tells Tom she also likes The Smiths when she overhears his music. Once they finally start spending more time together and Tom feels like he’s grasping his dream girl, Summer communicates her intention to not have a serious relationship. Tom agrees, holding out hope that she changes her mind. People often fall into this trap in real life. Tom has the facts and chooses to continue spending time with Summer at his own risk, knowing she does not reciprocate his intentions or desire.
- The meet cute always holds the most potential. When Summer and Tom first see each other, they do not know each other’s details yet. This time holds the most potential as they do not know of any reason not to pursue interest; the fantasy realm hasn’t shattered the hope that the other can fulfill the dream. Tom falls into a deeper level of interest in Summer once he learns that she too loves one of his favorite bands. He finds a detail that keeps his interest and increases their compatibility. This gives him reason to pursue more knowledge and to see if their values and relationship perspective might mesh as well, a more important factor to consider that he later ignores much to his detriment.
- A relationship, failed or successful, shows the individuals who they are. Summer finally opens up to love and accepts a serious relationship, and marriage, after she splits from Tom. Spending time with Tom helps her see a new possibility as she learns to trust others, beginning with her friendship with Tom. Tom experiences tremendous heartache, but he eventually channels his energy into developing his architecture skill to pursue his career field again. He chooses to select his own direction rather than stay in his current situation simply because life has unfolded that way. He too takes another chance on love as he awaits his opportunity to interview for his dream job. Hopefully this time he knows a little better how to navigate communication and intentions.
Today we see January 8 on the calendar. Maybe we don’t have a boy meets girl experience today. We can still consider the knowledge we have and use that to navigate our direction and choices, whether we understand the information the first time or after we fall. The best potential comes after the Summer Daze fades.