For as long as I can remember, I have loved watching romcoms. They often have cliché storylines and similar characters. They almost always portray heterosexual relationships and come layered with insane amounts of intimacy, in varied forms. There are conversations and monologues, fights and breakups, travel and makeup. I especially love the ones set in high school settings. Love them! Why? Well, for a number of reasons. For one, they are always full of hope.
Is there really any better place to find hope than in the world of someone who is in love? I don’t think so. Young love is where everything is possible and the possibilities are endless. You can be anything and everything. Heartbreaks happen and they come with tough lessons but you always know there would be a happy ending.
If I look at them with the lens I keep reserved for watching and critiquing serious content, they would probably all feel stupid. But that’s the thing! When I am hunting for a romcom, the real world is one that I wish to escape. I don’t care if the story makes sense or if there is any logic in what’s unfurling in front of my eyes. I am looking to enter a world where I don’t have to do any work. Where I am free to sit back and laugh and cry. Where I can feel emotions, intensely, without letting them be my own.
Not that it’s all mindless stuff. I have learnt A LOT of lessons about life and relationships from such movies. There is always a takeaway and I love it.
The curious thing is that I feel like watching such movies when something is off about/in my real life. It’s a coping mechanism of sorts. Escapism 101, indeed. Whenever I think of this phenomenon, I recall a Set Max TVC promoting Dil Se South. It details key aspects of movies made in Southern parts of India and what makes them a good watch for someone grappling with the frustrations of daily life.
I love watching and sharing this TVC from time to time for I feel it details a key viewership pattern — Escapism is perhaps one of the most important reasons why people consume audio-visual content. To me, it’s the most relatable form of content consumption. For leisure. To go away in a distant world. Of romcoms. A guilty pleasure. What’s yours?