A new kind of Rom-Com? — Alex Dudley

imgresimagesOften, I will go on IMDb to check out the latest trailers.  This past week, I found two romantic comedies that caught my eye: Trainwreck and Man Up.  Trainwreck is an American comedy starring comedians Amy Schumer and Bill Hader; Man Up is a British film featuring actors Lake Bell and Simon Pegg. 

What interested me most about these two films is their shared premise.  A cynical woman meets a romantic man who (possibly) changes her outlook on things.  While 500 Days of Summer reversed the rom-com stereotype years ago (by making the female lead less romantic than the male lead), I find it curious that two films that work this angle are being released in the same year.

Of course, Trainwreck and Man Up have their differences. In Trainwreck, female lead Amy (Amy Schumer) has been conditioned to have a nearly allergic reaction at the word “monogamy.”  Yet, she is happy with her life.  In fact, when Aaron (Bill Hader) calls her the morning after their night together, she is visibly perturbed.  In contrast, Nancy (Lake Bell) in Man Up is visibly unhappy.  It is only after her accidental date with Jack (Simon Pegg) that she warms up to the idea of romance.

In the trailer for both films, we seem to be presented with a new-ish sort of rom-com leading lady: the cynic.  Will this character become the rom-com “flavor of the decade?” Does it reflect the modern-day woman?  It should be noted that both films are first-time screenplays by single women in their mid-thirties (Amy Schumer wrote Trainwreck; Tess Morris wrote Man Up).  Who better to write about the contemporary reality of dating than two people navigating it?

And what about the casting of the men?  Neither Bill Hader nor Simon Pegg have previously starred as the male love interests in romantic comedies with female leads.  What do their characters say about the perfect (or perhaps imperfect) “match” for the female cynic?  

I am interested to see how these two films fit into the ever expanding romantic comedy genre.  Even if they do not change the game, I hope they are, at the very least, funny.

Trainwreck trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3152624/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Man Up trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3064298/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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