Friday, January 6, 2012

Lots of Love

Have you noticed that nearly every movie that Hollywood produces has a love story? Stratch that. Have you noticed that nearly every movie Hollywood produces has a romance? There are exceptions, but even a real guy's movie, like Die Hard, has a romance. There's a reason for that. I'm sure I'll take some heat from the romance authors out there, but the fact is that romances are easy to write and easy to sell. At least, they're easier to sell than stories without a romantic element. I believe the reason is that we all have this natural desire to hook up with someone and live happily ever after. But desire and reality are often very different. First there is the struggle to find someone. Then there is problem that marriage turns out to be a lot more work than most people imagined. So we like stories that let us imagine that we can storm a tower, kill a bunch of bad guys, rescue the girl, and walk off into the sunset with her.

But just because they're easier to sell doesn't mean we shouldn't consider writing different kinds of stories. Ultimately, a story has to be about communication. There's only so much that we can communicate through a romantic story. Yeah, I realize that romance authors have in their heads that any story can be rewritten as a romance and perhaps they're right, but that doesn't mean it is the best way to tell every story. Stories used to be about valor. Who cares if the guy got the girl, if the guy was able to do something that others had tried and failed, then it was worth telling a story about. Now it seems that people think accomplishments are worth talking about, only if it impresses some woman. Real men don't measure their self worth in terms of the approval of women.