Have Movies Changed, Or Has Dating Changed?

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

[Spoiler alert about a few cute moments in The Big Sick. Just see the movie – not just so you can read this post unencumbered, but like, your life is a little bit better if you see it (in my opinion).]

One of the things I talked about over and over when I said The Big Sick is the best rom-com conceivably ever is that it seems SO REAL.

As a person who’s been sick, Emily’s reactions felt so real to what I experienced.

As a person who’s been around people in the comedy scene, all of that felt so real.

And dating in this movie felt SO real. It felt like it moved at a real pace. The chillness in the first interaction – her wanting to go home and him being cool with it. there wasn’t any weirdness or pressure. (I know I am super sensitive to that now. But some movies still pile it on and this one didn’t at all.) It all just grew naturally.

And even the quirky moments – the real quirky moments – (her changing under a blanket, him showing her that movie and her giving her little comments about him judging her tastes)… just, they talked to each other like real, real people.

Even their problems were real and valid and all made sense. The reason there were fractures and problems with their relationship wasn’t because either of them were giant jerks, or was abusive, or made GIANT mistakes. It was all kind of real issues of like, “Whoa, I didn’t see this coming and now there are all these other legitimate things to worry about.”

It just felt so real.

And I got the sense from a bunch of other rom-coms that they’re just sort of like this mess or this giant “whoopsie daisy!” There are people just making the most idiotic mistakes for plot devices, or all these things that don’t make sense. There’s people treating each other poorly (like really poorly) and accepting it anyway for the fairy tale. I mean, I’m starting to feel mean. I don’t wanna say all rom-coms have been awful. (They haven’t been. The Break-Up was such a great movie, and obviously there are more.)

But The Big Sick feels different. And I don’t know if it feels different because I’m just at a different point in my life and I feel differently, or if dating has changed. Like, this movie to me is basically exactly what dating is like. Did our parents’ generation date differently and that’s why older rom-coms don’t feel as right? Or was dating always this way and movies were an idealized version, and now people are like, “Forget it. Let’s show it as it is.”

(And then again, maybe I just don’t have the breadth of knowledge… Maybe there are 400 trillion fantastic perfect rom-coms out there that I just haven’t heard of, because I really am way way way way way more of a TV person than a movie one.)

I don’t know. But The Big Sick is definitely sticking with me. And I just love it. A lot.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?