Now Reading
Romcom resurgence: Why I think the romcom is officially back

Romcom resurgence: Why I think the romcom is officially back

As a romcom writer, I say the Golden Age of Romcoms was the 1990-2000s. In this time, we got classics like Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man, and most Richard Curtis films. As a teenager in the 00s, I was obsessed with them. They were fun, they were light, and at some points they gave great moral advice. And the books I loved were the same. The Princess Diaries; Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging; anything by John Green.

Then one crucial shift happened. One book that its effects on YA can still be felt to this day. Twilight.

Now don’t get me wrong, I too went through a vampire phase as a teenager. I still love a good romantasy. But we entered a cultural shift, a slide into more serious things. Then came sci-fi dystopian, and now we’ve gone full circle dystopian with shows like Succession and true-crime taking off.

But we’re back. The people have demanded and the romcom has returned in full glory, whether it be Crazy Rich Asians storming the box office, or people secretly bingeing all the three Princess Switches on Netflix. Why? Because people want joy. We want to see people fall in love, even though people have relationships all the time. We want to see them grow as people, it gives us hope that we can too. And we want to swoon over leading men (who may be better than the ones we meet in real life).

And now even more people can see themselves in romcoms. All the films and books I mentioned in the opening have one thing in common: they are all about white characters. That’s not to say I didn’t relate or find anything in them, but I never really saw myself in them, the way now I have in Never Have I Ever on Netflix. And They Both Die at the End and Red, White and Royal Blue, both huge bestsellers, are both LGBTQ+ romances. Audiences are learning to see that love is universal, through race and sexuality, and it’s opening the genre further than ever before.

When I set out to write The Mercury in Me, I wanted to write the book as a teenager that I love. And it is an ode to the romcom genre. I have walked some tried-and-tested paths, but with my own twist. Maya, my slightly self-obsessed, but heart-of-gold character, goes on her own journey with the school musical’s leading man, Harry. There’s declarations of feelings, romantic gestures, and multicultural and intergenerational conflict. I hope somewhere, a British Indian teenager can see herself in it, as well as everyone just loving it for what it is: a classic romantic comedy.

The Mercury In Me is published by UCLan Publishing on 6 June 2024

View Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.