Mindy Kaling was in the NYTimes Magazine last week and the New Yorker this week. Here she is explaining the theory that romantic comedies are a subgenre of sci-fi. I am behind this concept. I, too, watch more romantic comedies than I should.
What Iâ€™d really like to write is a romantic comedy. This is my favorite kind of movie. I feel almost embarrassed revealing this, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years that saying you like romantic comedies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity. But that has not stopped me from enjoying them.
I like watching people fall in love onscreen so much that I can suspend my disbelief in the contrived situations that occur only in the heightened world of romantic comedies. I have come to enjoy the moment when the male lead, say, slips and falls right on top of the expensive wedding cake. I actually feel robbed when the female leadâ€™s dress doesnâ€™t get torn open at a baseball game while the JumboTron camera is on her. I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from â€œAlienâ€ and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. Theyâ€™re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.