More Mindy Kaling

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 I’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 lead’s dress doesn’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 “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.

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Mindy Kaling is awesome. Here she is getting the NY Times Magazine treatment

Kaling would most likely find both the Fey and Ephron comparisons facile, irritated as she is by the media’s tendency to define funny women in relation to one another, as if they’re all competing in a game of musical chairs. A recent “E! Online” poll incensed Kaling by asking, on the hundredth anniversary of Lucille Ball’s birth, which of three red-haired young actresses is the next Ball.

“They’re saying that the essence of Lucille Ball was in the color of her hair,” Kaling said. “Was Conan O’Brien like, ‘I’m a redhead!’? Maybe this isn’t exactly the right person, but they would never think the Lucille Ball essence could have been transferred into a man like, like Sacha Baron Cohen. Or they’d never be like: ‘Who’s the next Peter Sellers? Is it Steve Carell? Or is it Danny McBride? Now, let’s pit them against each other and talk about both of their weaknesses, because there can only be one.’ ”

2 other profiles. 1 and 2.

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