Romantic Comedies Aren't What They Used to Be. Good.

Responding to this lament on the state of the romantic comedy, Alyssa Rosenberg of XX Factor attributes the genre’s recent lackluster quality to a failure to mine the depth of human romance:

The genuinely strong romantic comedies of the last decade or so have ventured inward for obstacles, rather than inventing ludicrous external ones. In romantic comedies as in third-wave feminism, the proliferation of choices has forced protagonists to figure out what they really want, leaving indecision, self-doubt, and even arrested development as rich fodder.

She goes on to cite Bridesmaids, which is not technically a romantic comedy (although it has a love interest for its main character), and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a rom-com hybrid. I’d venture to include other hybrids, such as bromances like Baby Mama or I Love You, Man or romantic dramedies like Friends With Kids as examples of funny, successful movies built on realistic, relatable characters instead of outrageous or kooky premises.