What is the opposite of a “meet-cute,” the well-worn rom-com device that employs every possible version of those slapstick coffee-spilling/dog-leashes tangling/book-dropping clichés in order to get the film’s lovers properly introduced? So prevalent has this trope become in romantic comedies that its inversion, a goofy and endearing separation of the film’s protagonists, has, until recently, been almost unthinkable.
But the rules for rom-coms are changing, and we may have recently entered the era of the beat-it-cute. As last summer’s indie darling Celeste & Jesse Forever tried to prove, sometimes there is such a thing as a gay divorce (as in Cole Porter, if that clarifies anything). Only one year later, and we have our second attempt at the “friends with Balkanization” theme, with the British import I Give It a Year, a movie that makes one wonder whether millennials are so scarred by divorce statistics that “happily ever after” now refers exclusively to non-litigious trial separations. Read More