Journalists in Hollywood’s Romantic Comedies

Romantic comedies seemed to have a thing for journalists. These newswriters often made an appearance in Hollywood movies. It is also one of the most depicted jobs in romantic comedies. Other jobs that were often carried by the leading roles in romantic comedies are fashion designers or workers in the fashion industry, chefs or cooks, and business owners. It is relatively easy to spot a romantic comedy that involved a journalist in the leading role. Romantic comedies like Never Been Kissed (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002), and 27 Dresses (2008) all featured male and female journalists at work.

The search for newsworthy articles and the approach done by journalists often created a spark between the journalist and the subject he or she wrote about. The hunt for the background story of the subject’s character also might uncover some intriguing sides that the journalist then came to love.

For example, in 27 Dresses (2008), lead actor James Marsden (Kevin Doyle) embarked on the investigation of Jane Nichols’ (played by Katherine Heigl) story of her fate as the perpetual bridesmaid. Jane who seemed to be obsessed with weddings, helped organizing twenty-seven weddings for her friends. She kept all twenty-seven hideous bridesmaid dress in her closet as a proof.

At their first meeting, Kevin’s cynical view towards wedding irritates Jane. Although he initially didn’t want to resume any contact with her, his discovery about Jane’s unusual interest towards weddings presents him the idea of a career-bumping article. To make sure that Jane will not develop a suspicion, he pretends to write about Jane’s sister’s wedding. His decision to secretly wrote a piece about Jane’s life made them occasionally meet. Although they both seemingly hate each other, it didn’t stop Jane and Kevin from getting to know each other, interviews after interviews.

To get an accurate profile and interesting insight, journalists must dig deep into the subject’s personal story and character. To attain these delicate information, journalist must acquire the subject’s trust. Trust is developed by creating a good rapport with the subject they are writing about. Once trust is gained, the subject may share more personal information about him/herself.

In the effort of uncovering some newsworthy information, the journalist may also discover hidden sides of the subject, that he or she never showed to anyone before. It could be about their childhood trauma, tragic occurrence in the past, or in the case of 27 Dresses, Jane’s frustration about her sister.

By opening herself to Kevin, they both slowly revealed the sides that they each never saw before as acquaintances. With more intensive communication, Kevin and Jane discovered that they both actually shared similar views and interests. In romantic comedies, a common ground, is always a good start for love to bloom in.

Why Hollywood choose to depict a lot of journalists in romantic comedies is not clear. Maybe it’s because of their flexible working time? Maybe the inquisitive nature of their job is used as a tool to pave the story in for the screenwriters? Maybe it takes a journalist to uncover a hidden emotion from the subject they’re investigating? Whatever the reason is, the movie industry love journalists. Their appearance in future productions of romantic comedies will not stop. As long as their story captivates the audience, the journalists, will always be around.