Why Rom-Com-Sci-Fi Is My Favourite Genre


After I finally watched Spike Jonze’s Her a few weeks ago, I had intended to write a review of it. But it sparked something else in me. A rabid, fangirlish love, and a realisation that I finally know what genre will most often satisfy me. In the best way. I gave it a nice convoluted name in the title, but really, it’s most kinds of romantic science fiction. Comedy, independent, I love it. Never Let Me Go, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Her, just to name a few, are some of the best films I’ve seen in recent years. Hear me out.

Science Fiction in itself is often cold, impassioned, and relies on its technology or concept to entertain. This often leaves a distance between the viewer, and makes it hard for us to care that their future is horrible and ruined. I speak, of course, for myself only. Romance or Comedy alone is often driven solely by characters’ melodramas or slip-ups, and forgets to focus on creating a believable and engaging plot and world. They often have the characters and the investment from us, but they lack anything else. So what if we combine the two? With the right team to make it perfect, you get a character-driven, funny, heartwarming story that also has robots and fighting and awesome technology. There is no way you can go wrong.

Sci-fi that is driven by characters or a romantic subplot is engaging and ultimately, more enjoyable. Never Let Me Go had me in tears that it never would have were it not focused on the lives of those teenagers. If Her were just about some creepy guy who had great technology and hung out alone all day, it would have been…even weirder. But it was about a creepy guy falling in love and all of the funny things that happened inbetween.

So that’s my thoughts. What are yours on rom-com-sci-fi? What’s your favourite ridiculous mash-up genre? I’d love to know.



Filed under TV and Film

5 responses to “Why Rom-Com-Sci-Fi Is My Favourite Genre

  1. There’s a lot of science fiction books that focus on characterisation or on wonderfully baroque worlds, but sadly they don’t seem to get made into films. Hollywood, with a few exceptions, only seems to adapt the ones that can be classed as “action movies set in the future”.

    It’s a shame because there are some wonderfully intelligent and engaging science fiction books that would make excellent films – they just lack the obligatory muscled action hero (that could be what makes them more interesting!).

    Best sci-fi/”other genre” mash-up? Can’t think of anything so daring in the movie world, but in books:

    * “The City and the City” by China Mieville (Science Fiction, where the “Science” is Geography)
    * “Golden Witchbreed” by Mary Gentle – politics and alien cultures, empathy and alienation

  2. When it comes to Hollywood, outside of the films you mentioned, a sci-fi concept is almost always dressed up in the cloak of a dystopian future. Which is one reason why I’ve grown tired of the genre, but like you, films like Her provide me with a sense of hope for the genre, or at least films with sci-fi concepts. Have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? If not, you’ll likely enjoy that as well considering its a sci-fi romance.

  3. Never Let Me Go is simply amazing. The book is great if you haven’t had a chance to read it. I would argue Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind counts as rom-com sci-fi too and that’s a modern day classic.

    • I have read never let me go and I actually preferred the film, haha. Carey mulligan just makes it. I can’t believe I forgot eternal sunshine, I absolutely love it!

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