Career Advice: Some Romantic Comedy Career Cliches
Yesterday I was talking with my sister about careers, she’s thinking of changing fields and trying to decide what she wants to do before going back to school to get her Masters. As part of the decision process she made a list of jobs she is interested in, sort of a “when I grow up…” list. This got me thinking about jobs depicted in movies, specifically romantic comedies. Let’s face it, if you have to live in a film genre, romantic comedies are where it’s at. Not only are you guaranteed to have hot people sweeping you off your feet, you’d also have what I like to call the “Romantic Comedy Lifestyle”.
The Romantic Comedy Lifestyle (RCLS) is an amazing reality that can only exist when you have professional designers creating your environment and wardrobe, professional writers giving you funny yet poignant things to say and problems that are easily resolved in around two hours (“the love of my life is marrying my best friend!” or “I’m with someone who everyone knows isn’t right for me and just met the person who is!”). As a star in a romantic comedy you can depend on having a job that’s seemingly glamorous, enables you to be impeccably groomed at all times and brings you in contact with a group of interesting characters. This group of friends and associates are carefully selected for their humor, eccentricity, ability to support you—the main character— without trying to steal the spotlight, and of course, following the affirmative action guidelines based on race, sex and nationality. I for one can’t wait for my own heavy drinking, sassy (yet wise) Scottish best friend—oh the fun we shall have! Basically when you’re in a romantic comedy you have the sort of job that sounds cool, even if you would never want to do any of the work actually associated with it.
Professions given to stars of romantic comedies include things like:
- Chefs and Cooks—When my sister wrote this on her list of jobs she’s like, my response was “but… you don’t cook…?”
- Small Business Owner—Another of my sister’s top picks, small business owners in romantic comedies run quaint, neighborhood shops that seem to be impervious to economic woes. They also seem to have lots of time to flirt while going up against big corporations with cute CEOs. Or to create top ten lists and mixed tapes for women other than their girlfriends.
- Fashion Designers—Ahh the fallback career for celebrities and feisty heroines alike. In the movies this mainly involves sticking a pencil behind your ear while figuring out how best to create your wedding gown or prom dress out of burlap sacks.
- Event Planner or PR—This is probably THE top romantic comedy profession. It combines the optimum amount of glamour with work that seems fun; teaching grooms to dance while they fall in love with you, decorating for parties, deciding who gets into events and who doesn’t.
- Writer—Be it gossip columnist, poet, novelist or journalist, romantic comedies are littered with characters that write for a living. I’m not sure if this is because writers are told, “write what you know” or because it makes for flexible schedules to accommodate all the partying with friends and hooking up. Regardless, writers in romantic comedies almost always have insightful and witty voiceovers to convince the audience that they too know what heartbreak is.
- CEO Type Who’s Job Involves Marketing or Banking or Law or Something That Requires Wearing Tailored Suits—The best part of this profession is the guarantee that you’ll have a kick-ass office and be too busy being wildly successful to have a boyfriend (or girlfriend, this post is geared towards both genders, thank-you-very-much) despite being wicked hot. That is, until the “right one” comes along and shows you that there’s more to life. Be warned that the process of showing you the real meaning of life may involve your new love succumbing to a fatal illness, so proceed with caution; these sorts of scenarios generally reveal themselves to be romantic dramas masquerading as romantic comedies.
And these are just some of the possible careers you could have in a romantic comedy, I won’t even get into the romantic comedy careers that involve low pay or actual work (sales clerks, maids, waitresses, personal assistants, hookers, etc). Because, let’s be honest, if you wanted those sorts of jobs, you’d just go live in a drama and be done with it. So my advice for my sister and any others out there looking for a new career, look to the Meg Ryans, the Julia Roberts, the Sandra Bullocks and all the other romantic comedy starlets for guidance.