GOOD

The world needs rom coms more than ever.

Escapism is a valid and necessary part of entertainment.

Taraji P. Henson and Brian Tyler attend the premiere of 'What Men Want' (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Is the rom-com recession over? The much-maligned romantic comedy is creeping back onto our screens. Crazy Rich Asians has now earned over $236.5 million worldwide, and over 80 million users tuned into Netflix’s roster of rom-coms during the summer.


In Christmas 2018, we saw Jennifer Lopez return to her rom-com roots with Second Act, and Valentine’s Day of 2019 will get all the more romantic with Rebel Wilson’s send-up of the genre Isn’t It Romantic.

While viewers are tuning into darker fare, such as The Handmaid’s Tale in droves, it feels as if we’re starting to see the entertainment pendulum swing to the opposite direction in full force. And audiences are here for it.

America was in love with the rom-com in the aughts, a decade where it seemed as if Hollywood could throw Katherine Heigel into any contrived situation and audiences would eat it up. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Knocked Up and Love, Actually won the box office and our hearts.

But the genre ran out of steam. In 2001, nearly one in five movies were rom-coms. By 2017, one in twenty movies were rom-coms. In that same year, just three rom-coms were released in a multiplex. Marvel movies dominated movie theaters. Damsels in distress in rom-coms were replaced with badass bitches like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, and the women of Glow.

As Shannon Purser, the star of Netflix teen romance Sierra Burgess is a Loser states, "There were the iconic movies of the Brat Pack in the ’80s and a resurgence in the early 2000s, but I wasn't quite old enough to appreciate those when they came out. I watched 'Hunger Games' and 'Harry Potter,' but those were kind of heavy; I didn't have those lighthearted, wholesome teen movies."

For the past decade, our entertainment has told us life is hard. Our rights are being taken away. But escapism is a valid and necessary part of entertainment. Matt Brodlie, the director of original films at Netflix, noted that executives took notice of the popularity of old rom-coms among their subscribers, despite the dearth in the theaters.

Rom-coms are predictable, but that’s part of their appeal. No matter what happens in the world, there’s one place you can turn to for a happy ending. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, girl and boy break up, girl and boy get back together. It’s comfort food. Tinder might let you down, but a rom-com never will. And in a time when modern life seems increasingly unpredictable, we need at least one form of entertainment that is at least stable.

Articles
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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Politics
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business