Romantic comedies are one of the most if not the best genre that comes to comforting their audience. It’s the most predictable, light, fluffy, and “relatable.” The film-goers like to pretend it’s relatable and that the sequences that the characters go through can actually be experienced by them but that’s just not true. Maybe romcoms have created unrealistic expectations even so there is something comforting in watching a story unfold knowing it will all be alright in the end. The couple is always going to end up together and they’ll live happily ever after. So here’s a look at the evolution of the Egyptian rom-com genre, and how through it all some things remained consistent, like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day.
The golden age of romantic comedies was at it is brightest with iconic stars, Shadia and Soaad Hosny. This pair acted in what is referred to as performative romance; the over-the-top love that oozes puppy dogs and rainbows and may even include a dance number or seven. From “El Zoga 13” (Wife Number 13) to “Afreet Meraty,” (My Ghost Wife) this pair had a sense of playfulness and even naivete that as generations of romcoms rolled around, that essence sadly started to fade. The only element that remained intact however was the mushy happy ending.
Last year, the film “Faraa Khebra” (Different Experiences) was released and it started conversations for many reasons. The film which stars Mohamed Sharnouby and Huda El Mufti tracks Nagy (Sharnouy) a shy, introverted young man who lives his life by the book until he meets Salma (El Mufti) who helps him break out of his shell by experiencing life as he never before; through her. This film was geared toward the millennial generation, speaking to, and tackling issues like anxiety and abandonment issues that they face daily. Instead of creating the film through rose-colored glasses, this film aimed to create a more realistic approach; unlike the old Egyptian romcoms.
Kareem Abdel Aziz lately has been shining as the divorce king in his romcoms. With his latest film being “Al Baad La Yezhab Lel Mazoun Mareten” (Some People Don’t Go To The Marriage Clerk Twice). In this film, he plays Khaled who has a mishap that causes the whole world to get divorced including him and his own wife, Thoreya (Dina El Sherbiny). Through this hypothetical situation, the film raises important questions regarding divorce, marriage, and bonding. Definitely not afraid to show the ugly side of it all. Which is something that is usually left to the imagination in romcoms once the credits start rolling.
What are your favorite types of romcoms? The realistic ones or the escapist, too marshemllowy ones?
WE SAID THIS: don’t miss…Iconic Moments In Egyptian Cinema That Remain Eternally Timeless