Comedy Vacui

The Disappearance of the Studio Comedy

Poster for Cocaine Bear (close-up).

Romantic comedies may be rare at the moment, but there’s a formula you can easily retrofit onto any sexual orientation, race, or age. Everybody has loved and lost, or just lost, or! …they never had anything to begin with, and that’s why movies are the best medicine. But Bros and Spoiler Alert came and went without a peep, suggesting the formula isn’t what draws people to these kinds of movies, but the people starring in them, the people kissing, the people falling in love with each other. Can you imagine the sensation of a Ben Affleck/Matt Damon gay romance? That would be an epochal Hollywood movie.

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Nicky Otis Smith is a filmmaker and writer. He was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Baltimore since 2003.

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