New Display: Night of the Living Romcom Tropes

This Halloween we’re bringing something scarier to your screen than blood and guts …

This selection of films is inspired by guilty pleasures that don’t necessarily hold up to the values promoted in your gender studies classes and beyond. The display encourages you to unabashedly engage with content that doesn’t necessarily win Oscars, but definitely brings you joy, while also keeping a critical eye on the promotion and normalization of some pretty problematic behaviour. Sure, we may get butterflies when Sam finally gets her birthday kiss at the end of Sixteen Candles, but can the racist portrayal of Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong really be seen as harmless, comic relief? I think definitely not. This display begs the question, can we be fans of problematic things?

Instead of completely writing off that film you once loved, or turning a blind eye to the glaring issues in your favourite tear-jerker, Night of the Living Romcom Tropes is a chance to lean into this tension and give a shot at actively critiquing something that may be quite close to your heart.

By Marianna Ciccia

  • (500) Days of Summer (PN1997.2 F58 2009)
  • Clueless (PN1997 C58 2005)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (PN1997.2 C738 2018)
  • High Fidelity (PN1997 H483 2000)
  • Legally Blonde (PN1997.2 L434 2004)
  • Love, Simon (PN1997.2 L68 2018)
  • The Notebook (PN1997.2 N68 2005)
  • Ruby Sparks (PN1997.2 R82 2012)
  • She’s the Man (PN1997.2 S5 2006)
  • Sixteen Candles (PN1997 S598 2008)