A few months ago, I went on a jolly Christmas binge and watched several holiday romantic comedies. (I wrote about my reactions on Medium.) One prevalent theme was the glorification of rustic simplicity. So often our protagonist can’t find love until he or she leaves a city and heads for the countryside.
Usually the departure is an impetuous one ~ or a complete accident. The protagonist doesn’t even realize they’ve been rushed, overworked, rude, cynical, etc., until they find themselves forced to relax in some charming small town where everyone is kind and helpful and filled with generosity. The message is relentlessly hammered home that city life is bad and rural life is paradise.
This theme annoyed me. I say people are the same everywhere and you can find nice folks in cities as well as bullies in small towns. I should know: I went to high school in a crappy little suburb and had to deal with a lot of jerks. Not to discount the idea that there are mean people in cities! But according to the holiday romcoms, not only are cities bereft of any holiday spirit, but also you can’t find love until you leave.
I guess those scriptwriters never heard of “Silver Bells.”
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