Few have tried to defend today's romantic comedies, maybe because in that category, money does most of the talking. Still, here is producer Lynda Obst striking out on their behalf — and, apparently, against New York Times critic Manohla Dargis.
Obst, whose producing credits include How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Hope Floats, One Fine Day, and Sleepless In Seattle, bemoans the fact that Kathryn Bigelow's success last year "set off a torrent of sniping among the chattering class of women critics. Instead of celebrating this year's impressive box office numbers, and our all-too-few female directors (and even fewer writer-directors), it served as a launching pad for attacks on the romantic comedy."
She never names these critics, though Dargis's is the only negative criticism of the genre she links to. She wonders, "Are the critics who belittle these movies dyspeptic? Are they self-hating women? Are they other-women-haters who want to be the only woman on the tennis court (as we used to say in the '80s)?" Perhaps you can't blame Obst for taking it personally. After all, outside the politer confines of The New York Times — right here, in fact — this is what Dargis had to say to explain why romantic comedies suck: