Meet The Romaction Film: When Romance And Action Meet

While watching Killers last night, I couldn't quite place what genre the film was meant to be in: was it a romantic comedy? Was it an action film? Turns out it's neither. Or both. It's a "romaction."

According to Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post, "romaction" films, which, naturally, combine romance and action, are the next big thing in Hollywood, as studios are desperate to win the hearts—and wallets—of both teenage girls and teenage boys, and feel that the romance/action combo, ala Romancing The Stone, is the best way to go about it.

As Hornaday notes, "whether it's a function of boys' movies trying to get female audiences or vice versa, the current romance-action mash-up is just the most recent iteration of the tyranny of demographics that has increasingly come to dominate Hollywood." In other words, instead of, you know, concentrating on interesting scripts, unique stories, fresh material, and good casting, executives are throwing a ton of "hot faces" and genre cliches into a pot and hoping the result is worth your 20 dollars. The result is films like Killers, which feel precisely as if they were put together by a genre robot, with all of the action film and romance film cliches popping up, but not quite meshing together. I guess a good date night activity would be to bring a Movie Cliche Bingo card: "Hey, there's the drunk wacky mom! Point for RomCom! And oh look, the gas tank explosion! Point for Action!"

I have my doubts as to whether the "romaction" will save romantic films in general, mostly because I don't think the studios know how to create one that doesn't look like a 90 minute EHarmony ad with explosions. Maybe instead of trying to appeal to the ladies with shirtless Ashton Kutchers and to the men with guns and such, someone should consider making a film that's actually, you know, good, and sexy, and smart, and fun, and something that perhaps appeals to people who have actually graduated middle school. Pairing two struggling genres and all of their dumb, cliched baggage together isn't going to save either: it's just going to give us more films to not spend our money on.

So what say you, commenters? Have you ever seen a romaction? And is there a way to fix romantic/action films without dumbing them down like crazy?

Hit-Hungry Hollywood Gambles On Litany Of 'Romaction' Flicks [WashingtonPost]