The romantic comedy genre has been gang raped by small-minded fantasy pushers. There was a time, though, when the best of them could entertain both men and women, drive them into deeper thought about the complexities of human relationships, explore both people equally without the need for a fantasy ending to reinforce the outdated notion that happy endings are the only worthy ones.
Some of the best romance films haven’t even needed the label of “romantic comedy” at all. Annie Hall springs to mind. The Apartment. It Happened One Night. A Philadelphia Story. Such is the case now with the sublime The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. There are supposedly three parts to this story — the he, she and they parts. I believe what was screened here at Cannes was the “they” part of the story. Knowing nothing really about it, not having read any reviews, I came to the story fresh and what I found was something films have been sorely lacking for a few years now: women.