10 Romantic Comedies Ruined By Modern Technology
Google would absolutely destroy You've Got Mail.
BY JEREMY GLASS
It's sad to admit that the romantic comedy is a dying cinema trope. So many romantic gestures have been learned through Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Woody Allen, and the other giants of the rom-com. A certain purity through lack of technology makes these movies true to heart and especially meaningful. These movies were made before Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram dictated how to flirt with a person you were interested in and showed America how to be romantic in a time where a loving couple had to look into each other's eyes as opposed to glancing at their reflection in the screen of their phone. These iconic films wouldn't have been the same had they been set in 2013 and these are the situations that could've come about if things were just a little bit different.
1. You've Got Mail – This classic tale of online love would have ended minutes after Meg Ryan’s character received her first message from Tom Hanks. She plugs his email into Google, finds out it’s her arch-nemesis, Joe Fox, and ignores every follow-up email he sends. She spends the rest of the movie figuring out how to lower the prices of her books to compete with the release of the new Kindle Fire, while Joe Fox wastes away on OkCupid. Fox Books puts up the good fight before going under alongside Borders and Barnes & Noble. The two disenfranchised book-sellers accidentally meet on the street, both aware of each other’s likes and interests from hearty Internet searches and end up sleeping together. Their relationship continues until Meg Ryan falls in love with a mysterious and clever Twitter follower with the egg as an icon. They continue their online affair until, once again, Meg plus the handle into Twitter and sees that she’s been tweeting with — oh my god, Tom Hanks from Sleepless In Seattle. Hanks on Hanks on Hanks.
2. Big – Speaking of Tom Hanks. Big takes a completely different turn after young (old) Josh has sex with Susan. She writes an article about the experience for the New York Times’ Modern Love section, which becomes a hit. Soon, Gawker picks up the story after a particularly vicious thread on Reddit discusses whether or not Susan should be arrested and charged with sex with a minor. New York City, wanting to make an example of the case, charges Susan with statutory rape and she’s sentenced to 20 years in jail.
3. Pretty Woman – The love affair between Edward and Vivian takes a turn after a friend writes about their account and submits the article to a small indie blog. The blog talks about the demise of American culture and the disgusting amount of prostitution in modern society. Jezebel picks up the story and immediately criticizes the author for slut-shaming, inadvertently hoisting Vivian in the spotlight. She’s approached to write a book about her experiences as a prostitute for a large sum of money, which she graciously accepts. In a few short months, her book is a best-seller, which leads Netflix to approach Vivian in hopes of making a show about her life. Julia Roberts is asked to play Vivian, and the whole thing turns into this incredibly strange metaphysical experience.
4. Six Days Seven Nights – I’m sorry, but I know I can’t be the only person here who still regularly thinks about this backwards romantic comedy. Harrison Ford and Anne Heche crash on a desert island, eat a peacock, and have dirty island sex while their significant others have grief-fueled sex. To up the stakes, the marooned couple have a run-in with pirates and have to find a way to fix their plane and fly away before they get cut up and turned into chum. Modern technology would have prevailed as the plane’s GPS sends out a signal, alerting the coast guard of their whereabouts. Upon learning pirates are near, the coast guard tells the U.S. Government, which sends out a bunch of drones to annihilate, not only the pirates, but any and all chunks of land nearby. Harrison Ford, Anne Heche, and their sad little plane disappear in a hellish wall of flames and that hot girl with the huge boobs has to marry fucking Ross from Friends.
5. Pretty In Pink – Duckie submits an article to ThoughtCatalog about being friend-zoned by Molly Ringwald, which immediately goes viral. Half of the Internet is on Duckie’s side, while the other half is caught in a argument about how “friend-zoning” is bullshit and Duckie should’ve just taken a hint. Molly Ringwald starts a fashion blog, which quickly fails because it’s 2013 and the 80’s were hot, like, 13 years ago. Get a clue, Ringwald.
6. Manhattan – Isaac's wife's tell-all book becomes a critically-acclaimed web series starring Emma Roberts, Miley Cyrus, and Bob Dylan’s rapping grandson. Mary and Isaac, however, can’t make it to the Queensboro Bridge because of substantial train delays, so they end up using a Groupon and going to Chop’t. Meanwhile, Yale’s affair with Mary has been uncovered by his wife months earlier when an absent-minded FourSquare check-in outs the lying couple. A quick search of Yale’s Internet history procures telling results such as: “how to hide that you’re having an affair”, “best places to go with a date and not be seen”, “does unprotected sex always cause a baby?”, and “polygamy laws NYC”.
7. Empire Records – The film opens with Empire Records being acquired by a subsidiary of Apple, who originally became interested in the store for its large collection of retro vinyl. Joe, Ethan, and Debra decide to invest in the company and become rich beyond their wildest dreams. Corey goes to Harvard, gets hooked on rich-kid painkillers, and A.J. takes a job with an Internet start-up and spends the rest of his life shooting Nerf guns, eating Thai food, and talking about how his company is “crushin’ it” and had “an epic year.” Warren dies after a stand-off with the police, and that weird guy, Berko? Apparently he just spends all his time on Tindr.
8. What Women Want – Mel Gibson’s incredible ability to read the minds of women is noticed by an NSA agent, therefore he’s kidnapped and trained to become, what is essentially, Jason Bourne. This newly conditioned Mel Gibson (and maybe cyborg?) drone invades college parties and popular bars before being fired after his findings show that women want the same thing that men want, only they switch out “vagina” with “penis.”
9. Say Anything – The scene where John Cusack holds up the boombox has way less impact when it’s an Asus tablet playing a music video of “In Your Eyes” that continually freezes and buffers.
10. Annie Hall – Alvy Singer, author of the hit Buzzfeed article "20 Food-Porn Lifehacks For Cats In Their Twenties" and "10 Ways Bacon Has Influenced Bill Murray" meets Annie Hall, a freelance food-blog photographer who lives in a loft in Bushwick. The two immediately fall in love and embark upon a tumultuous relationship and quickly become vital in each other's lives. A particularly unflattering Instagram post of Alvy struggling to cook lobster causes a rift in their relationship and, to make matters worse, Annie's photographs begin to surface on Tumblr under someone else's name. The couple calls it quits and don't know how to split their book collection, because everything they own is on a jointly-purchased Kindle Fire. The only way to express the relationship is through that famous joke at the end about the psychiatrist and the eggs, but Alvy can't tell it in 140 characters.
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