DC's Toxicity Killed the Political Rom-Com

Bipartisanship? Powerful, likeable women? Too 'unrealistic': Chloe Angyal
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2014 1:50 PM CST
DC's Toxicity Killed the Political Rom-Com
This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from "House of Cards."   (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell)

Back in the '90s, there were plenty of Washington-based romantic comedies: The American President saw a commander-in-chief falling in love with a lobbyist who convinced him to put his ideals over politics, while Speechless told the story of Democratic and Republic speechwriters getting together. There's still plenty of political entertainment—House of Cards, Scandal, and The Ides of March are just a few examples—but they're certainly not romantic comedies. That's because "in 2014, it’s hard to imagine a Republican and Democrat going out for dinner, never mind strolling down the aisle," writes Chloe Angyal in the Washington Post.

The lack of political rom-coms can also be attributed to a sexism problem in Washington. In such movies, the female lead has to be personally appealing. But "we have yet to reconcile, as a culture … two supposedly contradictory notions: a woman who wields the power that comes with elected federal office, and a woman who is likeable and relatable," Angyal notes. "A heroine who is competent enough to have a shot at winning an election, and likeable enough for us to care about her love life, is just too unrealistic—even by rom-com standards." If things change, maybe we'll finally see a movie where a woman is the president and a man her lobbyist lover. Click for Angyal's full piece. (Read more romantic comedy stories.)

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