Today’s question was inspired by two readers. In response to my review of The Switch, commenters began discussing the distastefulness of a light romantic comedy being spun around the notion of Jason Bateman’s passive-aggressive milquetoast “hijacking” the artificially inseminated pregnancy of the woman he secretly loves, played by Jennifer Aniston, by replacing his semen for that of the intended donor.
Reader Tonio Kruger posted this comment:
It’s been obvious for some time now that we’re not exactly living in the Golden Age of the Romantic Comedy. Indeed, ever since I saw the made-for-cable-TV movie Mrs. Winterbourne (which adapted Cornell Woolrich’s novel I Married a Dead Man into a light and fluffy romcom despite the fact that the novel in question is one of the most downbeat mystery novels ever written), it has been obvious that people in Hollywood will adapt literally anything into a romcom if they think they can get away with it.
Which was immediately followed up on by reader Orangutan, who wrote:
Now this could be an fun idea for a contest! “Create a RomCom from source material that should not be a RomCom”. Include a brief synopsis, and cast your two leads.
So there we have it:
What is the most inappropriate setting and/or story for a romantic comedy you can think of?
You can use existing source material or invent your own scenario. And don’t forget to tell us who’ll be starring!
Circling Through Hell (based on Dante’s Inferno). When Dante Albertson, a Wall Street stockbroker, is hit by a speeding taxi just after concluding a deal that involves the sale of 10,000 Haitian earthquake orphans into the child army of a Somali warlord, he finds himself in an afterlife that’s less than pleasant. In the Second Circle of Hell (Lust), he meets sweet Helen Trojan, a fashion designer condemned for all eternity because, well, God wasn’t kidding when he said, “Don’t mix fibers.” Together, they’ll encounter colorful characters and have wacky adventures as they attempt to find a way out of their eternal punishment… and perhaps find new romance with each other. Starring Topher Grace as Dante and Jessica Alba as Helen.
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)