Have romance books taken over the romantic comedy genre?

UNITED STATES - 2008/07/12: Romance novel section of a bookstore. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - 2008/07/12: Romance novel section of a bookstore. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

One name is synonymous with the romantic comedy genre and that’s Julia Roberts. She was the queen of romantic comedies back in the ‘90s.

Thankfully, the queen has finally spoken about romantic comedies and especially her roles in that genre. Before the release of her latest romantic comedy, Ticket for Paradise, Roberts made sure to let us know how rom-coms today aren’t nearly as prevalent as they were in her heyday.

Roberts was quoted as saying, “I think we didn’t appreciate the bumper crop of romantic comedies that we had then…You don’t see all the effort and puppet strings because it’s fun and sweet and people are laughing and kissing and being mischievous.” Looking at all the recent films being released, Roberts is incredibly right.

However, has the mantle shifted when it comes to romantic comedies from films into the world of books?

Are romance books becoming the new mainstay for romantic comedy lovers?

The romantic comedy genre has undergone a major makeover within the last 30 years. 30 years ago, people were flocking to theaters to try and catch a lovable actor and actress falling in love within the span of 2 hours or less. Now, things have shifted significantly when it comes to the world of romantic comedies.

Maybe it’s because of the crop of new filmmakers, actors, and creatives in Hollywood but we have yet to see another true rom-com renaissance. If anything, the rom-com genre as a whole has started to shift from the screen to the page. It’s been a fascinating change and one that has taken a while to get a grip on until now.

There isn’t an easy answer to this question, but it’s partially because of the rise in reading. With the popularity of BookTok, the romance book business is booming. Stores are now stocking romance books we’d only ever imagine they’d have and more authors are getting a chance to be published. Coupled with the lack of romantic comedies being produced in film, this was bound to happen.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of romantic comedies that are released are book-to-movie adaptations. Looking at the 2020s alone, there were the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before film series, The Hating GameMarry Me, and Something from Tiffany’s to name a few. That’s not even including the films that are optioned including It Happened One SummerThe Roommate, and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. Either way, it’s clear the tides have shifted when it comes to the world of romantic comedies.

While there aren’t nearly as many romantic comedy films now, at least there are plenty of romance books that are romantic comedies. While the term can be thrown around a lot when it comes to books, there is a huge difference between romances and romantic comedies. However, if you’re craving some romance that you’re not getting from movies, then romance books are the next logical step for you.

Things even go a step further when books are based on beloved rom-com films. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is based on Pretty Woman while Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey is based on You’ve Got Mail. Those are just two examples, but it’s a fun callback to the films that shaped a lot of us and our attitudes towards love. No matter what you decide to read, it’s always a good day to pick up a romance book.

Next. New Romance Books being released in September 2022. dark

Do you think romance books have taken the romantic comedy mantle from films? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.