Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts rekindle ‘Romcom’ reverence

Romcoms have seemingly hit a curb in the road. With recent releases from the likes of Last Christmas (2019), He’s All That (2021), and Amazon Prime’s Cinderella (2021) failing to meet viewers’ expectations, one cannot help but wonder why so many are falling flat. Or more precisely, why can’t every romantic comedy be the next Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) or When Harry Met Sally (1989). Fear not: 90s romance royals Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are here to save us from our ‘romedy’ reticence. That’s right, folks, the ‘Romcom Renaissance’ has begun.

Despite being hailed as the ‘Romcom queen’ of the 90s, Roberts’ reputation as a romance actress has hardly been smooth sailing. Her romcom career took a stark turn in the 2010s, with lacklustre releases such as Valentine’s Day (2010) and Larry Crowne (2011) facing mixed reviews from critics. From then on, the actress seemingly went on the back foot when it came to romance. But, she tells The New York Times, this isn’t out of any particular resentment for the genre. In fact, Roberts was simply waiting for the right project. “If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing”, she reveals, “I would do it”.

But thankfully, that time has come. Roberts has re-established her position as ‘Romcom Queen’ alongside lauded co-star George Clooney in recent release Ticket to Paradise (2022). Ol Parker’s romance sees divorced parents (played by Roberts and Clooney) travel to Bali to prevent an impulsive marriage between their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) and Gede (Maxime Bouttier). Without giving too much away, the film is a delightfully fun watch. Whilst it is, in truth, not the next Pretty Woman (1990) or Notting Hill (1999), it certainly does a good job of reinserting Roberts back into the genre. 

But that’s not all, folks. In fact, 90s romcom star Cameron Diaz (best known for her roles in My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), There’s Something About Mary (1998) and, more recently, The Holiday (2006)) is also set to return to our screens. After her performance in the Annie reboot in 2014, fans were crushed to hear that the actress would be taking a step back from acting for the foreseeable future. Consequently, Diaz hasn’t appeared on screens for over 8 years.

That is, until now. In a surprise turn of events, Diaz is set to ‘un-retire’ from acting alongside Jamie Foxx in Netflix’s aptly-titled movie Back in Action. “I’m so anxious right now”, she says in a recorded phone call with Foxx, later shared on his Twitter; “I don’t know how you do this [unretire]”. Confirming the news on her Instagram story, Diaz writes, “Jamie Foxx, only you could get me back in action” (Variety). Not much else is known about the movie, but for what it’s worth, viewers are thrilled to see what Diaz and Foxx have in stall for us.

In a time of Cinderella remakes, and trashy Hallmark-style releases, viewers have, perhaps, lost a little faith in the romcom genre. In other words, romance was in desperate need of a makeover. Thankfully, Roberts and Diaz have come to the rescue. With Ticket to Paradise (2022) marking Roberts’ return to the genre, as well as Cameron Diaz’s promised ‘un-retirement’ for the upcoming Back in Action, it’s pretty safe to say that romantic comedies are, indeed, back in business.

Featured Image –Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

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