"Lovable Cad Makes Good"
Examples: Good Luck Chuck, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Just Friends
Stop me if you've heard this one: Our hero is a preening, cocksure, sex-obsessed jerk. He will spend the majority of the film behaving in a manner that an insecure male audience assumes they too would be able to (read: treating women disposably and yet being rewarded for it) if were they more genetically gifted, only to learn a last-minute lesson as to the error of their ways and make a show of human kindness - amazingly, in a manner that somehow ties back to their earlier negatively-applied skillset.
Yeah. We don't need any more of these.
I especially find myself wondering exactly who these movies are supposed to be for. The characters they lionize are a dwindling breed of man - existent, but surely not numerous enough to make up a profitable audience base, while the women in said films are usually even more shallow and unlikable. This whole genre has descended in an unbroken line from the classic Michael Caine starrer Alfie, and yet each successive entry has seemed to miss the central point that Alfie's very existence was ultimately shown to be meaningless and depressing.
"My Huge Family Is Soooo Funny!"
Examples: Every single Tyler Perry movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding
A large extended family, typically belonging to some specific regional or ethnic niche, gathers together in one space for either a wedding (if it's a sentimental comedy), a funeral (if it's a dark comedy), or possibly a Quinceañera (if they're going after the Latino audience). Each member of said family is defined by exactly one dominant personality trait, which puts them into either conflict or at least unease with everyone else's singular trait. Hilarity will ensue, along with more serious asides regarding relatives whose aforementioned singular personality trait are related to something heavy and/or traumatic, until such time as a cacophonous finale wherein the value of family is re-affirmed ... "Even though they might drive you cah-RAY-zee sometimes!"
I must have seen this movie 3,000 times by now. I don't need to see it again.
Look, I understand that there's a kind of universality at play here - almost everyone can relate to the absurdity of family dynamics, particularly when you throw that "extended" qualifier in there. But, just like not everyone will be enraptured by your family vacation videos, at this point I just don't think there's enough daylight between the endless variations of Sassy Grandmas, Wise Grandpas, Lecherous Cousins, Drunk Uncles, Troubled Nieces and Out Of Place Fiancées for us to fit any more even if we did need them ... a need which, frankly, I'm dubious about.
"Seemingly Fabulous Upscale Career Woman Still Somehow Incomplete Without A Man"
Examples: Go down to your local theater, there's probably at least two playing.
Stop. Making. This. Movie. If for no other reason than the world has already had more than enough Katherine Hiegl to last a lifetime.
Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.