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10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

Though Free Guy is an action movie and video game parody, it also absolutely nails some classic rom-com clichés and tropes.

With 2021 being the year audiences came back to theaters, there were quite a few highly anticipated movies fans were looking forward to seeing on the big screen, including Shawn Levy’s Free Guy. Though initial previews promised a quirky action film that would lean more into parody, the movie reaches an even wider audience by drawing from other genres as well.

In particular, Free Guy absolutely nails clichés typically found in romantic comedies. While audiences might be prone to groan over these overused plot points, clever writing, good acting, and a healthy dose of nuance make for a highly entertaining and original movie.

Love Lorn

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

One of the biggest keys to a good character is motivation. This drives the individual into the plot, makes sense of their actions, and, when it’s really well done, contributes heavily to the overall theme of the movie. While longing for romance isn’t required to make a good romantic comedy, that desire definitely helps.

Ryan Reynold’s character Guy wants nothing more than to find somebody. At the beginning of Free Guy, Guy tells the audience that he has everything he needs. But there is one thing missing: romance. Witnessing an older couple come into the bank where he works, Guy says that he longs to have what they have, but that he’s afraid he will never meet her. This serves as the perfect setup for Guy’s driving motivation throughout the rest of the film.

The Best Buddy

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

Every good romantic comedy needs a best friend, and Guy’s bestie, Buddy, nails this part perfectly, becoming one of the funniest characters in Free Guy. Supportive and funny, Buddy the security guard provides comic relief, serves as a sounding board for Guy’s ideas, and offers up advice.

His own journey even parallels nicely with Guy’s. While he doesn’t make the same changes or take the same path as the main character, Buddy does grow, and even better, his arc lines up well with the movie’s themes. And unlike in other romantic comedies, Buddy’s friendship is exactly what Guy ultimately needs at the end of the story.

The Meet-Cute

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

A quintessential cliché in a romantic comedy is the meet-cute. The moment when the two romantic interests meet each other for the first time sets the tone for the rest of their relationship, and can even foreshadow the course it will take. Free Guy’s meet-cute absolutely nails this cliché.

Guy and MolotovGirl are both clearly stuck in the loops of their everyday, mundane lives with Guy going through his same routine, and MolotovGirl going through the motions of the video game world. But the moment Guy reacts to her in a way she doesn’t expect, everything changes. Though MolotovGirl is a little slower to realize the impact of their meeting, this simple interaction not only kicks off their romance but changes both of them in the process.

Changing For The Girl

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

One of the most potentially obnoxious tropes within the romantic comedy genre is one character changing for another. If the love interests are so incompatible in either their tastes or their morals, to the point that big changes are required from one of them, then they run the risk of being one of those rom-com couples that shouldn’t end up together. Free Guy, however, manages to subvert this cliché.

Because Guy is a non-playable character (NPC) rather than a real-world gamer like MolotovGirl, his score in the game is so low that she won’t even entertain the idea of working with him. But rather than changing who he is, Guy finds a way to play the game and rack up points without compromising what he believes is right, making this one of the most wholesome examples of this particular trope.

The “You Too?” Moment

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

The best love interests in a romantic comedy have things in common, some reason that they connect on a level that isn’t just skin deep. From similar tastes in Mariah Carey’s song “Fantasy” to bubble gum ice cream, Guy and MolotovGirl realize very quickly that they both enjoy certain things others don’t understand.

These scenes also lead the movie away from the louder action scenes and into one of the characters’ biggest revelations within the story: that Guy isn’t just another, newbie gamer, but an artificially intelligent program that is learning.

The Epic Kiss

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

The moment the love interests kiss can be a powerful scene in a romantic comedy. Free Guy balances both comedy and romance well in this scene. While a swell of music plays in the game work, the movie takes the audience back to the real world where MolotovGirl — a.k.a. gamer Millie Rusk — is watching her character kiss Guy.

This shifts a sweet, romantic moment to something slightly awkward and funny. While this step could have ruined the scene, it transitions perfectly and even leads into a much larger plot point.

Losing The Girl

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

In almost every romantic comedy, the two love interests have to experience a breakup on some level. For Guy, this comes with the revelation that he is an NPC and that the love of his life is “real.” With his entire worldview shaken, Guy walks away from Millie to try and figure out things for himself.

As with other aspects of Free Guy, the movie utilizes this particular cliché to its advantage by allowing both Guy and Millie to grow as they are apart from each other.

Helping A Friend

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

The best friend in a romantic comedy doesn’t always have to have the best advice, but they do need to be there for their pal in their dark moment. When Guy comes to him after his world-shattering discovery, Buddy welcomes him with open arms, even though the last time they saw each other, they’d disagreed on how things should be done.

In one of the best quotes in Free Guy, Buddy propels the story out of the dark moment and into the final conflict. While this speech could easily have come across as cheesy, Buddy’s sincerity coupled with a good dose of well-timed comedy makes this scene one of the most impactful in the entire movie.

The Love Triangle

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

Another frustrating movie cliché many fans want to end is the love triangle, but Free Guy proves this trope can be done well with the right amount of nuance. Throughout the movie, fans watch as Millie’s old partner, Keys, very clearly longs for her in the same way Guy does.

Doing everything he can to help her on her journey, Keys shows up in the way a best friend should without ever coming across as creepy. Like Guy, he respects Millie’s space and treats her with respect. Though it may not be immediately obvious, the audience understands by the end of the movie just how much he loves her.

The Final Speech

10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails
10 Rom Com Clichés Free Guy Absolutely Nails

After the love interests in a romantic comedy split up, one of the pair will often confront the other with a grand gesture or impassioned speech. Guy’s final speech to Millie in Free Guy simultaneously nails this trope, while also offering some much-needed nuance to the age-old love triangle trope set up in the film.

“I’m a love letter to you,” Guy tells Millie. “Somewhere out there is the author.” For the first time, Millie realizes that Keys created Guy to be in love with someone like her because to Keys, Millie was the perfect woman. Guy’s speech links up with Keys’ grand gesture and leads to the final, epic kiss of the movie, and wrapping up the romantic comedy storyline to perfection.

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