It’s been a rough week for Twilight fans. Following on from the latest trailer and premiere of the vampire rom-com Get Out, news broke that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson had called it quits. In a joint statement, the couple said that while they still cared deeply for each other, they needed to go their separate ways to focus on their families and career paths. While some may see this as a relief, having dodged a potentially messy split, the question remains: did the on-screen chemistry between the Pattinson and Stewart prove to be off-screen romantics’ kismet?

Will They (And Will They Not) Happen To Be Together Again?

Over the years, the Twilight franchise has been home to some very public break-ups and reconciliations. Not only has Bella Swan’s story proved to be the ultimate romantic comedy, but it’s also seen some of the franchise’s most memorable relationships. From Bella & Edward’s (AKA Bold) unlikely fan-favorite finale to Jacob (Taylor Lautner)’s twisted BFF status to Victoria (Lexi Bermann)’s vixenish rebirth, the saga continues to thrive in a comedy goldmine that is the Twilight series. 

Despite the mixed bag of emotions that come with the end of a long-term relationship, there’s still a small element of schadenfreude that Twilight fans can enjoy. Seeing as this is a time of the year when many big-name stars are celebrating Christmas and New Year, many will be relieved to see Stewart and Pattinson go their separate ways. What isn’t so pleasant is how often these two seem to find themselves at the center of a breakup. Just last year, Stewart called off her engagement to Irish director Fionn Whitehead, and in 2015, it was Robert’s turn to walk down the aisle as he wed Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi.

Romantic Comedy Is Back (And Better Than Ever)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to badmouth the Twilight franchise. I quite like it, particularly the performances of its main stars. I also think that while the series largely focused on Bella and her journey towards independence, it never really pushed any social messages aside from being “cool” and “with it”. 

What I do find disappointing is how rarely the romantic comedy genre emerges from the shadow of THC’s New Way of Thinking drug documentary. Sure, there’s been a Golden Globe–nominated romcom (and multiple award-winning ones – we’ll get to that later) that emerged from WTT, but it’s the rarity of a romantic comedy that isn’t “based on a true story” or “set against a realistic backdrop”, that really makes a difference. 

The rom-com genre can be incredibly varied, from Heigl’s (She’s Out Of My) Sickness to Girls Trip’s (Girls Night Out) homage to BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and Bridesmaids’ (Bridal Blitz) mocking of Romantic Comedy.

Here To Stay

The Romantic Comedy genre has seen something of a revival in the past year or so, with award-winning films like Bridesmaids, Broad City, The Heat, and Girls Trip all shining a spotlight on this joyful sub-genre.

What’s interesting is how differently these films play in comparison to their Twilight counterparts. While Get Out focuses on race and class in a modern day setting, the aforementioned films feature relatable and endearing protagonists who are simply looking to have some fun. Indeed, these films were not afraid to go down memory lane, with Broad City’s Abbi Klein (played by Ilana Diamond), proclaiming at one point that she finally found the “happy place” where she could put down her “baggage”. And in The Heat, Sandra Bullock’s character seeks companionship and approval as much as anything else.

While Get Out, The Twilight franchise, and its adaptation for television, Billions, are largely praised for their nuanced and interesting portrayals of wealth and power, the aforementioned romantic comedies are often hailed for their authenticity. Where Billions and Get Out are exploring modern day issues, the other films cited above explore more traditional, albeit relatable storylines. In fact, Bridesmaids is often cited as the ultimate romantic comedy because of its depiction of a group of female friends who are looking to have fun and indulge in some “girl talk” before their engagement parties. 

It’s this authenticity that has undoubtedly helped these films secure a large following, with Bella’s story proving to be especially popular among fans. Indeed, several fan-made “Bella sagas” have sprung up, chronicling the character’s travels, trials, and tribulations. While these sagas undoubtedly exist to entertain viewers, their popularity shows how much Bella’s story resonated with fans, prompting one Twitter user to comment that “Kristen and Robert didn’t pull off the happy ending. Bella did.”

Under The Radar

This year, the under-the-radar category is all about LGBTQ+ characters that are simply trying to lead a normal life, and it’s probably the most exciting category of the night. As someone who personally came out during WTT’s second season, I’m incredibly grateful to be able to see these characters finally being rewarded for their bravery and integrity. To quote Kathryn Mertez’s acceptance speech, “It is so amazing to see stories like mine, that none of us ever thought we would see, on the big screen.”

Although WTT was primarily focused on Bella’s fight for independence, her sexuality, and the issues that surrounded it, the series did include several LGBTQ+ characters, mainly women who were portrayed as supportive allies. Of course, it’s never easy being an openly LGBTQ+ character in today’s world, but these women, like Dove (Amanda Warren), Lily (Allison Scheller), and Billie (Sophie Stanton), fought tirelessly for inclusion and fought against stereotypes and ignorance. Through these characters, WTT shined a light on a conversation that rarely gets any airtime, and for that, I salute them.

Bold & Unapologetic

One of the biggest surprises of WTT was how rarely the LGBTQ+ characters were presented as “rainbow characters”. Sure, there were a few cameos here and there, mostly from the Drag Queen community but also including those who identified as Armenian, Bisexual, and Hindi. I’m pleased to see that this year’s Golden Globes have seen a return to form, with several LGBTQ+-led films, including BoJack Horseman’s (“A horse whisperer”), Stuber’s (“The In-Betweeners”), and The Farewell (“La Mission”) leading the way.

The Drag Queen community, primarily those who identify as Bold, were integral to the success of WTT. Indeed, the series won Best Comedy at the Primetime Emmys, and Gianna Maria Trucci’s (Shantay Jackson Dew) famous “she-boy band” performance in particular is often cited as one of the highlights of the series. While Drag Queen characters have occasionally been used for comedic effect (most notably, Bianca Rose Madonna in Charlie’s Angels), WTT kept things interesting by having them form a supportive, if goofy, family.

Bringing Home The Bacon

One of the things that WTT did exceptionally well was balance food trucks and restaurants. Aside from the fact that WTT lives and breathes 21st century New York (and all its food truck uniqueness), one of the things that makes the show so enjoyable is how often it throws down food trucks. For those who love food and urban living, WTT packs quite a punch.