Why chick-lit’s dead and romantic comedy’s the new buzz

By Carla Caruso
Chick-lit had its heyday in the nineties with Bridget Jones, Sex and the City, and cocktail-adorned book covers.Wedding Planner Jennifer Lopez
It was so big, it was inevitable it would one day get too big for its Jimmy Choo boots and become the unthinkable: daggy. But true diehard fans know the genre hasn’t died entirely, it’s just been “schuzzed up” a bit with a new name. Well, actually it stole one from the film world — romantic comedy.
Essentially, it’s the same thing, minus the Cosmopolitans and designer name-dropping – love stories with a streak of humour and sassy (sometimes kooky) heroines.
Today’s rom-com authors include Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, and Meg Cabot. Oh, and I’m a local one, too – Carla Caruso – and I just happen to be flying the flag for the genre at A Fair to Remember in Adelaide, a weekend for writers and lovers of romantic fiction, presented by the SAWC and Romance Writers of Australia from June 14-15. Check it out here.
Just for fun, I’ve included my top three rom-com FILMS, below, and why I love them. Just don’t call them chick-flicks!


THE PLOT: An ad exec and ladies’ man bets he can make a lass fall in love with him in 10 days to win a big campaign. Simultaneously, a magazine reporter is assigned to write an article on ‘how to lose a guy in 10 days’. They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made, neither knowing what the other is up to.
WHAT’S TO LOVE: The ultimate rom-com couple, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, teaming up in their prime; the insight into the glam magazine and advertising worlds; and the cringe-worthy moments when Andie (Hudson) performs dating no-nos like crashing her beau’s poker night.


THE PLOT: Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful wedding planner … until she breaks the most important rule of all: falling in love with the groom.
WHAT’S TO LOVE: Jennifer Lopez’s infectious warmth, Matthew McConaughey in his prime again, and the ultimate plot conflict: a wedding planner creating a romantic event for her crush who’s due to marry another girl.


THE PLOT: A young woman with a Southern background runs away from her husband in Alabama and reinvents herself as a New York socialite.
WHAT’S TO LOVE: Another golden pairing, Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas; Jake’s beautiful glassblowing hobby; and a wedding day skirmish when Melanie (Witherspoon) tries to tie the knot with hubby number two, the New York mayor’s son— a lawyer interrupts the ceremony and explains the divorce is still not final because Melanie forgot to sign the papers and then Melanie punches her mother-in-law (played by none other than Candice Bergen)!


Carla Caruso is an Adelaide romantic comedy author. Previously, she worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist and fashion stylist. Her books include Catch of the Day, Second Chance and Cityglitter (Penguin’s Destiny Romance) and Mommy Blogger (Eternal Press). She made the top 21 in Mills & Boon’s international New Voices competition and the long-list of the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. Plus, Catch of the Day tied for first in the Romance Writers of Australia ‘Book Cover Contest’ (2013).

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