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But Where's The Love Interest? Finding the Stories That Defy Traditions

Analyzing the films that go against the common belief in Hollywood that every great story with a female lead must contain a love story. Meaning, there’s a clear love interest for her character. Looking at films that follow and defy this tradition, and at what cost. From the top grossing film of the year that follows (Rogue One) to indie favorites that don’t (Lost in Translation), what is gained and what is lost by following this trope? And why can male leads go against this tradition? Would Master and Commander be a bigger hit if he had a damsel to rescue? Or could the Matrix survive without Neo’s love for Trinity? Compare the loveless 2001: A Space Odyssey vs. the love-driven Interstellar. Both are successful films with male leads. Why aren’t there more non-romantic films lead by women? Take a look at the film Housekeeping, which stands out from the pack.

  • That is a great question. However, if you look hard enough you will find many more films being released today that do not follow this pattern. The Underworld series contain a female hero who is seen battling alongside the men and in most cases actually does more damage than they do. She is portrayed as the leader of her people and her main focus is to keep her species alive above everything else. Of, course there is a love story but he is on the opposite side of the war and she will not let her love for him cloud her decision to kill the rest of his people. – AnthonyWright 3 years ago
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  • You're right, in that example the love interest is not quite as pronounced as many other films. Thanks for the note! – Nate Océan 3 years ago
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