It’s believed that the romantic comedy genre nearly died out in the late 2000s… but did it really? Early 2000s rom-com hits like How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days inspired a bunch of glossy imitations that felt increasingly removed from reality. So by the late 2000s, studios were increasingly giving up on rom-coms, seemingly in favor of R-rated comedies aimed at men; often directed, produced, or inspired by Judd Apatow.
Many of these comedies, such as Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, are actually a lot like the films they supposedly replaced. They simply updated and reinterpreted that rom-com sensibility through a male point of view with bluntly honest dialogue and unfiltered raunchiness.