What is a Romance Trope? Definition & Examples from Film.

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Romance tropes are common themes or motifs in storytelling that we frequently encounter in romantic films. These tropes make the stories relatable by exploring universal emotions and situations.

Here, you can learn about the most common romance tropes in film and see examples.

Enemies to Lovers

One of the most beloved tropes in romance is the Enemies-to-lovers scenario. This trope involves two characters who initially have a hostile relationship but gradually develop romantic feelings for each other.

Example: In Pride and Prejudice (2005), Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy start as antagonists but fall madly in love.

Love Triangle

The Love Triangle is another popular trope where a character must choose between two potential love interests who typically represent different aspects of what the character desires or needs. This trope emphasizes conflict, desire, and the complexity of relationships.

Example: In Twilight (2008), Bella Swan is torn between Edward, a vampire, and Jacob, a werewolf, epitomizing the love triangle.

Fake Relationship

In the Fake Relationship trope, two characters pretend to be in a relationship for various reasons, ranging from making someone jealous to securing a job. However, they often end up developing real feelings for each other.

Example: The Proposal (2009) explores this trope through the characters played by Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, who engage in a fake engagement.

Second Chance Romance

Second-chance romance explores the idea that love can be rekindled after being lost or forgotten. This trope often involves characters with past relationships reuniting after circumstances keep them apart.

Example: The Notebook (2004) beautifully illustrates this trope, showcasing a couple that reunites years after their initial romance.

Soulmates

The Soulmates trope revolves around the concept that two people are destined to be together. It often involves a sense of inevitability and predestined love that conquers all challenges.

Example: Serendipity (2001) is a good example of this trope with a story about a couple that meets by chance, separates, and then is reunited by fate.

Opposites Attract

The Opposites Attract trope highlights the romantic connection between two individuals who appear radically different in personality, beliefs, or lifestyles. This difference often fuels their initial conflicts and eventual attraction, underscoring that love can bridge disparate worlds.

Example: A fun example is Dirty Dancing (1987), where a young, naive woman falls for a seasoned dance instructor from a different socio-economic background.

Summing Up

A romance trope is a recurring theme or motif in romantic films that audiences find familiar and appealing.

These tropes, such as “enemies to lovers” or “love at first sight,” shape narratives by providing predictable patterns and conflicts that drive the story and character development in the genre.

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  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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