The Postmodern Rom-Com
Critical reperformance of 2007 Romatic Comedy PS I Love You
It's 2007, and we're in New York, or Ireland; Tony Blair is the Prime Minister, or maybe Gordon Brown- we’re coming towards the end of New Labour, Britney Spears is going through a difficult time, and Avril Lavigne has just released her lead single, girlfriend.
Essentially, P.S. I Love You isn’t working for me. So, I have decided to re-write it as if it was written by a 22-year-old-hysterical-girl-woman, because I am tired of Hollywood telling me how to love.
I’m re-writing the Rom-Com because I couldn't see myself in it. There's an imperfection to falling in love- it’s messy, volatile, and responsive, and I couldn’t see that here. Ultimately, I’m tired of feeling erased by the men in my brain, and I think that making space for yourself to be excessive is a really punk way of saying fuck you to your own dismissal. If I'm falling in love with falling in love, then I'm doing it on my own terms.
Consider this a re-education into the love stories we grow up with as young girls. Designing with sensuality in mind, this time we're older, wiser, and bitter, (beautiful, greasy, unmistakable, leaking- really, this whole thing could just be a list of adjectives) revelling in this filthy electric... it's love, but not as you know it (it’s dirtier than that).
* * *
the familiar smell ran up the back of her neck and the low hum of the fridge the moaning of the pipes reality would never again share a table at a dinner party fight about an image
soul mates everyone thought The end had come all too soon the toilet, the cold floor, her feet. the healthiest man on earth, the future wasted precious time.
Salty rooms in the house stared sprawled across the couch. Their phone calls listlessly roamed the house, searching for…
love, did I wake you? I was thinking of you doing dances
without knowing what time or day it was She seemed to be living outside her
body into the kitchen in slip-pers the first on the dance floor, the last out of the club. The fridge stared at the vegetables and yoghurt leaving a horrible stench in the fridge.
Her fingers would rather eat the sales assiss-tant split legs take his eyes because she looked so much l i k e the men drunkenly drinking milk
he hadn’t been to bed for days. He smelled like possibility. noise pointed at His hand. “Sorry.”
“I’m so sorry.”
A girl ripped her face down wishing she had love under her breath, the music started. The discomfort. in motion
she announced to the room, You bastard! You know how I feel about dying ‘I’m not doing it,’ ‘I’m not doing what he wants me to do.’
In the days following her return she was spending weeks in nothing but time
wet and ugly, she could wait... wait for messages. Everything that her life had been eyeballs, electricity, insurance, she had become numb to all those impos-sible dreams.
one morning the rain finally stopped and the sun began as though
it s ok it s o k i t s o k i t s o k
(It really is ok).
Rom-Com Rewriting Parties
grief-thing knotting rope like pasta, wet and old on a shelf.
comfortably across a glittering backstreet in Manchester in 1975.
Everything should be
normal. I’m here sucka.
Did she ever take care? Would she ever?
I'm not sure what that means - love.
It's worth just taking a... breath
“Well, get ur cock out then luv”
The Postmodern Rom Com uses rapid response rewriting exercises to generate alternative scripts and reclaim the presence of the messy and excessive body in pop culture.
It includes a 503 page readction script, based on both individual and collective re-workings of the original material.
Watch dramatic readings of the first 75 pages of this script
This project culminated in a series of online workshops, called Rom-Com Rewriting Parties, the products of which you can access
* P.S. I Love You follows Holly Kennedy as she re-navigates life after her husband’s death, according to a series of letters that he leaves her. The book was written by Cecelia Ahern in 2004 and set in Ireland. Richard LaGravenese directed the film in 2007, which was set in NYC because all good love stories are set in NYC (don't ask me to prove this). Sophie Paul then got angry one night in 2019 and decided to dedicate herself to re-creating it. It's set somewhere, at some point, somehow.