This is probably going to offend a few people, but hear me out: the Bible is the ultimate telling of the romantic comedy genre.
Now, we all know that almost all romantic comedies follow a very set formula. Swap out the Hollywood leading man and the young, relatable ingenue, throw in an urban or exotic locale, and you have a brand new movie. The film industry makes millions each year because something within many women (and probably more than a few men) is drawn to the simple boy-meets-girl story.
This genre strikes such a deep chord within many because it is the ultimate story of our existence, from the very beginning of humanity until the end of time. It might not look like it now, but that’s because we’re stuck in the middle, when things seem to be going all wrong. But trust me, it ends up alright.
If we start in Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, we find the introduction to any good RomCom: boy meets girl. In this case, God meets Humanity. Now generally, Hollywood does not have the guy CREATE the girl, but bear with me. We see God (perhaps played by Paul Rudd) and Adam and Eve (maybe Katherine Heigl) first becoming acquainted, and everything is magical. The lighting is just right, the location is amazing (imagine Greece, India, and Central Park, all rolled into one), and the animals are grazing peacefully nearby. It appears to be the beginning of a wonderful love story.
However, someone else shows up. The snake (James Marsden or Matthew McConaughey) arrives to put a wrench into God’s plan. Humanity takes the bait, screws up, and everything falls apart. They leave Eden (replaced by the dull grey of inner-city Boston), and are forced to quit their dream career in Animal Naming. Things turn from bad to worse as Humanity starts coming apart at the seams. After a death in the family and a terrible trip on an old boat, it doesn’t look like God and Humanity are ever going to get back together.
But there is hope.
Like any romantic guy, God decides to take the situation into his own hands and pursues his love. He makes over-the-top promises about creating a new place for the two of them to live (a land flowing with milk and honey? Who wouldn’t take him up on that?). He bails her out of jail with the help of his good friend Moses (played by Michael Caine). When she still won’t listen to him, God sends several of his friends (the prophets) with messages, which she quickly ignores.
Finally, God realizes that if he is going to win back the heart of his love, he is going to need to get in the ring himself. Jesus (still Paul Rudd) comes to the earth to pay the cost for all the hurt that has been done throughout the story. He sacrifices everything for Humanity, giving Humanity the chance to turn around and find God still waiting patiently. Tears streaming down her face, Humanity runs back to God (probably in the rain) and they embrace.
We are now at the point in the story where God and Humanity begin working together to put Humanity’s broken life back together. A montage of them paying bills, cleaning the house, getting a puppy. This is where you and I are in the grand meta-narrative of the world. It’s hard sometimes, but we’re at the point where, with God’s help, we can make things better.
In the end, the two lovebirds get married. Revelation shows the bridal feast of the Lamb (Paul Rudd wearing white, maybe with a red tie) and the Bride (Katherine Heigl, in a gleaming white gown). Everyone important from the film shows up again, and the credits roll as the party continues into eternity. They truly live “Happily Ever After.”
This may be a little tongue-in-cheek, but I think it’s important to take a step back from the seriousness of our lives and realize we’re in the middle of a comedy. If you read to the end, good wins, evil loses, and the guy gets the girl. So next time you watch a romantic comedy, remember that God loves the world even more than the shaggy-haired leading man loves his pretty lady.
Here’s hoping you can find God in any story, especially the ones you least expect.