OK, here's a question for you: do men and women laugh at the same things? Do you and your significant other, your male friends and family members?
I ask because Romantic Comedy often seems to be considered the preserve of women - chick flicks, chick lit etc. And I can't quite work out why! I share many of the same tastes as my husband - for example, we both like the Marx Brothers, Harvey, the Princess Bride, Steve Martin, an Australian musical comedian called Tim Minchin (right). On the other hand, he likes a lot of stand-up comedians that I'm not really bothered about.
And when it comes to books that make us laugh, I've given up. We did both like Ian Banks's humour for a while; but I could never persuade him to read all of Catch-22, which had me in stitches, and he just won't read romance at all. (Do you know any men who read - or admit to reading! - romance?)
For me, it doesn't have to be a "Comedy", as such. Whether books, films or tv shows, I love writing that has humour in there somewhere - like Buffy and Firefly. My husband did eventually come round to Firefly, at least!
But if he has the remote control (as most men always seem to!), romantic comedy films get switched off immediately. I've always loved the old fashioned type - like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. I had one of those on video that I caught my husband trying to off-load on to the local video rental shop. He claimed it was an accident. And I do like to pass an evening with a light, romantic comedy, with Hugh Grant maybe, or that one about the zillion wedding dresses which I managed to watch with a friend recently! It's not the same when the husband snores through it, though!
Anyway, what do you think? Does humour vary according to gender? Or is it the theme behind the humour that either appeals or doesn't?