I love a good romantic movie. Ask me about how many times I’ve watched Pride and Prejudice, if you want to listen to me talk for like 7 uninterrupted minutes. But sometimes it feels like the film industry forgets that there are other forms of meaningful human experience OTHER THAN ROMANCE. So I get excited about non-romantic films sometimes.
There are a few minor elements of romance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but they’re not very annoying and they don’t encroach on the main plot.
The movie that this movie is a sequel to (is there a better phrase for that?) had a romance between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter as a significant sub-plot. But, being almost entirely free of misogynistic romance tropes, and carried off by some excellent acting, it was enjoyable.
Winter Soldier, on the other hand, has only the following hints of romance:
- Steve being sad that he can’t be with Peggy
- Natasha Romanoff trying to set Steve up on dates because she’s sick of him being such a sad puppy all the time
- A brief overture of Steve asking his neighbor out on a date
These probably take up about five minutes of screen time total. Like Pacific Rim, this is definitely a movie about the importance of friendship (in it’s many forms), and the strongest relationships in the movie are between Steve and Natasha (a complex friendship), Steve and Sam Wilson (a meet-cute-turned-comerades-in-arms friendship, which if it was not a trope before, I now demand become an immensely popular Hollywood trope), and of course, between the two eponymous characters, Steve and Bucky (I would call it a romantic friendship, though it depends on who you ask).
I love superhero movies with well-done romance plots (the first Captain America, Iron Man 2-3, The Superman one with Kate Bosworth) and I even sometimes like superhero movies with corny and shoe-horned romance (Batman Returns, The Incredible Hulk [the Ed Norton one], pretty much all the X-Men movies [ugh, shut up about Logan/Jean already, movies]). But I really, really want more non-romantic superhero movies. Who do I have to bribe to get Black Widow origin movie with no romance?