Hit Rom-Com Creator Shares Guilt For Adding To Genre She Thinks “Is Maybe Bad”

Hit Rom-Com Creator Shares Guilt For Adding To Genre She Thinks “Is Maybe Bad”

Kiwi entertainer Rose Matafeo may have struck gold with her TV rom-com Starstruck, but she has shared her fears of contributing to a genre she has mixed thoughts about.

Ahead of the third season’s debut, Matafeo told the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

“Maybe through Starstruck I’ve added to the canon of a genre that I do have a lot of respect for, but I think is maybe bad? One that’s limiting for women in its presentation of romantic love and fulfilment… So maybe I feel a massive sense of guilt for making a romcom.”

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Starstruck, which Matafeo co-writes and stars in, sees her character Jessie, an ordinary cinema worker in London, meet and fall for Tom (played by Nikesh Patel), a genial young man whom she doesn’t realise at first is a huge movie star. Romance, chaos and confusion all happily ensue, with the show’s first two seasons proving a hit in the UK, where it was made, and screened in more than 90 countries to date. It can be seen on the BBC in the UK, on ABC in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand and on HBO Max in the US.

But, since its debut in 2021, Matafeo told The Guardian her priorities have changed:

“Now I’ve got so many conflicting feelings about love, relationships and romantic ideals. As I’m getting older I’m asking: why did I feel through my 20s that finding romantic love and settling down was such a motivation in life? Maybe I don’t want to be adding to that pressure and expectation of romantic love being the be all and end all. Maybe I want to encourage younger women like myself to aspire to other things.”

Matafeo began working on the comedy circuit as a teenager in her native New Zealand, before moving to London in her twenties and winning awards for her stand-up comedy. Starstruck was inspired by an evening out she had with her friends in London, when the group bumped into a famous movie actor and ended up spending the evening with him.

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