Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Courtesy of one of my (many) cousins:


To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.


A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Talking about jokes, while I enjoy being with people who have a great sense of humor, I've never been able to get into romance novels that are overtly humorous.

It just seems to me that the funniness takes the emotional punch right out of the story. Touches of biting wit and a few laugh-out-loud moments are fine, more than fine - often, they break up a very dark story and even out the pace - but anything else loses me as a reader.

On the other hand, I've read lots of funny books that don't fall into the romance genre, so it's not the humor itself that I don't like, but the use of it in a particular genre. For me, romances are all about the most intense emotions human beings have inside of them. When a book makes us laugh throughout, a lot of that intensity is diluted.

Am I in the minority? Have I just not found the right book? What do you all think about humor in your love stories?

(p.s. Don't forget, today's the last day to enter the contest.)


Maura said...

I think for me it depends on how hard the book is trying to be funny. I still have to have the romance take center stage but some quirks to the heroine or funny bits can be a lot of fun.

In general I'm not what I refer to (at the risk of offending one or more people) as a "silly humor" person. I can't stand slapstick and am very NOT into physical comedy. So I can't stand things like Austin Powers, Three Stooges, etc.

But I've read some funny romances that made me laugh.

Nalini Singh said...

Maura - That's funny (no pun intended) - I could never get into Austin Powers either. I don't even like Charlie's Angels!

Emma Sinclair said...

What about Jenny Crusie's Bet Me. That book had me laughing so hard in some places I was crying.

And I love Austin Powers. I like humor that is kind of dumb/smart (I don't really consider Austin Powers slapstick - it has it in parts, but not overall). Like the kind that you have to be smart to get, but then when you do, it's really dumb and kind of` random.

But the thing about most "romantic comedy" movies is that they're not funny. Not laugh out loud funny, anyway. I'd consider them more, "Lighthearted romances."

Jen said...

I sometimes enjoy humor in a romance, and I tend to like emotionally gutwrenching type of romances, not the lighter ones. Kathleen Eagle has a wicked sense of humor in some of her books (usually emerging from the mouth of her hero) and Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes books that are funny and very emotional at the same time. I actually love that combination, and that's what I tend to lean towards in my own writing. I don't like stuff that sets out to make you guffaw, like slapstick, but funny dialogue can be very sexy and tender and have a deep emotional subtext.


meljean brook said...

I have a really, really difficult time with comedic romances, particularly if they are contemporary. For some reason, I can read a light historical with comedic touches (particularly if it's wit rather than slapstick) but not a contemporary.

A few, I can handle: MaryJanice Davidson's voice just hits the right note with me (most of the time) -- but others, like Janet Evanovich's Plum books, I burn out rather quickly on.

Crusie -- I really liked BET ME, but I haven't sought out her other books yet because I'm afraid I'll burn out on her, as well. I think if I space them out I'll enjoy them more.

Austin Powers, for me, was a very strange experience. I *hated* it the first time I watched it, but it might have been because my boyfriend at the time liked it so much: he repeated so many of the jokes and was so overboard in his enjoyment that I was like, "god, it's not THAT funny." Which probably says more about my contrary nature than anything -- but the next time I saw it on TV, I laughed my head off and still enjoy it.

Don't like the sequels, though.

Nalini Singh said...

It looks like I need to get my hands onto a copy of BET ME. I don't think I've ever read it though I have read a few others by Jennifer Crusie.