I just saw the movie The Proposal and I really loved it. There were a few shocking scenes but otherwise I was laughing throughout the entire movie. And feeling teary during some parts too.
In so many ways, this movie was formulaic. It stuck to the romance formula with some wonderfully spunky dialogue. There were several plot points that I could identify and I could even wedge the characters into their "types".
Yet, I really, really enjoyed the movie.
In a romance, the reader has to wonder how the two main characters will ever overcome their issues and hook up. This movie epitomized tension. I KNEW they would end up together, but the beginning conflicts were so strong I didn't know how.
But I allowed myself to get involved and to enjoy the relationship because I knew that, in keeping with a romance, these two would fall in love and live HEA. :-)
Do you write "formulaic"? Is it a box to you, or a safety net?