I'll be honest, this movie wasn't even on my radar until I saw people raving about it. Basically, the critics were hating on it and giving it low scores, which made people want to watch it, and everyone came back and said it was the best superhero/comic book movie romcom they've seen. At first I thought people were exaggerating, that it's just wishful thinking, it's lighthearted joking just to see Tom Hardy have fun and be ridiculous on screen. But then I saw it, and I finally understood.
Venom truly is a superhero/comic book movie romcom, in the best possible unintentional way.
Not only that, but since I wasn't familiar with the comics, I learned that Eddie/Venom are actually canon in the comics, just with how their relationship is presented with Eddie calling Venom "love" and "darling", holding hands at the movie theater, giving Venom Valentine's day chocolate in a heart-shaped box, and all of that good stuff. We didn't get that far in the movie with those kinds of endearments just yet (they literally just met/melded together, so y'know, it'll take some time, but I'm hoping in the sequel we'll get more of that), but just seeing people posting evidence of what was featured in the comics just solidifies the presence featured on the screen for me (I also couldn't help but make comparisons to Deadpool in that way, especially with Wade's pansexuality). Like, certain moments and beats in the movie were completely designed from certain romcom tropes. There's the awkward first meeting, the bantering, there's a bonding, a slight confrontation of feelings of betrayal, then the getting back together with a renewed sense to their relationship and both Eddie and Venom saving each other, and Venom literally deciding to stay and save Earth because of Eddie. Like, he actually says that in the movie. If that isn't romantic coding, I don't know what is. They even fucking made out, like are you kidding me right now. You can't tell me this wasn't a gay as fuck movie, even if they didn't intend for it to be, that's how it reads and that's how everyone is viewing it, especially for those who read the comics and knows the chemistry and history and relationship Eddie and Venom have.
Plus, Eddie Brock is such a likable and endearing protagonist. He's not this dark, brooding, stoic anti-hero type that we're so used to seeing in these kinds of roles for male characters. Instead he's an emotional sweetheart, he's a investigative journalist who reports on social issues and advocates against evil corporations and people who take advantage of innocents, and he's quite relatable in many ways, and he's also a dumbass who fucks up, and spends most of the movie as a sad, depressed, disaster kind of man who ends up thoroughly confused and freaked out but still somewhat adaptable to the situation he finds himself in. It doesn't hurt that he's played by Tom Hardy, who is just an endearing guy altogether. His entire performance is what makes his character enjoyable, in my opinion. The supporting cast is just as great, as well.
Just, the film itself was incredibly fun. Like, I had such a good time, it had the right combination of comedy and action and ridiculousness to keep you entertained from start to finish. I wasn't bored when I was watching it, and I laughed so many times. It's such a delightful movie. And yes, I went into this film with wanting to see not just Tom Hardy, but Tom Hardy flirting with and making out with his Symboite alien, and I was not disappointed. I got that and then some.
All of this can be summed up to say that, critics don't like to have fun. Not everything has to live up to be this grand Oscar-worthy masterpiece of cinema. Sometimes, a movie can simply be this fun and ridiculous piece of entertainment and that's enough. Never mind that movies are made for the audience, not critics. This is a good example of not really paying that much attention to the Rotten Tomatoes scores in the first place, at least when it comes to the critics. We've all done it, judged a movie based on how "fresh" or "rotten" it is from that site, or just from what the vast majority has reported from, even if we sometimes don't want to admit it. But no critic should dictate what you view as enjoyable. Hell, most of the things I enjoy probably have been panned by both critics and audiences alike, but I don't care because I love them anyway. Like what you like.
(Plus, I've been having a rough week for different reasons, and I just wanted to see something fun. Venom really helped a lot with making me laugh, I smiled so much and had a great time, and that's what matters. I loved it and I want to see it again and again and again.)