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Why Michael Scott's Rooftop Kiss With Holly On The Office Is A Perfect Romantic Comedy Moment

There is a lot that NBC gave the world with their extremely popular comedy series "The Office." From the endless meme potential to the hundreds of iconic times Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) looked to the camera, it's not hard to understand why people have been turning to the Dunder Mifflin gang for comfort ever since the show's debut in 2005. Even though comedy may be the series' main calling card, it does also feature a fair amount of romance.

Throughout the seasons, fans got the opportunity to see Andy (Ed Helms) woo Erin (Ellie Kemper), Dwight (Rainn Wilson) go through some of the most cringe-inducing intimate moments with Angela (Angela Kinsey), and Jim pursue Pam (Jenna Fischer). However, one of the most constant sources of romance narratives was the story arc of probably the best and the worst boss ever, Michael Scott (Steve Carell). While his love interest during the earliest few seasons was his boss, Jan (Malora Hardin), after that fell apart, he found a new object of affection in Holly Flax (Amy Ryan).

When Holly appeared to replace the departing Toby (Paul Lieberstein) in Season 4, it was easy to see that she and Michael had a lot in common. Of course, in true sitcom fashion, it takes a lot of time and some false starts for the two to get together, which didn't happen officially until Season 7, Episode 15, "The Search." It was a pivotal episode and its writer, Brent Forrester, has talked about how it ended up being "The Office" version of a perfect romantic comedy moment.

The writer knew it was going to be an important episode

In an episode of the podcast "Office Ladies," Brent Forrester opened up to Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer about the episode and how it ended up being the culmination of an important storyline. "I got so lucky when I was assigned to write this episode because it's the climax of the Michael/Holly romantic subplot that's been running through the show for years, and the episode itself is structured like a classic rom-com," he said around the 3:15 mark of the episode.

"The Search" sees Michael have a conversation at the beginning where he tries to convince Holly that they belong together, but she denies him because they are professional colleagues. Then, after being abandoned at a gas station by Jim following a family emergency, Michael is lost without his cell phone, and Dwight, Erin, and Holly go on a mission to find him. The ending of the episode sees Holly locating Michael on an indiscriminate building roof, where the two of them kiss and finally give in to their feelings for one another.

"Holly denies that they're made for each other, but each beat of the story seems to prove that they are made for each other," Forrester said about the episode. He then went on to talk about the last scene: "And then they meet in this classic romantic comedy trope: the meeting on the rooftop of the Empire State Building from 'An Affair to Remember' and 'Sleepless in Seattle,' but because it's 'The Office,' it's not a glamorous Art Deco setting, it's this seedy rooftop in Scranton." His explanation of the episode and the last scene seemed to resonate with Kinsey and Fischer as they also had similar reactions to the moment.

The cast members remember reacting to the scene

Writers always have a vision for how the audience will receive what they have written, and Brent Forrester himself talked about the feeling of the set when the scene was shot. "I looked around, wondering why everyone was being so quiet, and I saw Amy and Steve in the distance," he said, continuing on to add, "the crew had given them a lot of space out of respect for what they were doing, and they were great actors enacting real love between these two characters, and the energy was sacred." 

Jenna Fischer talked about her reaction to the scene when she first saw the roof, noting that she was thrown off by the very un-romantic location. "It's funny when I saw that rooftop kissing scene at the end of this episode, I had the thought, 'Why did they pick such an ugly roof?' and it was clearly intentional. They were like, 'This is "The Office" version of the romcom Empire State Building,'" Fischer explained. 

The location definitely doesn't give the same vibe as some of the other rom-coms of the last few decades. There are no magical views of New York like there are from the Empire State Building, but the actors certainly make up for it. Their performances in that moment make the entire set disappear. Fischer described her reaction, which mirrored the way we can only imagine the rest of the viewers felt: "They have this moment where she just finally melts, and they kiss — Erin sees it, she's smiling, and you just know finally — finally, these two get back together."