Romances are one part of literature that is not well respected, especially by intellectual elites. But all writing can have deeper meaning-- or not. Some don't want that when they read for pleasure. They are looking for escape, and the last thing they want is a message.
Can a romance writer be an intellectual? I would guess some don't think so although they might make an exception for Jane Austen?
I could believe our culture has gone a little too far toward escapism based on the entertainment that serves to fill many people's days.
Personally, I like to write with a message behind my stories but always hope it doesn't end up preaching instead of being subtle. There is a balance-- and I'm always looking for it :).
image from Stencil and relates to the book I am currently writing as well as a recent dream that gave me one of its scenes. How does that happen where the story is set in Arizona? A conference at the coast... :)