10 Stupid Things Romance Movies Teach About Love

Romance movies are nothing more than mindless escapism. A chance to take out the Kleenex and indulge in some sickly sweet entertainment, admire the attractive cast and let ourselves get emotional about the characters on the screen. Who didn’t shed just a little tear at some point during Dirty Dancing? And don’t even get me started on P.S. I Love You.

The truth is, most romance movies are stupid and unrealistic. An over the top idea of what love is all about, perhaps even a metaphor for love that takes all the little things and blows them into extremes for our viewing pleasure. Some claim romance movies are damaging, and I get that, maybe impressionable teenage girls watch them and do genuinely start to believe that love should be like it is in The Notebook and refuse to settle for anything less; i.e. refuse to live in the real world.

CAUTION: May Contain Sarcasm
you have been warned

bridget-jones-diary_1. You can’t have a serious, beautiful, romantic romance if you’re a larger lady

Films don’t really represent us  women who aren’t, shall we say…petite, full stop, because being bigger doesn’t fit the media and society’s idea of what’s attractive. The only romantic film that I can think of that’s protagonist has a body type that isn’t slim, toned and sleek is Bridget Jones’s Diary, in which we’re constantly encouraged to laugh at the funny chubby lady (if you can think of any more examples, please tell me!). Regardless of whether it’s an attempt to make what women with low self esteem call ‘real women’ feel included for a change, the fact is if the woman in the film is bigger or doesn’t fit that slim, toned ideal it has to be a comedy, because let’s face it if you’re chubby/overweight you’re clearly never going to experience a sickly beautiful Hollywood romance, and instead your love life will be a series of embarrassing mishaps that occur because you’re overweight.

2. Kissing in the rain is where it’s atimages

Kissing in the rain is amazing, the ultimate show of romance and affection. That moment in a relationship where everything falls into place and is completely amazing. No no and no. I hate the rain! It makes my hair go curly, it’s cold, and especially when wearing jeans being rained on is really uncomfortable. Or maybe that’s just me? Rain is strangely beautiful, but only when you’re inside in the warm watching it through the window, being rained on is not romantic or a turn on at all.

 

101RomanceMovieLies2_zps2afaa7523. Every man you ever meet and have a relationship with will be gorgeous and will most likely have a six pack

Just as every woman in these kinds of romantic chick flicks are beautiful and slim, all the men are gorgeous and chiselled Channing Tatum types that get impressionable teenage girls believing that the guy for them simply has to look like that and nothing else is acceptable. It builds this shallow attitude whereby attractive people date other attractive people, because aesthetics is all that matters. And of course, girls, no guy is good enough unless he looks like the pretty boys in the movies.

 

4. Men should and will sacrifice themselves to save their girlfriend. Even if they only just mettitanic_the_final_moment-wide

In Titanic, Jack lets himself freeze to death and die  in order to save Rose even though they only really just met. Apparently love can be that strong after such a short time. Not only is the ending of Titanic corny as hell, but Rose makes no attempt to help Jack out or drag him up onto the door/wardrobe thing with her, she just happily accepts that he’s willing to die to save her and she clearly doesn’t love him enough to risk her life to save him in return.

 

hugh-grant-love-actually5. Apparently Hugh Grant is the epitome of the ideal romantic partner

Erm, that’s something I’ve never got. Maybe he’s just not my cup of tea!

 

 

 

 

 

The-Ugly-truth-0016. Hate and love are commonly misinterpreted and people that hate each other will eventually fall in love

The Proposal, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Ugly Truth,  What Happens in Vegas, It’s a Boy-Girl Thing, A Walk to Remember; those are just a few examples of romance films in which the guy and girl hate each other at first and then fall in love. If you hate someone, watch out because you probably will end up in love with them. Of course this convention also means that you should forgive people when they’re horrible and hateful towards you and that you should forget everything about them that made you hate them in the first place and allow yourself to fall completely in love with them despite your original feelings. That is of course if you let yourself spend the necessary time required to fall in love around them, considering it would take quite a lot to change your opinion about them, it would require a lot of time and God only knows why anyone would choose to spend that time with a person they hate.

the proposal
the proposal

7. A career minded woman is only kidding herself, all women really want is a marriage and kids

The Proposal and The Ugly Truth come to mind with this one. The career minded woman is uptight, some might say frigid, and she only loosens up and eases off when a guy comes along because after all, a marriage and kids is what truly makes a woman happy. It takes a man to tame the wild beast with his magical penis power before she will ever become a normal, down to earth, nice woman that men aren’t terrified of. Because wanting a career, being intelligent and working hard are unattractive traits in a woman, and she must learn that all she really needs in life is a man. Being career minded and a bitch come hand in hand too, it’s definitely not possible for an intelligent career minded woman to be nice as well.

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in THE PROPOSAL8. Sandra Bullock is that kind of career woman that men are not only terrified of but disgusted by

How? How in God’s name did this woman ever get typecast as the woman that men are disgusted by? Really how? How could anyone ever be disgusted by her? It’s madness! So this teaches us that even an absolutely beautiful woman is disgusting to men if she is career minded. Because career minded equals independent and that’s not an attractive trait in a woman. She’s not attractive until she realises that she doesn’t need her career or her intelligence, all she needs is a man. He can do all the career stuff, her purpose is to be a wife and to cook and clean and have babies and that is what makes women happy. You’ve only got to watch The Proposal to see evidence of this.

the vow9. Looks are oh so important

The guy gets the hot girl is a convention in a lot of films, but notice the emphasis on hot. Of course it’s so much more important that he gets the physically attractive girl over a girl who is nice, kind and has stuff in common with him. Guys, even if she’s a total bitch or completely boring, as long as she’s hot it’s a score. Don’t even worry about your long term happiness or even your short term happiness because hotness and happiness come hand in hand and you will always be happy so long as you’ve got the hot girl. Plenty of hot girls are nice and kind too, don’t get me wrong, but the emphasis is always on the fact that she needs to be hot as opposed to the guy simply gets the nice girl who likes him and he likes back.

Let’s look at this the other way around too, when the focus of the film is on the girl and not the guy, it’s all about whether or not she gets the hot guy. The kind, slightly less attractive (by the media’s standards anyway) guy who’s always nice to the girl and clearly likes her will only ever be just a friend because it’s oh so important that she ends up with the hot guy.

10. Romance is exclusively heterosexual 

Brokeback Mountain is literally the only film I could think of that represents homosexual love
Brokeback Mountain is literally the only film I could think of that represents homosexual love

The vast majority of mainstream romance is exclusively heterosexual and homosexual romance is pretty much non existent in the media. Unless you’re a man and a woman, romance won’t happen. If it does, it’s not considered cute or nice or exciting or something to celebrate, it’s something that should be censored and hidden away. You shouldn’t hold hands in public or kiss in public or do anything to suggest that you and the person walking next to you are anything more than friends. We all know that romance is lovely in any form, and we all know that love is love no matter who loves who and no matter their gender, and yet romantic movies and the media in general are quick to teach that romance and love is exclusively heterosexual.

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17 thoughts on “10 Stupid Things Romance Movies Teach About Love

  1. Excellent points! The only other actress I could think of who is bigger than the standard size zero is Kate Winslet (not overweight by any stretch of the imagination though) who plays lots of romantic roles. Case in point: I watched ‘Iris’ last night where Kate does a full nude scene and I remember thinking ‘its nice that she didn’t starve herself to do it’. She looks like a normal woman. It is extremely rare though.

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    1. Thanks 🙂
      Oh yeah, I forgot about Kate Winslet…although I haven’t seen her in many films and always thought of her as one of the slim ideal body-type women. It is nice when they look like normal women though! Definitely way too rare

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      1. I think she does have an ideal body…for actual women! Sometimes in movies they are almost sickeningly thin, aren’t they. Anna Faris springs to mind. If you are looking for a movie to watch I would recommend Iris, it is quite beautiful and painful, and features Kate and Judi Dench (both fabulous) playing the same woman.

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      2. Yeah I agree 🙂 Anna Faris is definitely very thin!
        Thanks for the recommendation, sounds like a good film and I like both actresses 😀 Might have to check it out

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  2. Cool post, Tash. Just a few points:
    1. Shallow Hal sprang to mind. Yes, the story is about him being too shallow to date anyone fat and Gwyneth’s character was super overweight, but I think there was a bit about the others’ judgement of his dating. Correct me if I am wrong though, it’s been ages and I don’t remember the ending 😀
    2. Summer rain is awesome!!! It’s definitely a lovely experience, you get soaking wet and it’s nice and warm – definitely sexy. But though I have enjoyed it both here in Germany and back home, I know this rain does not exist in UK, so I totally understand your point. Just keep in mind in some places summer rain is absolutely gorgeous.
    6. Not sure about here, it has happened to me to strongly dislike people I didn’t quite know and then to find out I could actually like them when I got to know them – I agree that if you really hate a person you already very well know, it’s improbable, but in the movies you quoted the characters didn’t really know each other that much. I like to take a point that you never know what the other person really is and maybe you will change your feelings about them 🙂
    7. Yes, yes, yes, but that’s a twisted American perspective that isn’t only related to women – same thing can be found in ‘Up in the Air’. I think every character which isn’t build to suit this general idea has this sort of storyline whereby they end up ‘realising’ that ALL ALONG all they wanted was that little house on the prairie…. (see it if you haven’t, movie is pretty good)
    10. ‘I love you, Philip Morris’ came to mind. But nothing more I remember than it being about homosexuals. 🙂

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    1. Yeah I do love Shallow Hall! It’s a great film. It still kind of prepetuates the idea that being skinny and being beautiful come hand in hand…he only starts to love her when he knows her well, and only gets to know her because at first he see’s her as slim and beautiful.
      I hate getting wet in the rain, blergh even if it’s warm rain! Unless I’m in a swimming costume, which is unlikely, I hate the feeling of damp clothes. We’ve had summer rain here a few times, especially recently, and I still hate it. but to each their own
      If you’ve seen The Ugly Truth, in it they know each other pretty well and really dislike each other. I’ve only ever properly hated someone once or twice but I can honestly hand on heart say I could never even find it in me to like them let alone fall in love! Films seem to give this idea that love starts with hate, when in most people’s experience (mine included) the best relationships start when the two are friends at first.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂 glad you liked it 😀

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  3. Kissing in the rain is merely wet. Making love on the beach, now that actually hurts. It’s just astonishing where that sand can get embedded and how difficult it is to remove it. The line between pleasure and pain gets well crossed. On the other hand, real romance — our own stories — can be pretty weird and make even less sense than movies.

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  4. Excellent points you make. Although I can be a sucker for chick flicks, especially during that time of the month, I’m always amazed by how many of these films emphasize the need for leading lady to go through a physical transformation (ugly duckling to swan) in order to get attention from her knight in shining armor. She’s All That, Miss Cogeniality, Princess Diaries…the list goes on and on. There is an indie film “Real Women Have Curves” with American Ferrera that I absolutely love because it goes against the grain of mainstream romantic comedies. Of course the accurate portrayal of a woman coming of age and discovering love has to be depicted in an indie, but hey at least we have access to it!

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    1. Yeah I do love a good chick flick too every now and then 🙂
      ooh I’m going to have to check out that film! I love indie films, probably more so than mainstream ones, and it definitely sounds good 😀 Thanks 🙂

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  5. Great post, Natasha, especially the points about looks. It always amazes me that Hollywood thinks love isn’t just for pretty people, it’s always and only for ridiculously pretty people. Ordinary good-looking folks are considered homely in Hollywood. (And Sandra Bullock is neither homely nor ordinary. She’s hot. Thought so 15 years ago, still think so. 😉 )

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  6. There’s also Queen Latifa, but i get your point, most, like 98% of romance movies have thin ladies, not normal or average or slightly on the ugly side, oh, except, my big fat greek wedding, that’s one of my fav’s. there are some, but the one untruth you didn’t mention, that romance movies teach us, is that love just happens. love is work, it is never easy, and if anyone thinks that happily ever after happens without work, is completely misled. a new relationship is not going to solve the problems of the old relationship. oh, and don’t forget the jerk in the movie who abandons our heroin, only to find out he wanted her when she finds a new guy….movies do not teach us anything worthwhile, they feed our fantasy that a person is out there who will love us and accept us no matter what…only, they don’t portray the ‘no matter whats’ in our lives, they only portray the fantasies of what we want. fantasies ruin relationships, as no one can live up to a dream, and i am one victim of this reality.

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