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