Monday, January 5, 2009

Romantic Comedies? More Like Horror Films

Romantic Comedies Are Slasher Films To Your Love Life

I have to admit that I grew up on Say Anything. Which was an odd combination because I would watch the hell out of Predator and Aliens between it. From that early age it was instilled into my mind how to be that oh so romantic gent. I'll defend it in that it was light on the comedy and heavy on the drama. None the less, it still was an unrealistic image of romance. Science... or at least one study shows that Romantic Comedies aren't healthy for your relationship.

The Notting Hill effect: How romantic comedies can harm your love life
They have long been regarded as the perfect movie for a first date. But according to a study, romantic comedies such as Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill could be bad for your love life. Rather than being harmless entertainment, ‘rom-coms’ give people unrealistic – and potentially unhealthy – expectations about real-life relationships, scientists say.
Researchers found that those who watched romantic comedies were more likely to believe in predestined love than those who preferred other genres of movie. They were also more likely to believe that perfect relationships happen instantly, and were less likely to believe that couples need to work at relationships.

I see this all the time. The idea that if two people are meant to be with each other than they'll know what the other wants without any sort of communication. Some sort of mind link straight out of a sci-fi film. "You should know why I'm mad at you." Don't you hate that? I know I do. How about the classic "Oh you don't have to get me anything for Valentines day." When you listen to that, don't do anything and then it's expected that you shouldn't have listened to them? Yeah.. that's always fun.

That's the biggest flaw I find in a relationship. When the other person refuses to tell you what they want or how to give it to them. If you like something for your birthday or want to go see something or just want to cuddle... simply say so!

Watching just one romantic comedy is enough to sway people’s attitudes to romantic love, they found. Dr Bjarne Holmes, who led the research, said: ‘We are not being killjoys – we are not saying that people shouldn’t watch these movies. But we are saying that it would be helpful if people were more aware and more critical of the messages in these films.

Most mainstream comedies depicted couples falling instantly in love and promoted the idea of fate – the notion that there is just one perfect mate out there, they found. And people were far more forgiving of cheating than they are in real life, they found.

‘There’s a notion of destiny and couples in romantic comedies immediately understand each other,’ said Dr Holmes. ‘If you think that’s how things are, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.’

Aren't Fate and Destiny strippers? I don't believe in destiny. I like to consider myself very logical. The idea of a soul mate or fate just confuses me. When you think about it, the idea of it is morbid. You're telling me that in this world there's only ONE person I'm suppose to be with? Why am I wasting time with all these not-the-one people than? And how the hell am I suppose to find this one? I have a hard time finding matching socks in my sock pile. It's a lost cause if I have to search the world for the specific one person. Oh yeah, destiny and fate are suppose to do all the work for me...
In a second study, Dr Holmes asked around 100 student volunteers to watch Serendipity – the 2001 romantic comedy starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, while 100 watched a David Lynch drama.

In a questionnaire after the film ended, students watching the rom-com were far more likely to believe in fate and destiny than those who had watched the ‘straight’ film.
Those 100 that watched the David Lynch drama were just too confused to even think about love or destiny. 40 of them who watched Inland Empire were found pale, shaking, and in a fetal position in the corner. There was no survivors...

Looks like a Date night movie to me!

While I agree with this study I do have to question exactly if they were being fair in showing romantic comedies opposite David Lynch films. I mean, that's fucked up. And finally...
A third study found that fans of romantic comedies had far stronger beliefs in predestined love.
I don't believe in predestined love. I don't believe in destiny. You meet someone, you have chemistry and are compatible. You talk to them for a while and you realize you can stand to be around them without wanting to bash your own head in and then you have the possibilities of having a relationship with them that could last any given amount of time. You enjoy the time you have together. Simple as that.

It may not be very romantic, but it is pretty realistic. That's not to say that because of my youth being tainted with 80's romance films I can make a pretty romantic date if I think about it for a few minutes.

I always have to roll my eyes when in films the two people meet and they instantly hate each other only to later have one of the two (more than often the guy) come in and do something nice for the other and that's when, like an onion, the layers come off and the two magically fall in love. In real life the two would more than likely still hate each other.

Either that or they just never advanced beyond the second grade level and the only way they can show each other they care is by doing mean things. That whole desperate call for attention.

I have to question the logic behind those that see these romantic comedies as anything more than entertainment. Let's take Pretty Woman for example. You have a rich dude who has an inability to get women so he hires a hooker to go around town with him... and then he falls in love with her. What am I missing here? Is it really that romantic that a desperate loser falls in love with a hooker? I have buddies all the time act like they're hot shit because they got a strippers phone number. Is that really a prize?

What Woman Want is a film about Mel "Damn them Jews" Gibson being given the gift/curse to hear the thoughts of women. Which of course is the dream of every woman, right? Not having to say what they want and the guy will just know. Which in the real world just doesn't exist. Again back to that whole communication thing.

Romantic comedies seem to be porn for women. That and those romance novels your grandmother picks up at the grocery store that you just have to turn your head away from because you really don't want to see Fabio on another book cover.

I'll admit it. I thought this Rom-Com was good

In the end romantic comedies give women something to fantasies about when they're sleeping with the schmuck that they dragged to the movie theater with. But to take anything from these films as any indication on how love should be is living in a fantasy world.

Fate, Destiny, Soul mates... all smoke and mirrors. I once read someone's take on relationships and they put it into perspective using a Laissez-Faire approach. I thought it was utterly brilliant and I have to say, I was pretty speechless. If this blog shows anything, it's that I'm full of speech. We are, after all, in a supposed free market. The idea behind all this is that we should have very little interference and allow the market to run itself. Why try to force matters? Why can't the same standards hold true for romance?

It seems too often that people are getting into relationships for all the wrong reasons. As if they're filling a role for lead actor in the film of their life without ever considering if it's a production anyone would want to see, let alone be in. The idea of having to have a significant other to find your own meaning is foolish. It often shows that there's a lack of love for oneself and really, if you don't like yourself, how could you love anyone else?

Not the No Reservations I want to see.

Perhaps more people need to realize that romantic comedies are simply entertainment. It's like leaving Wedding Crashers and taking away the idea that guys go to weddings only for the sex or that Vince Vaughn resembles anything close to a decent actor. Much like Romantic comedies, that's pure fantasy.

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