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Only in the Movies


My synopsis of romantic comedy movies.  

Typical precursors to girl and guy meeting:

  1. Neither person is really looking for someone to date
  2. One person “thinks” they are happy in another relationship
  3. One person’s significant other has passed away
  4. Big life change/adventure
  5. Coworkers/friends trying to meddle in love life

Guy and girl can meet under any or all the following conditions:

  1. girl and guy literally bump into each other
  2. sometimes a set up, but most always a random meeting
  3. guy notices and/or saves a clumsy girl
  4. spark at first sight
  5. some drama/turmoil is typically involved

The relationship evolution (I could write a variety of these, but I think this is one that is very typical in romantic comedies):

  1. girl and guy have fun at first, but things are left with uncertainty
  2. girl gets mad at guy for doing something stupid
  3. what really happens is typically a miscommunication, but girl’s feelings are hurt and she is not willing to listen or work things out easily
  4. the guy goes out of his way to make things better
  5. the girl comes around at the end to see things for what they are, and they live happily ever after

I do love romantic comedies, I really do.  I’m so happy when people who are meant to be together, find each other against the odds.   It’s entertaining and endearing.  But I do wonder how much of what we see affects our view of how healthy relationships really develop.

Here are a few themes that I notice in romantic comedies.

  • Girl is portrayed as clumsy and inept in some way, only to be saved by guy.
  • Girl is portrayed as bitch, only to be more attractive to guy.
  • Communication skills between girl and guy are absolutely terrible.
  • Girl typically does not like (sometimes hates) guy at first.
  • Guy does what he thinks girl wants in order to fix things.
  • Most of the movie time is spent in drama versus showing a loving relationship.

Relationship building in a romantic comedy nut shell: Inept. Dislike. Spark of Desire. Mess up. Terrible Communication. Band-aid. Brief Intense Happiness.  End of Movie.

I’d like offer some ideas for how healthy relationship building should go:

  • Girl and guy are both at a place in their lives where they are interested in and available for a relationship.
  • Girl is stable, kind, capable.  And so is guy.
  • Neither girl nor guy need rescuing.
  • Girl likes guy initially, good things don’t tend to grow from bad seeds.
  • Girl and guy practice communication skills ~intentions are clear and miscommunication is resolved quickly.
  • Girl and guy spend time getting to know each other for a while before deciding on feelings.
  • Girl and guy have fun together, and that does not have to include drama.

None of these things would make a good movie I guess.. but would likely lead to happier relationships.