Okay before we start here is my two cents: I still VERY much enjoy watching rom-coms and can easily spend hours indulging myself in watching them and rewatching ones I’ve previously seen.
However, rom-coms have set me up for a life of disappointment.
It wasn’t until recently when a friend of mine went on about how she dislikes rom-coms because they give you unachievable expectations and unrealistic dreams that I contemplated the weight of her argument. Having watched my fair shares throughout the years, I’ve been more than aware about some of the overdone, eye-roll worthy, or stereotypical storylines.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them and vicariously living through the 2-hour whirlwinds experienced as I watch them. I’ve re-watched so many of these stereotypical movies just because sometimes it’s nice to tune out the world and watch a movie full of emotions and a storyline that makes your heart flutter.
I love movies like "Pretty in Pink," "Love Actually," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Silver Linings Playbook," and more recent movies like "What If," "500 Days of Summer," and "Knocked Up." This list could go on and on (like I kind of already did - sorry!). Anyway, in all of these movies, there is that classic plotline about “the guy gets the girl," or it ends in two people kissing with a happy ending.
Even those teen-romance movies fulfill so many stereotypes about what a rom-com is known for. Take "Leap Year," for example. It’s about a couple played by Amy Adams and Adam Scott who are separated by Scott’s character going on a trip to Dublin and having already been anxious awaiting a proposal, Adam’s character learns of a tradition in Ireland where every four years (i.e. Leap Day) a woman can propose to a man and so the adventure ensues. It’s this movie where a woman has the man, but (kind of spoiler) he isn’t the right one.
In the end, she ends up with the perfect man having the perfect relationship and basically sets up this expectation about somewhere or other along the road of life you’ll meet the love of your life and it’ll work out perfectly. But the fact about rom-coms is that they have this storyline that sets up a plot to where one partner ends up with the other and everything works out in the end.
My point in all of this is this: no matter how wonderful and whirlwind-ish of a romance that a rom-coms portrays, they set you up for having expectations about a relationship/romance that is basically unattainable. Rom-coms set you up for having dreams of a relationship that most likely won’t happen and a romance entirely of fantasy.
Like I said, don’t get me wrong, I love Rom-Coms, I really do, but there’s always this looming factor about the unrealistic standards that these types of movies set up whenever I watch them. Hearing my friend talk about this subject made me think. Honestly, there are so many things wrong with Rom-Coms, but we watch them to feel good and to think that one day we’ll have a romance as wonderful as one in a movie.