Friday, December 19, 2008

So...Is This My Real Problem?

I just read an article on BBC News that says a research study in Edinburgh determined that watching romantic comedies can ruin your love life. Experts at Heriot Watt University say it promotes unrealistic expectations about love.

(To which I say, well, duh. Is this really newsworthy? Of course it raises expectations. I certainly lose my rom-com buzz when I get home to the realities of dirty socks.)

They say "Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it."

According to this study, if the movies are bad, romance novels must be absolutely toxic for relationships. Practically perfect men falling head over heals for wonderfully imperfect women... seems like the average guy doesn't stand a chance after a woman reads enough of them.

Personally, I LOVE romantic comedies. Some of my favorite movies are classics like Sleepless in Seattle and While You Were Sleeping. You've Got Mail. Runaway Bride. Never Been Kissed. I get goosebumps just thinking about the Beach Boys song "Don't Worry Baby" after seeing that.

Of course these movies are unrealistic. These people fall in love in nanoseconds and overcome incredible odds to be together. Same in the books. I guess there's just something to be said for an uplifiting story to make the heart and the step a little bit lighter. Makes the day to day reality a little easier to swallow. Do I expect such upswept romance in real life? Not so much. I'm hopeful that I'll at least get some sigh-worthy moments in my time, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for Mr. Perfect to show up. I'll grow old and lonely.

What about you? What's your favorite romantic comedy?



Jane said...

My favorites include "10 Thing I Hate About You," "The Princess Bride" and "There's Something About Mary."

Angel said...

See, I don't really see it as unrealistic expectations. I think women should place a high value on themselves. Plus, these movies and books aren't showing a couple who see each other across the room, fall in love and everything is then perfect. There is always some type of conflict to work through, even if it is a funny one in a romantic comedy. But they key is that they DO work through it. That's an important lesson to learn, in my opinion.


My word verification is mudevil. :)

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I'm not a huge fan of romantic comedies, but I do love "10 Things I Hate About You." RCs are fun and a good way to spend a couple of hours, but I don't love them.

However, I hate this particular argument. Unrealistic? Uh, it's fiction, no different from horror, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. Do you hear people complaining that vampire books make people afraid to go out at night? That mysteries fill people with the false hope that every crime will be solved? It's insulting to the female intelligence that they think we can't tell the difference between fiction and reality.

And now, off my high horse so I can clean the house. :-)


Problem Child said...

First of all, rom-coms take place in those heady, hormone-laden days when everyone is on their best behavior and there are no dirty socks on the floor (and if there are, it's a good sign to get out while you can--he's already taking you for granted. This won't get any better.)

Secondly, I do not think it is unrealistic to expect the person that I'm dating to love and respect me, to want to please me (emotionally and physically), to put my needs ahead of his own occasionally, and to want what's best for me --even if it's a bit inconvenient for him at the moment. I think rom-coms show you shouldn't settle for less than what you deserve. Same goes for romance. While it may be unrealistic that a prince of a small European nation is going to show up out of the blue and sweep the librarian off her feet, the *sentiment* behind it isn't far-fetched at all. And, dammit, I think more women should expect no less from their men. They should demand it.

And tell me one novel or movie where the couple knew what the other needed without telling them -- I call BullS***. It's called the Big Black Moment -- they can't have the HEA until they do communicate what they really want and need.

Now I'm all pissy this morning...

Smarty Pants said...

Well, that certainly fired you all up, didn't it? :)

Playground Monitor said...

sitting in her Atlanta hotel room humming "What the world needs now, is love sweet love..."

Not much else I can add to what's been said already. I love a good romantic comedy. I grew up on Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies and they're some of the best. Or watch "His Girl Friday" with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Classic! They've always been popular and will continue to be. I think some people are just so unhappy in life that they want to make the rest of us unhappy too. There's a character in a book about that too -- Ebenezer Scrooge.

God bless us every one, and keep those rom-coms coming.

Instigator said...

I agree with everything that's been said.

I love 10 Things I Hate About You! And The Wedding Date. My Best Friend's Wedding. Catch and Release. P.S. I Love You (although probably not a comedy...).


Smarty Pants said...

I'm so picky about my RCs... PS I Love You - that's a tearjerker disguised as a RC. That's the kind you get into the theater thinking its lighthearted and sweet (like Catch and Release) and once they've caught you, you wish you had tissue in your purse.

Next thing you know, someone's dead. Like a Nicholas Sparks book...

Christine said...

I am a sap and a sucker for romantic comedies, sad stories with happy endings and romance novels in general. I LOVE a good romance and the fantasy of it all. It's not unrealistic to dream of being with a man who loves you, respects you, treats you and your family/children with kindness and love. And it gives people HOPE! I don't know what other people had growing up, but without HOPE for love and a happy ending that I read about or saw on the big screen, I wouldn't have survived my teen years.

And I got my knight. Okay, he's not perfect, but any man who will hold my head when I am sick as a dog or cry with me when I lose yet another child, is a hero in my eyes. And that's what the whole rom-com and books about love taught me.

And that article is WRONG. Sorry, but Oprah had an expert on her show that said our "little romances" are the greatest factor in helping women realize that they DESERVE to be loved and treated with respect and they can have their dream jobs doing whatever they want if they put their shoulders up under the boulder holding them back.

Now, back to my MS and the scene I am CUTTING which already made me feel yucky cause I hate cutting scenes.

Means I have to write more words BLAH.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm not a big movie watcher but I read alot. And I love romance books and I don't think I have any unrealistic expectations. I could name quite a few of my favorite authors but I won't take up your space. And I am very agreeable with the previous comments. After a hectic day here at the school, I need something to calm me down and get me mentally ready for the next day.

Angel said...

And I think this isn't just something for the early stages of romance either. Couples who have that intense attraction and desire for each other early on, continue to have a healthier relationship, I think. Though it doesn't remain at the same intensity, it becomes a touchstone that combines with the deepening love and shared experiences to enrich their relationships later on.

What really upsets me is they are encouraging women to "settle." Well, I've experienced several of those "settling" relationships up close and personal and the women in them are always the ones who lose. Eventually, there is nothing left to hold the relationship together but resentment and irritation.

Why not hold out for the former, rather than suffer through the latter?


Smarty Pants said...

I don't know - I think there's a difference between not wanting to settle and having expectations so high that no one is ever good enough.

Joyce said...

Seriously, how many guys have gotten "lucky" because their wife/girlfriend just read a hot, steamy love scene? That can't be all bad in a relationship!

Word verification is gingl - gingl bells, gingl bells....

Liza said...

I love "You've Got Mail", "Under the Tuscan Sun", and "10 Things I Hate About You". I know there are others, but the are the first few that came to mind.

I love to read romances and watch romantic movies. I also can tell the difference in real life and an entertaining story. No one expects those people who read science fiction not to know the difference in reality and fiction.

Problem Child said...

No, settling is when you accept less than you deserve. It's only unrealistic if you have a checklist a man must meet and every single thing is a must: filthy rich, fab body, genius IQ. There aren't that many guys who can reach that standard. Knowing that "stable, healthy, smart, ambitious" are just as good is hardly settling.

Especially if he thinks you are the greatest thing since sliced bread and treats you as such. :-)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Like the others, my blood is boiling over that. Never settle! There is a difference between being unrealistic and expecting to be valued as a woman and partner. Any man who can't be bothered to learn a little something about his sweetie isn't worth the time it takes to sneeze.

PC and LJ said exactly what I was thinking, so I won't continue the rant. But women shouldn't settle! Have I had ups and downs in my relationship? Oh hell yes. It hasn't always been perfect, and though we've fought and scrapped (that's in the past, thankfully), I always felt like he valued me for who I was -- even when he didn't pick up his socks or take out the trash or want to do what I wanted to do.

My favorite RC is Pillow Talk -- Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Now that is a relationship that isn't at all perfect and yet it works in the end. And the hero is quite humbled too.

Sherry Werth said...

What I was thinking has already been on to the good stuff. Romantic comedies!
I love the ones listed and there are a few of them I haven't watched but will add to my list.
I also like:
Sweet Home Alabama
The Holiday
Must Love Dogs
Just Like Heaven
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Christine said...

Ditto on the movies already listed. Also love anything with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. I love Cary Grant romances, and I am a sucker for romantic movie musicals, too.

Daddy Long Legs
Singing in the Rain
Elvis movies (I know they were cheesy but they were fun and I love him)
Bull Durham
An Officer and a Gentleman (just for the romance part--I love Richard Gere)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Bull Durham -- YES! Don't you just love it when they finally get together? So hot and sexy. And of course the kisses that last for 3 days speech. *sigh*

Christine said...

Just thinking about that scene where he sweeps all the kitchen crud off of the table makes my insides warm and gooey... and don't forget the bath scene... all those candles getting water splashed on them.

Sigh... Costner at his best.

PM's Mother said...

Up until a few years ago my favorite romance movie was "An Affair To Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Then along came Minnie Driver and David Duchovney with Dean Martin's vocals in "Return to Me" and now it is my favorite. We old ladies can be a sappy as the next one when it comes to romance. Of course real life is not like that and we know it!

Word verification "spats" -- fits in nicely with romantic comedies.

Christine said...

I love love love Return to Me... so good.

And yea, an Affair to Remember.... CLASSIC!

Okay, I know I am a sap, but I just plain love... love...

word verificationlll stsolshi--I feel so slavic...

Anonymous said...

bridget jones

ps i love you

sweet home alabama