Are romantic movies putting in jeopardy our realistic expectations of relationships? Do they make us crave things we can’t possibly attain in real life? So claim social scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, England.
The skeptical part of me sees their point – most romantic comedies depict scenarios that are quite far-fetched. When was the last time you heard about a millionaire falling for a hooker (Hugh Heffner and his half-dozen barely-legal girlfriends not withstanding – yes, I know they’re not technically hookers.) And in every-day life “you’ve got mail” does not usually produce a Meg Ryan or a Tom Hanks type – it produces someone who worships fruit flies or themselves! Then again, none of my relationships ended due to him drowning to an Anya song (at least as far as I know).
On the other hand, the girly romantic part of me truly believes that there are soul mates (I just have yet to meet him), that flowers on random occasions is perfectly normal (because it was in at least two of my relationships) and that it’s possible to be with someone who treats you as though you’re god’s gift to the world (been there too!) Obviously, none of those relationships have worked out, but they made me certain that you CAN have it all (and hopefully in the same package when it IS your soul mate you’re with).
And what about the other real-life relationship parts where life throws you lemons and you have to jointly make grape juice? I admit, I haven’t met many couples who have the type of a relationship I am looking for, but I’ve met a few. I see how they balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, support each other in triumphs and defeats and laugh with rather than at each other. That’s what I want (I can live without the roses.)
So with all my might, as I click my hills together and wish upon a star, I know that my soul mate is out there and no romantic movie critic will convince me that wanting what I want is unattainable! At least that’s my belief – I’d appreciate it if you left my pink bubble intact! 😉
And what do you think? Do romantic movies raise unrealistic expectations about relationships? What about other types of media? In what way do you think the entertainment industry influences our desires, expectations and ultimately, relationships?