I am lover of romantic comedies or should I say a former lover of romantic comedies. When I was younger films like While You Were Sleeping and Sleepless in Seattle were favorites. They told my younger and inexperienced self all about what relationships should be like. Yes, this was my template for healthy, happy and normal relationships. I was going to drive some poor bastard crazy with all my unreasonable and unrealistic demands.
No matter what anybody told me I was going to have my Hollywood ending. Even if I had to push my future brother in law off of a train platform I was going to get that ending. Then it happened I saw the two romantic films that would change my outlook on Hollywood’s idea of love, Titanic and The Notebook.
When I watched these two films the logical part of my brain slowly took over. When I first saw Titanic I was eight years old and after sitting through the three hour epic I was left with some questions. One, why didn’t she just stay on the lifeboat? Two, if she doesn’t get on the lifeboat why didn’t they share the door it looks big enough. Yet since no other film had ever made me think things like that I was inclined to believe it was a one off effect created by sitting still for three hours and being overexposed to My Heart Will Go On.
Yet, I was on the logical edge when The Notebook pushed me over. Some will argue that the story is based off of Nicolas Sparks’ in-laws so it must be true. Yes based off which means that they most likely met and were separated by circumstances and reunited years later. Everything else was just Sparks’ using his creative license to “move” the viewer. Well this viewer was unmoved. Allie was annoying and I pitied Noah plus was all the yelling and slapping necessary.
It was at this moment that I realized that all the things I thought I wanted and were real weren’t. It was unrealistic to assume that anybody should give up so much for one person. If I went into relationships thinking or better yet expecting the movie treatment then I was going to be as spoiled and annoying as Allie. If I expected things to work out like a romantic comedy where the couple fights and fights but in the end realize they are made for each I was destined to end up in a bad relationship. Sometimes you fight because you don’t belong together. The self perseveration instincts that made me cringe during Titanic made me see that one person shouldn’t have to give up or change everything about who they are to be with another person.
Even Hollywood has started to realize this about their product. Look at Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Don Jon the whole premise is that romantic movies give woman the same unrealistic expectations that porn gives to men.
So, in conclusion to all my follow females I leave you with this bit of advice: It is all about knowing when to get off the sinking ship.