Life can be hard, especially love. It’s complicated but worth it. On the other hand, Romantic Comedy Love screams, “ISN’T THIS JUST CUTE?” and doesn’t show the ups and downs of love. At all. Consider these cringe-worthy scenarios.
Friends Commenting on Your Relationship
Talking relationships can be dangerous. But in movies, everyone’s world is centered on a relationship that they aren’t even a part of but are always talking about. This set up puts extra focus on the main character and makes her seem even more special. It also makes the relationship seem more important.
If you stay in a relationship for a long time, people treat you like a guide for their relationship, asking you to dole out advice about commitment issues and sex. But relationships are super-specific to who you’re dating.
The trouble is, just because one person is in a relationship does not necessarily qualify them to comment on anyone else’s. Relationships are private and should be between the two people involved. There is an infinity of other things to talk about with friends that don’t involve our love lives. They are much safer topics too since no one will suggest breaking up or give an unwanted opinion.
Breaking Up with the “Wrong Person” for the “Right One”
When the main character breaks up with someone, that person either A) suddenly reveals they were secretly terrible the entire time, like in The Wedding Singer, or B) they just admit that it wasn’t meant to be like in Sweet Home Alabama. Breaking up is treated an experience to just have to go through to get to the “happily ever after” part of your life. Somehow, romantic comedies never show the person left standing on the not-fun side of the portal.
If you can dump someone and then date someone else like five minutes later, you don’t seem like a very caring person. No matter that you know the person you’re with isn’t right for you, “I love you” is generally a no-take-backs situation. And if you do, you can’t just immediately run into the sunset with the person to your left. Sure, sometimes that person is actually a jerk, and in that case, no big deal. Dump them and move on right away.
For example, think about the ending of Playing It Cool. In this scene we see Michelle Monaghan kissing Chris Evans while she’s wearing a wedding dress. The thing is, she was just about to marry another man and walked out of it. Her fiancé wasn’t a jerk, he just wasn’t the right guy for her. But she couldn’t even put on some sweatpants before making out with Chris Evans? Ouch.
Another such perturbing scene is the one in which Kirsten Dunst runs away from her wedding in Spider-Man 2. She knocks on Peter Parker’s door. Her fiancé wasn’t a jerk. He has only done everything within his means to take care of Mary Jane. Of course, Kirsten leaves him for the guy who told her they could never be together at the end of the previous movie
Random Public Make-Outs
PDAs are one of the most confusing parts of romantic comedies. You can see what is so awkward about making out in public in the alternative ending to The Ugly Truth. In this scene, there is no music to cover up the ugly truth of the mouth sounds and sighing that Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler make as they kiss. The most natural sound you hear is, ironically, a child screaming in the background.
If you need an orchestra to make your public kissing look good, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it in front of everyone. Many adult people are familiar with this wisdom and practice it daily. Somehow, though, most rom-coms big finale is a make-out session in a crowded room. Consider the ending of The Proposal; their coworkers applaud as they smooch in the office. In real life, everyone would look the other way.