I write this as a self-confessed hopeless romantic. The number of hours I have spent watching cheesy romantic comedies would shock you. When I was younger, a lot of my expectations for relationships were based on what I had seen in films. However, it wasn’t until I found myself rooting for the dysfunctional couple in Netflix’s You, that I realised I had unknowingly brainwashed myself. I recently re-watched a lot of the classics and noticed that some of the storylines I had previously loved, were flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the cheesy and light entertainment, but now I recognise the unrealistic and sometimes unhealthy plots that I ignorantly hadn’t noticed before.
Drama drama drama
Something that I believed for a while was that people in relationships had to go through some kind of drama before they could just be happy. Of course, this stems from the number of on-screen couples that would be far too boring if there were no breaks, betrayals or games.
When I got together with now now-boyfriend, Charlie, we were just content. I worried that something was going to happen, but in the end I just accepted that isn’t necessarily how relationships work in real life.
Even though drama can be unhealthy, it is often romanticised in films. If rom-coms were set in real life, how could Carrie forgive Big for jilting her? Surely, that is too hard to move on from. Even though I myself rooted for them, their relationship was toxic.
Rom-coms taught me that long-distance relationships do not work. Ever. I saw so many storylines where this would lead to cheating or a couple growing apart. This terrified me when I had to live in a different city to Charlie and was convinced we were doomed. But then, years went by and we only grew stronger. Of course, living in different cities may not be as challenging as living in different countries, but even then, there are couples that make it work.
Makeovers may not solve all of your problems, like films such as Princess Diaries, Miss Congeniality and She’s All That would lead you to believe, but they are still a guilty pleasure of mine. So, with that in mind, I couldn’t resist putting together a typically ‘romantic’ outfit. This stunning jumper ALWAYS receives compliments as the colour combination is dreamy. The bubblegum pink would make Elle Woods herself proud, because whoever said that orange is the new pink, is seriously disturbed, right? I really liked the idea of clashing this colour with green, so I paired it with my pleated silk skirt, which I also used in this blog post here, where I put together my perfect date night look.
Does ‘happily ever after’ exist?
Of course, the cheesy ‘couple goals’ seen in movies are not reality but along the way I somehow forgot this. After being in a relationship for four years, I now recognise that it is completely normal to not be perfect all of the time, or at all. Everyone has there own problems, whether big or small.
Believe it or not, real relationships tend not to have musical numbers, kissing in the rain or ‘happily ever afters’, who’d have thought it? Of course, couples can be happy, but it is naïve to expect a relationship to be like this all of the time.
BOOTS, JACKET – BOOHOO, SKIRT – TOPSHOP, JUMPER – SATURDAY BY MEGAN ELLABY, SUNGLASSES – PRIMARK
Romantic grand gestures
When you think about it, most grand gestures in films are actually quite creepy. I foolishly ‘awwed’ at scenes featuring an ‘eccentric’ guy doing something ridiculous in order to convince (or pressurise) a woman into forgiving or going out with them (Ted Mosby, I’m looking at you) and totally ignore ‘no means no’. As Otis says it perfectly in Sex Education: “Sometimes the people we like don’t like us back, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
I may be slightly more cynical now than my younger self, but that is probably a good thing, as a lot of these on-screen relationships aren’t something to aspire to, or compare yourself to. Now when I watch You’ve Got Mail, I find it questionable that Joe basically ‘catfishes’ Kathleen, but she doesn’t mind. In My Best Friend’s Wedding, I no longer root for Julianne who is trying to brutally break up a happy couple. I also find it concerning that Josie ends up with her teacher in Never Been Kissed. I could literally go on and on.
The genre is definitely flawed, which I can’t believe I didn’t originally notice. However, there is still hope as recent films such as Love Simon, La La Land and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, brought a fresh take to romantic comedies. Hopefully upcoming films such as Isn’t it Romantic and What Men Want will continue to do this and save rom-coms for good.
If you also found yourself believing unrealistic rom-com storylines, or now have realised how weird some plots are, please let me know in the comments. I would love to know your thoughts (and that I’m not the only one).