Don’t Take Relationship Advice From Hollywood: 15 Dumb Ideas About Love That Romantic Movies Promote

November 8, 2012  |  
"The Notebook pf"

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We watch movies to see stories that we could never experience, and to witness worlds that just aren’t real. We remember this when watching horror films, slapstick comedy, and psychological thrillers. But for some reason, when it comes to romantic movies, we like to think that really could happen. And then you have a bunch of disappointed women running around. Here are dumb ideas that some of the biggest romantic movies have promoted.

"Sweet November pf"

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That women should want to change men

Remember when the lovely Charlize Theron gave Keanu Reeves a whole new perspective on life in Sweet November? No woman, under normal circumstances, should put all of that energy into changing a man that is so the opposite to her and so not compatible for her, when there are plenty of men out there that already are compatible, just the way they are! Not to mention, Theron’s character’s clock was ticking. She only had mere months to live! She should have been enjoying her time with a man that was just right for her.

"The Notebook pf"

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That men remember you forever

Any well-adjusted individual who cares about his own happiness is not going to wait around for a woman for five or more years. Sorry Notebook fans but, a hottie like Gosling would have enough women coming his way, that one of them would be special enough to make him forget all about Miss McAdams. It’s not healthy to pin your hopes on someone you won’t see for years. It can cause major depression, and keep you from doing your job and going on about your daily life. It’s not sustainable in the real world. It’s the human condition to move on.

"500 Days of Summer pf"

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That it’s okay to lead a guy on

Boy meets girl. Girl kisses boy. Boy and girl spend 500 adorable, romantic days together (or something like that). Girl ends it randomly. That’s the plot of 500 Days of Summer. The friends of the heartbroken boy tell him that it was obvious the girl would end things, and that he had his hopes up for no good reason. The girl even said herself at the beginning she didn’t want anything serious. We’re all supposed to believe the boy was just a fool. Nuh-uh. That girl took that boy to Ikea–IKEA for goodness sake! The most coupley date there is. She asked to see him almost daily. “I don’t want anything serious,” followed by those actions are just mixed signals. It’s not okay to act like a girlfriend, when you don’t want to be one. No matter what you say, you need to let your actions speak if a man is to get the picture.

"Keira Knightley pf"

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That misunderstandings will work themselves out

It seems the entire cast of Pride and Prejudice was put on the planet just to clear up the incessant misunderstandings between the heroine and her hero. The two main characters do and say multiple things that appear very rude and offensive to each other, yet somehow someone or some event always comes out of the woodworks to clear everything up. That will not happen in real life. Communicate, and communicate well. Always say what you mean, and everything you mean by your words and actions. In real life, if you offend someone as bad as the main characters in this story do, just once, they’ll put you out of their mind entirely.

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding pf"

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That being self-deprecating is attractive

Being able to make fun of yourself is one thing. But having clearly low self-esteem is not something men find attractive. And yet somehow, the irresistible John Corbett liked all the digs Nia Vardalos’ character made at herself in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? This woman clearly had self-confidence issues, and was constantly down on herself in front of him. Most men would find that a turn off.

"Rachel McAdams pf"

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That blondes are biatches

The Wedding Planner, Mean Girls, and Gilmore Girls are just a few of the many examples of on screen scenarios in which the blonde is always up-tight, doesn’t know how to enjoy life, superficial and controlling. And the sweet, wholesome, quirky brunette woos the man away. Why are blondes portrayed so badly?! In real life, women of all shapes and colors can be real biatches.

"Bridget Jones Diary pf"

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That you’re not judged by the company you keep

In movies, the sweet, well-meaning guy always pines after the woman that is busy pining after the jerk. In real life, the sweet, well-meaning guy would judge that girl for having such bad taste in guys! And would seek out a girl that had learned to like nice guys like himself. But, in films like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Colin Firth’s character somehow doesn’t care that the lovely Bridget Jones has very unlovely taste in Hugh Grant’s character. Off screen, you are judged by the company you keep and if you have a history of dating jerks, the nice guys will question your character, too.

"Kate Hudson pf"

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That the bad boy will appreciate you one day

The bad boy, who is hot, scruffy in a cute way, breaks all the rules but they don’t apply to him anyways because he is so charming…that guy is never going to suddenly see the light and care about the sweet good girl that waits on him and foot. He feeds off of the people that just don’t seem to notice that he will never care as much about them in return. So when rock god Russell Hammond tries to find his devoted groupie played by Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, when it finally clicks how much she cares about him…real groupies everywhere must have laughed.

"Midnight in Paris pf"

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That the dreamer can be successful

Many romantic films portray a protagonist that is against “the man” in every way—that thinks you should leave work and drink wine by a river with strangers all day, and that all you need is love and blah blah blah and somehow, these people actually achieve their dreams! And go on to be rich and successful! Midnight in Paris is a great example. Owen Wilson’s character is the ultimate idealist/romantic/dreamer and yet somehow, a successful writer in Hollywood? I don’t think so. To make it in Hollywood, you don’t have a moment to question the system and mosey around looking at paintings. You gotta work every day and night just to get by!

"Lost in Translation pf"

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That two depressed people can make each other happy

You know what one depressed person and another depressed person make? The depression of 4 people because depression grows exponentially. But somehow writers love throwing together two anti-social, pessimistic, depressives and having them fall in love. Take Lost in Translation for example. Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray are miserable with their lives and suddenly are karaoking in wigs together? Oh and I guess they left their meds at home that night too, right? Puh-lease. Two depressed people get together and talk about how depressing their lives are, and feed off of each other and get more depressed. In real life, you need to work out your issues before you get romantically involved with somebody, or else the situation can be explosive.

"Natalie Portman and Jude Law pf"

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Love at first site

Did you ever notice how quickly people fall in love in movies? And then make enormous decisions based on that “love” like leaving their current partner, or moving for the other person, or quitting their job to be with them? Take Closer for example. This is just a group of completely lost, desperate individuals, looking for somebody to “fix” them or fill up their giant voids, believing every next attractive person they see is “the one.” Oh and somehow, they still all have successful jobs that they are maintaining while running around cheating on each other and taking revenge. In real life, you don’t leave somebody for someone you just met. You weigh your options. You want to make sure it’s actually a good fit.

"Rumor Has it pf"

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That a mother and daughter could date the same man

Something’s Gotta Give and Rumor Has It are the biggest culprits. There is nothing cute or funny about a mother passing off her boyfriend to her daughter or visa versa! It would actually require years of therapy between the mother and daughter to have a semblance of a healthy relationship again, and whoever currently has the man, should be vomiting in her mouth a little each time he touches her, and she imagines him touching her mom/daughter the same way. Gross!

"The Wedding Singer pf"

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That a woman must be saved from a bad relationship

How many times does the good guy have to charge through an airport or train station or wedding to give a long winded speech to convince the girl that he is right for her, and not the clearly horrible human being that she is currently with? Yeah, I lost count too. But The Wedding Singer is a good example. Adam Sandler’s character spends a small fortune on a ticket to get on a plane to stop a wedding between Drew Barrymore’s character and some cheating, condescending, narcissistic hottie. He has to get Bill Idol to help him get the girl. He has to sing in front of an entire airplane of people. It takes all this for Drew’s character to realize she is making a mistake. UM…usually nobody cares enough to put in all that effort and the girl just ends up marrying the jerk. Either that, or she is smart enough to get out on her own! But, nobody will save you from your own mistakes. That’s your responsibility.

"Dirty Dancing pf"

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That the smart girl should date the dead beat

News flash: money does matter. Ambition matters. Social standing matters. Your guy doesn’t have to be loaded and president of his yacht club, but he should be at least paying the bills and then some. And if you’re a successful female with a college degree and respect from your community, you probably aren’t attracted to the guy that mows your neighbor’s lawn. That’s normal. Not in Dirty Dancing! In that movie educated, comes-from-a-good-background Baby loves Swayze’s character, who goes on and on about how he will never make it in life, and can’t even pay his own rent so takes a job that gives him a roof.

"Pretty Woman pf"

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That a sane, attractive, charming, rich man would fall in love with a hooker 

Have you ever seen a hooker? Like a real one that walks the streets—not the type you call up from a high profile service in Vegas and pay an arm and a leg for. They’re not cute. Women as gorgeous as Julia Roberts get given a job or a ring at some point in their life, long before it gets to the point that they need to hook. Not to mention, a man like Richard Gere—the real man, and the character he plays—does not have to hire a hooker! And if he did, he wouldn’t fall in love with her. He has plenty of gorgeous, educated and successful women that would say, “I do” to him. Love the movie Pretty Woman. Don’t love the blatant fairytale lies.

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  • Candacey Doris

    All of this is true. This needs to be turned into a PSA or pamphlet an given out on street corners. Some people are in nee of this info right now.

  • umm… where are the ‘urban’ movies on the list? we have our share of whack-advice giving movies too… actually ALL ethnicity do…

    • Candacey Doris

      Let’s start with any Tyler Perry Movie and work our way from there…

  • Closer was dead on…LMAO

  • laila

    Fantasy and fiction exist for a reason…why not include all the Disney princess movies too…

    • chanela

      right! a strange man climbs into a castle and kisses the princess and she isn’t calling the po pos!?!? a damn bear holds a woman hostage,forces her to love him,locks her in a house, is abusive, and has anger issues, yet she still wants to be with him. WOW!!!!

  • jackieOsassin

    this is exactly why i hate romcoms. i mean don’t get me wrong i’m not expecting every single movie i see to be believable and realistic (i know there’s a good chance that a person safely landing a crashing plane upside down doesn’t exist) but at the same time i don’t want them completely pulling my tail. complete foolishness.

  • IllyPhilly

    Hey don’t kill my dreams! Next you’re gonna tell me that if I’m walking down a dark alley in heels no 6’2 gorgeous guy who happens to be single and knows kung fu is gonna jump out and save me from a smug robber holding a loaded hand cannon or that I’ll magically see something amazing in my savior’s eyes that will make me take him home for some dramatic love making and afterwards he’ll draw me very well because he’s always a crime stopping artist wearing just a gaudy necklace

  • afroveda

    Cute article and very true. It’d be nice if this were on one page or done as a slideshow instead though.