The Happily-Ever-After Effect: How romantic comedies can affect you

Romantic couple on carousel

What do movies like "When Harry Met Sally," "Pretty Woman," "There's Something About Mary" and "He's Just Not That Into You" all have in common? (Well, besides all having lovable characters and box office hits)

Apparently, according to a new study picked up by MSNBC and FOX among many other sites, they can do some harm to your real life romance...

In a poll of 1,000 Australians, at least half admitted that these lovable happily ever after movies impact their views of what a relationship should be. For example, MSNBC cited some interesting status from the study, such as:

  • One in four Australians said they were now expected to know what their
    partner was thinking
  • One in five respondents said it made their
    partners expect gifts and flowers 'just because.'

Essentially, according to the relationship counselor questioned, we've become "happy-ever-after addicts."

As a long-time viewer and fan of romantic comedies, this report seems completely logical. Admittedly, I would watch "feel good" movies because they make me feel good -- and hopeful -- about relationships.  However, the point where they're distorting our reality of the truth? Well, that's another level entirely.

There's no doubt that to be in a relationship requires real work. But on another level, by holding potential mates up to this "idealized" standard, not only will it make it hard to keep someone, but it would also make it hard to find someone, wouldn't you think? Measuring some up all the time gets to be more work than it's worth!

Besides, not to say that leading men like Taye Diggs, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney or some equally hot piece of work don't make me want to bite my lip when I see them on screen. But, I'm hoping that my real life leading man, with all his idiosyncrasies (and whenever he appears), would blow me away simply because what he does keep me sprung on him in real life. After all, a DVD won't keep you warm at night, now will it?

In the meantime, I personally won't be ruling these movies out of my movie-watching diet. They're still fun and do help me remember that I should stay open to possibility. However, I'll remind myself that even a classic hottie like Clooney has his flaws. And that I'm waiting on the real thing.

To quote the ever wise Marvin Gaye: "Ain't nothing like the real thing..."

Wise indeed, Mr. Gaye. Wise indeed.

Leave a comment