The Truth About Rom Coms

Roses aren’t always red,
Violets are more purple than blue.
Stop wasting your time with Rom Coms
and start watching Dr Who.

You can’t beat a near A-sexual lead character; The Doctor, Sherlock, Olivia Dunham (I’m on the second series and she hasn’t batted an eyelid at Pacey’s charms), Ahsoka Tano, Sheldon, Yoda. It just works. They’re reliable, they’re interesting and they’re smart. Smart is, after all, the new sexy.

Characters like this encourage young viewers to do well at school, get an interesting job, interesting hobbies and live their own life. They don’t let the question of whether or not they will die alone dictate their actions.

Romantic comedies, on the other hand, encourage bunny boiler behaviour by allowing their fans to indulge in romantic fantasies which are never likely to happen. Guys don’t watch porn and automatically assume his missus is going to invite her mate to bed with them. My point is if you think your life should read like a romantic comedy you’re flirting with disappointment.

With the speed that technology is advancing sci-fi and fantasy films are probably closer to reality than rom coms. Over the top romantic gestures just don’t really exist. Holding a boom box outside a bedroom window and rushing in to stop a wedding at the last minute aren’t real life experiences. Boom boxes are heavy; your arms would get sore. Weddings are expensive; you’d be hooked by the father before you get to the bride.

The biggest problem with rom coms is the implication that if your other half is really the perfect guy/girl for you, they will instinctively know how to make you happy. Bullshit. If you want something in life there are two ways to get it;

1)   Get it yourself.

2)   Tell someone directly that this is your goal.

Never will this list read “3) Wish it, because love can hear wishes.”

Rom coms are just as dangerous for guys too. Take ‘The Notebook’ for example. The message to the males of our generation is this; work hard, find a nice girl, be good to her, but never trust her because you never know when a one-night-stand is going to reappear, with no visible income, sweep her off her feet and take her away from you!

This year’s Valentine’s Day cinema release is ‘This Means War’, starring Reese Witherspoon, which depicts two CIA agents, partners, fighting over the same girl. It shamelessly mixes romantic comedy with action in an attempt to make it the perfect date movie. Obviously, it’s not out yet, so I can’t give you my opinion, but from the offset I’m already baffled at whom they’re trying to impress. What happened to bros before hoes? When did cheating become acceptable?

They’re just films though, right? Wrong. According to a study carried out by Heriot Watt University a few years ago, romantic comedies can ruin real-life couples’ chances of having a healthy relationship by setting these unrealistic expectations. They give women the impression that they deserve crazy romantic gestures when they don’t really. They deserve respect and companionship just like guys.

You’d be slapping equality in the face if you were to expect more than that. I don’t see many women washing their guys’ car, leaving the seat up for them or sending them bouquets of lager to their work.

A more realistic depiction of what obsessive romantics should expect from life can be taken from the romantic tragedy of Harleen Quinzel. The only reason she’s part of the batman series is because of her obsession with the joker. While working as a psychologist at Arkham Asylum she falls hopelessly in love with him. She puts her internship on the line by helping him escape from the insane asylum. She adores him. She would do anything for him and when the joker returns badly injured after a battle with batman she becomes the jester-inspired Harley Quinn in an attempt to win his heart. As a result she gets treated like shit.

By Claire Alexander


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