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The Perception Of Love In Romantic Films

1226 words - 5 pages

We've all seen them, those cheesy romantic comedies where two (beautiful) strangers meet and fall in love. They run into some sort of conflict and eventually find a way back to each other in the end. Although that seems like a harmless concept, that kind of "love" results in unrealistic expectations of what a life partner should be, unrealistic expectations of what the ideal woman or man should look like and unrealistic expectations of what constitutes healthy conflict resolution.
The majority of women (and men) rush to the theatre to see the new "Rom-Com" in hopes they'll soon find the one they've been waiting for. Although there's nothing wrong with anticipating a new movie, watching romantic films and expecting the same outcome with current relationships or new ones to come hugely impact people's conception of real life love. For instance The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks became, and is to this day, arguably one of the most memorable and romantic films of all time. The main character, Noah, awaits many years for Allie, builds a home for the two of them with his bare hands and writes love letters to her every day for a year. What girl wouldn't be swept away by that? The problem with this, is the fact that many women expect their partner to serenade them with the same kind of effort, money and time that an average relationship doesn't possess in real life. In addition, The Notebook and other films consistently project the theme of fate. The idea that if two people are meant to be, they will be, and nothing can come between the inevitability. However, a real danger exists in wanting something remotely close to that. In an experiment taken by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Heriot Watt's University, student volunteers of 130 participated to watch the 2001 romantic film Serendipity while another set of students watched a drama by David Lynch. At the end, the students who watched Serendipity were found to believe in fate and destiny over those who watched the drama by David Lynch. The experiment is an example of the direct effects romantic films can have even after watching them just one time. This can lead to "encouraging bad dating habits like nitpicking good compatible candidates for serious relationships" says Holmes.
Another important issue to touch upon, is the men and women cast in these films. These people are beautiful, fit and without imperfections. I don't know about you, but my hair doesn't flow in the wind every time I turn around. Romantic films instill the idea that only the beautiful, young and thin people of the world achieve a happy ending. It adds to the list of problems romantic films cause since each film is subject to interpretation. Let's not forget that these celebrities receive hair and makeup touch ups through every scene of the film and spend months in the gym to get their bodies camera-ready. Truthfully, being "celebrity beautiful" is unattainable to the everyday person who doesn't receive the same kind of pampering. The...

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