After an exhausting day of sending tons of networking emails, applying for positions, having informational phone calls, and rewriting my cover letter over and over again, it’s an amazing feeling to go to bed with my best friend…my iPad. This is about as single girl as you can get, but that’s beside the point. As I lay in bed on Friday night losing yet another round of Candy Crush Saga, I decided to watch a movie on HBO Go. I stumbled upon this film, “What’s Your Number?” which is about a young woman who realizes she’s above the average number of partners most women have in their lives. She journeys back to former boyfriends in hopes of meeting the right one. Long story short, none of them work out and she ends up falling for the guy who lives across the hall from her. How cliché.
As the credits were rolling I lost my cool. How can these films portray realistic love? These things just don’t happen that easily and to be honest, as far as the audience is concerned, it’s happily ever after. But, what happens during the relationship? Are there ups-and-downs? Do they break up? Get married? All of these questions unanswered and yet, I was still mad. I of course, Tweeted about it and then went to bed. The next day I woke up with a few favored Tweets as well as a text from my friend who inspired this blog entry.
Enter Single Girl Status: Why do women still watch romantic comedies even when they know they’re a) unrealistic and b) only going to make them upset? I’ve had four women answer this question which each answer different than the next. Maybe you agree with them or maybe you don’t, either way, there is one common theme: desire.
I think that I watch romantic comedies because I want to see the guy get the right girl in the end. While I know romantic comedies are totally unrealistic I like to think that the outcome/storyline is possible and that I could have my own someday. I also like to believe that the Jim Halberts exist…even if I can’t find them in the real world.
Why do I watch romantic comedies? Maybe because I enjoy laughing at the smitten fools who gallivant around looking for love? That’s part of it, I’m sure, because let’s be honest, who DOESN’T love watching people look like idiots? But I think romantic comedies are our way of experiencing a fairy tale relationship. We all know that these things don’t happen in real life, and we have accepted that fact–so the only way we get the experience is through the romantic comedy that perpetuates the stereotype.
No matter how much we convince ourselves that the plotlines are unrealistic and obvious, we still fall for them. Probably because the little 10year-old who believed she would marry the prince is still hiding in the darkest corners of our mind. Or, maybe just because we like to torture ourselves. But more likely, it’s because they are funny, and stupid, and mindlessly easy to watch. They pair well with wine and chocolate, and never disappoint–unlike the real men in life. Perhaps we’re in a relationship with fake relationships, which is a terrible thing to be sure, but it sure is nice to pretend.
I think romantic comedies are an escape for girls. They also serve as a guide for what not to do or what to do in relationships, depending on the movie. They also give us a reason to idolize the make leads, and fantasize about what our lives would be like with him. This idolizing can distract us from our current relationship problems or force us to make it better. But, I don’t think many girls take these films to the heart.
I think women have always been and always will be enthralled by a good love story. We all want someone to fight for us. We want someone to give us butterflies, buy us flowers, and tell us we’re the most beautiful creature God created. And really, those desires are not bad desires. What is bad is when we make those desires the center of our universe, and therefore when we meet a guy, we throw him out the window at the first sign that he is not our Knight in Shining Armor.
That being said, if I have learned anything from falling into this trap of rom-com ridiculousness, it’s that these movies generally portray only one kind of story. They portray one kind of man who loves in one kind of way (and usually that way is pretty shallow and unrealistic). So, ladies (and I’m speaking to myself here, too), take a reality check and give men a break. Not every guy is a “buy you flowers, hold a radio up to your window” kind of guy. If he’s a good guy, he will love you in his own quirky, adorable way. Recognize that a stupid movie has no power over you and that your relationship is your story. Then maybe you can enjoy a good, mindless chick flick every now and then without wanting to throw your heart (or your boyfriend) over a cliff.
“Single Girl” is tired of hooking up with random dudes at frat parties, dealing with men leading her on, and always having to make the first move. Dealing with the unfortunate scene of college dating, “Single Girl” tackles the topics of love, lust, and relationships.