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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Can Romantic Comedies Ruin Your Love Life?

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Author Topic: Can Romantic Comedies Ruin Your Love Life?
Heather
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One recent study in Edinburgh suggests that they can.

quote:
Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005, and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic.

The movies included You've Got Mail, Maid In Manhattan, The Wedding Planner and While You Were Sleeping.

The university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

"We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.

"The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise."

As part of the project, 100 student volunteers were asked to watch the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity, while a further 100 watched a David Lynch drama.

Students watching the romantic film were later found to be more likely to believe in fate and destiny. A further study found that fans of romantic comedies had a stronger belief in predestined love.

Kimberly Johnson, who also worked on the study, said: "Films do capture the excitement of new relationships but they also wrongly suggest that trust and committed love exist from the moment people meet, whereas these are qualities that normally take years to develop."



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uberfeminista
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I completely agree with this.

Romantic comedies and television shows really cause people to expect relationships to be that perfect. And when they aren't, if they last longer than only a few months or the initial "honeymoon phase", they wonder why their relationship isn't as good as those in the movies.

A big problem I have with how love and sex are portrayed in media like this is how good the sex is, RIGHT AWAY. And how the women generally orgasm within minutes. How unrealistic. This not only makes men believe that they can get a girl off that easily (by seemingly doing nothing but thrusting hard into her) but also make women feel inadequate or like something is wrong with them if they can't orgasm that quickly or without any effort.

In reality, love is WORK. It takes time, dedication and compromise. But ultimately, it is much more satisfying than anything depicted on those silly romantic comedies.

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joaniehippopotamus_theninth
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Thanks for sharing this article! I thought it was really interesting, and then went and tried to find the write-up of the study. The article actually refers to two separate studies done by the same researchers. The write-ups are pretty long so I only skimmed but here are the links if anybody's interested:

This first one is the one in which they looked at forty romantic comedies and looked at various messages and actions in the films:

http://www.attachmentresearch.org/pdfs/Johnson%20&%20Holmes%20Comm%20Quarterly%20draft.pdf

Enjoy!

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EHL4OR
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I can say that not only is it romantic comedies, but fairytales. We all watched "Snow White", "Cinderella", " Beauty and the Beast"..etc..growing up as a child. You start to think that relationships are beautiful and perfect as these fairytale love stories. I would think a prince charming was out there to take me away and live happily ever after. Maybe I was a dreamer, but this certainly influenced it. Now, grown up, you see it everywhere in movies.
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Droderi
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I definitely held/hold movie standards up to my relationships; I narrate our great moments into highlights of a delightful romcom all the time (this will be the hilarious time we painted the house, etc.). When I was freaked out about getting married, the biggest pang was that it all didn't fit perfectly into an over-the-top perfect movie picture. During this pre-nuptial freak out, my therapist told me I would have to chuck the entire movie expectation anyway, because marriage was about as far away from that as possible. He compared it to thinking parenthood was only dressing a baby in striped sweaters and taking naps in the sun. But on the other hand, do I want to see movies about the real work of it all? Sometimes. But when I am sick and sacked out on the couch, nothing is more soothing than a movie that affirms that fate, destiny, and perfect, adorable, well-dressed, mind-reading partners are out there for every lost, quirky soul (or as Sarah Haskins so aptly suggests, Collin Firth).
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Alexial_L
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I can relate... From a young age I've been brainwashed by these rom coms, silly pop songs, and over the top romantic dramas and what have you not. As life went on, I figured out relationships weren't supposed to be selfish - one shouldn't run away just because things weren't going the way they expected it to. Communication is ever so important. Never expect your partner to know what you're thinking.

For all those who fall in love with movies like You've Got Mail or Sleepless In Seattle, be careful. Learning how to love yourself first... being able to take care of yourself is crucial to being able to take care of someone else. Tom Hanks isn't going to just fall into your lap.

I agree with uberfeminista that love is most definitely work.

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Jill2000Plus
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I agree that romantic comedies are unrealistic and encourage everyone (particularly women) to expect relationships to be perfect(ly heteronormative), the stars are portrayed as average and unremarkable in looks even when they're the epitome of the current beauty standards and the sex is almost always just a bit of perfunctory "foreplay" followed by the supposed holy grail of v-p intercourse which the women come from really easily, American Pie is actually more progressive in this regard than a lot of supposedly "romantic" movies, because sex is neither a softly lit bodily fluid free ethereal happening nor some kind of god/nature ordained jigsaw puzzle fitting in which a bit of thrusting fully satisfies both partners and women never need lube because. Teh god. Teh nature. Romantic movies might as well be sci-fi for all the mind-reading featured, they ignore just how essential communication is to healthy, loving relationships and good sex.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Cian
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Aren't I glad I have never ever in my life enjoyed romantic comedies, which I rarely find all that romantic, and even less so funny. I would certainly wish sex would be as pretty as it's portrayed in movies, but it'd be awfully awkward to have a whole production team in the bedroom and someone holding a handful of filters in front of my eyes, and I dare not think what they'd have to do for the slow-mo.

Still. Movies of this nature are fantasy. It's not like we see the characters go potty or such that often either. Not that I doubt the power of media manipulating us, of course not. I find it silly, and I find it very sad people hold their life to movie stadards.
(I would like to have epic music playing in the background when I pay for my lunch, or buy my monthly bus pass, though.)

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by Cian:
I would like to have epic music playing in the background when I pay for my lunch, or buy my monthly bus pass, though.

I LOLed. I have my iPod on almost all of the time, so everything is soundtracked.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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