I just watched a romantic comedy and loved it. Then felt sick.
Is it horrible of me to hate romantic comedies? I mean, I also love them. But mostly I hate them.
And here’s why: THEY ARE CRAP.
Rom coms are what my friend calls “emotional porn.” Gross, I know, but also you can get that, right? They are idealistic and outlandish in all the right ways for a girl to think real life is kind of a drag because there’s no Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds or basically any hot Ryan in her life.
Okay, time to back-track: Romantic comedies aren’t really that bad. They can be fun too. And it’s great to catch a chick flick with friends so you all can consider a new hair style and decide that kissing in the rain is on your bucket list. Right? Right.
Here’s where I get super duper frustrated:
The main characters are, for the most part, gorgeous, thin, light-skinned people with minor trust issues (but no REAL problems). They are quirky, but in ways that are cute (like the way they fix their makeup early in the morning and then pretend to be asleep). They have sound-tracks to match their emotional state (I wish). They have passionate kisses in all kinds of inclement weather and often on first dates (please, someone tell me this has been your life).
And we watch it like we can relate. Say what??
I find myself watching a Rachel McAdams movie with all her wonderful quirks and thinking, “yeah, that’s just like me, I’m funny like that.” NO. No, my life is nothing like that.
And the gorgeous-Ryan-guy swoops in and realizes this is the first woman to take his breath away. But she doesn’t like him at first because she’s “damaged” and probably hung up on some other cool guy, but then hot-Ryan is persistent and she falls for him in the end.
Is that the plot to more than one movie you’ve seen? The answer is yes. Ugh.
But real life—though much less glamorous—is so much RICHER than all of that. We aren’t two-dimensional. And many of us aren’t a size 4 with straight white teeth and dimples on our porcelain or perfectly tanned flesh. We just aren’t. We’re rotund or scrawny, we’re mishapen or we have frizzy hair or we speak with a lisp.
And we walk around with baggage that is heavy and gross, but also significantly more interesting than the vague back-story of the damsel-in-distress. Maybe we’ve been abused or grew up chubby or struggled with depression or an eating disorder or we grew up sheltered and now we feel overwhelmed or maybe we know what real loss feels like or a fear of heights that keeps us in domestic borders only. And we’re still alive to tell about it.
You see, we’re interesting.
And some strong man with a six-pack doesn’t swoop in (shirtless) to make up for our “one little flaw.” No. That’s not how it goes.
Instead—if we’re one of the lucky ones—a whole community of broken, lumpy, glasses-clad and mom-jeans-wearing people love us and fight with us and teach us how to be human. And we fall for the guy with the chipped tooth and a secret love of anime, or the girl with the thick glasses and the great smile who sings off-key in her car.
And our stories aren’t hot-Ryan stories. No. They are better.
The problem is that in between all the juicy, raw, honest and awe-inspiring bits of our REAL LIVES, there’s just trips to the grocery store and minutes on the toilet and hours at a boring job and cleaning vomit off the bathroom floor and long drives through traffic. And that stuff never makes it into the movies. Unless of course the plot includes meeting hot-Ryan and sexy-Rachel in the grocery line or in traffic.
I don’t want my movies to look just like real life. That sounds terrible. And I’m not saying I know how to write anything better, so maybe it’s time to give up on movies. They make me sad—even when they make me happy.
I just think real life is better. And it doesn’t come in perfectly packaged 2-hour increments. So I think I’m done with the movies, because I don’t want to be disappointed that in my real life there are mundane tasks like putting gas in my car and showering. And that sometimes the guy in line next to you flirts with you, but he’s still not going to be your soul mate at the end of this scene.
And in movies people don’t scream enough. But sometimes screaming helps.