Monday, December 22, 2008

Movies vs. reality

Have you ever watched a romantic comedy that was just wonderful - the chemistry between the characters was amazing. You were totally drawn in. You didn't want the movie to be over, and when it was, you felt disappointed in your own life. Maybe even a bit sad that your own life wasn't more romantic and exciting - that you needed more spark?

I know I have.

In a recent article by BuzzSugar, this very issue was addressed. Since the article was short, I'll quote it all here:

According to relationship experts at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, romantic comedies give people unrealistic ideas about love and sex, and cause them to "fail to communicate with their partner."

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 university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counselors 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 realize."

Do you think this is true? Is real-life romance a big ol' letdown? Sure, lots of people like the idea of a perfect man or "happily ever after," but does that mean we're all unable to separate fantasy from reality?

Also, have you ever had an experience that could have been right out of a romantic movie (think John Cusack holding up a boom box)?

I know for me, real-life romance is definitely not a "big ol' letdown" but I will admit that there are times that I wish for more spark. There is comfort and security in knowing that I have someone who isn't leaving me, and I love having a husband who is around. But it would be nice to have a few more heart-pounding moments that take my breath away - I guess you trade those for the comfort of a life-long partner.

And I've never had a "John Cusack holding up a boom box" type of moment either. I have had moments that seemed right out of a movie, but maybe more of a horror or drama - certainly not romantic comedy material. But then again, who has?


Jan said...

A movie takes us away sometimes to unreachable heights. It is not the realistic world of normal. I think that we all come to realize that life hands us different things, times, phases. We have to learn to honor them and go with the flow that it is. Romance is work. You have to find time and make it happen sometimes. Then other times, it comes so easy and natural where its not work at all. I don't want the boom box. I want the real life stuff.

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

I totally hear you here. Last weekend, Matt and I were at the Empire State Building and we were talking about that scene from "Sleepless in Seattle". It is so crazy if you think about it!

We were definitely "that annoying couple" there though - he is quite affectionate, but it was bittersweet because I knew I'd be saying goodbye to him again in a couple days for another long spell. *sigh*

I'd totally take presence and quality time over all of the foofy stuff.

Great writing!

kari said...

Interesting article, and I think it brings up a good point. Movies aren't always realistic, especially romance ones, and yet I always find myself disappointed with the movie if things don't turn out 'like they should.' In fact, if there's no happy ending I hate the movie. Maybe this is why I don't enjoy romance movies in the first place!!

Julia said...

I think this is one of my big problems with what you learn in YW. As long as you get married in the temple, your life will be amazing with no problems. Always in love, always romantic. This is also my problem with Twilight...too many women think that the Edward love of it is life or death or love at ALL times is the perfect love.

In reality, like the article states, it takes some freaking hard work. And even then, sometimes all you get is the "comfort" part.

I think i've had a few boombox moments...but that's just how they felt to me.

Anonymous said...

This starts so early - what with Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast... so romantic and so unattainable.

I guess we have to focus on the awesomeness of what we have (and teach our daughters to do the same) and not on the "big ol' letdown", huh? Where's the romance in that?

Hope your Christmas is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Seems like the media is responsible for everything wrong in the world (violence,teen pregnancy, romantic letdowns, etc.). We need to either get rid of it all or remember that everything we do is our choice - media isn't making us do anything.

carrie said...

I loved this, because I so agree with you. I loved what you said about the "trade off" and it's so true. You and I should really talk sometime about our funny stories from our pasts. We could probably scare the HELL right out of each other, huh?? ha ha (I'm not kidding, but it's all good....ha ha) With the whole facebook thing, it's been interesting reconnecting w/a lot of people from my "past". I die all the time though....wondering if someone will write something totally embarrassing and people will be like, "What the .....??" Our lives are just SO different now....which is a total good thing. :o) Anyway, I was just talking about the "fairy tale" moments the other day w/an old friend....and I think I romanticize it all in my head, and it makes everyday life and "romance" (if you can call it that now...ha ha) seem so boring. I don't know if anything I just wrote made ANY sense....but it's been a long day. Yes, it's only 2pm. I'm ready for bed already. :o) I'm so excited to plan a get together for after the holidays. Let's not forget...k?? Have the best Christmas...and give hugs to Ben and your beautiful little girls! BTW, I mailed your card off on I'm hoping you get it today. Your online card you sent was fabulous... It's the best online card I've received. You did a good job with it. Talk to you soon!

tiburon said...

I married a super romantic guy - so the movies seem sad to me - for the most part they are never as good.

Heather said...

What an interesting post. I've often wondered if anyone's life is like that in real life. I mean, I've had my romantic moments, but not like the movies. And if you think about it, the guys in some of these romantic movies would come off as creepy - as viewers, we know their intentions, but if it was in real life, it may verge on obsessive. I'm very selective of the romantic, chick-flicky movies I see, but I think it's fun to relive that old butterflies in the stomach feeling again, even if it's vicarious.

Jen said...

For me, I watch movies to "get away" from the real world so to speak. I don't like movies where people die, or there are tons of murders or whatever, that's how the real world is. If I watch a movie I want to get taken away. I don't think that movies and real life should be compared at all, since they are just that movies. They are made for enjoyment. Its sad to me that some could or would take them for more.

Witz End said...

I can completely relate to that article. I have often felt let down at the end of a fantastic movie or book (Twighlight) because I have to go back to the real world. My husband is amazing, but our life is no romantic comedy.

devri said...

Tongan romantic.. Oh that is funny..

Not here... But he does stuff in his own way that makes my heart skip a beat..

Have a wonderful Holiday, and a Merry Christmas.

Omgirl said...

I married a great man. But romance, especially the spontaneous kind, isn't really his strength. A lot of times I watch romantic comedies and wish for someone who would demonstrate his love to me in the ways they do in the movies. And I'm always sad for a while after I watch them. But then I try to take note of the fact that he shows his love by getting up with the kids on the weekends so I can sleep in, or changing poopy diapers, or fixing my windshield wipers. And I try to gleen the love messages from those. Not as romantic, but just as full of love.

Lynita said...

Ryan and I have had this conversation regarding movies and he hates chic flix for it! Of course the lottery comercials out here do the same thing but with the financial aspect. I guess that is why we should just keep on counting our blessings, even if they are not perfect!