7 Romantic Comedy Moments That Gave Everyone Unrealistic Expectations About Love
I love romantic comedies with a passion that alarms even me sometimes. Like, if someone told me I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even hesitate before I said Bridget Jones' Diary because I never get tired of Bridget — but then I would probably pause and rethink everything I just said because how could I only watch one romantic comedy for the rest of my life? The whole genre of rom-coms is predictable and comforting. I know that every movie will feature a somewhat clumsy leading lady (so she can be beautiful and relatable to mere mortals), the wrong guy, the right guy, a meet-cute, some sort of getting to know you montage, a breakup, and a happily ever after. As a moviegoer, I like this formula, it works for me — but, sadly, as a real life human being, I have to admit this formula is flawed. Real love is nothing like a rom-com. It's much more like The Middle.
Some of my absolute favorite romantic comedy moments also gave me totally unrealistic expectations about love that I am still trying to shake today. No one has shown up to kiss me on a baseball field, my guy friends have not magically turned into my one true love, and replacing my glasses with contacts certainly didn't make Freddie Prinze Jr. notice me. Life is full of romantic disappointments, and these rom-com moments were responsible for most of mine.
1. Sam Shows Up Just In Time To Kiss Josie: Never Been Kissed (1999)
This last minute baseball mound kiss still hits me straight in my feelings bone. Josie is such a easy character to fall for, so when she gets her epic first kiss, I can't help but cheer — even though first kisses are generally not this epic. Chances are, yours did not have a countdown, cheering, and zero awkwardness. I mean, this was her first kiss ever, and it is a flawless, no head-bumping, no excess spit, no disappointment kiss! This is not how first kisses work, and my disappointment over this truth is still all too real.
2. Harry And Sally Realize Women And Men Can't Be Just Friends: When Harry Met Sally (1989)
This is the biggest lie romantic comedies have ever presented to the public: Women and men can be friends without it ever becoming romantic. It's not only possible, it is a reality for pretty much everyone. I always secretly harbored a fantasy that I would fall in love with my best guy friend — until I got a best guy friend and realized that Harry's entire philosophy on life and love was built on lies.
3. Sexy Men Will Get Into Fights Over You And It Will Be Romantic: Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Props to Bridget for being somewhat appalled by the guys' behavior (especially Darcy, because he presented himself as an honorable man), but she's not annoyed enough to write both men off. As hilarious as the scene is, there's also something undeniably sexy about the way it is presented. The truth is, men will probably not fight over you — and if they do, that's a weird and disturbing display of jealousy. Violence is not sexy in real life.
4. Renowned Movie Star Anna Falls For Regular Guy Will: Notting Hill (1999)
Take it from a girl who once had a picture of Seth Green on her nightstand (shut up, you were young and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer once too), your favorite movie star is not going to wander into your quaint bookshop and then later marry you. He or she is going to marry a supermodel or another actor or someone who they have shared actual airspace with. It's OK to fantasize, but trust me — you are not going to be Hugh Grant in Notting Hill.
5. Hannah Converts Lothario Jacob Into The Love Of Her Life: Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
I'm sorry, as beautiful as this scene is, this and every other romantic comedy that features a girl falling for a total playboy jerk with "moves" and a secret heart of gold is super full of it. You cannot change a person, even if you are Emma Stone levels of adorable, and it's not your job to teach them what real love is.
6. Laney Needs To Transform Everything About Her Outward Appearance For A Guy: She's All That (1999)
If he doesn't think you are awesome with your glasses and paint-spattered overalls, then he's not going to think your awesome in a sexy red dress. You are not a dress. You are a person.
7. Edward Buys Vivian All The Nice Things: Pretty Woman (1990)
In real life, Edward would be a serial killer and Vivian would not be enjoying shopping sprees and a happily ever after. Sorry, guys, but Pretty Woman is the ultimate fantasy and at its core is a pretty weird message about letting rich guys buy you lots of stuff.
As a genre, I think romantic comedies is the one of the best — as long as they aren't taken too seriously. Real life may involve less montages and more Netflix nights in, but comfy couch nights will always trump drama and marrying guys you hated a week ago.
Image: Touchstone Pictures