Growing up, I had a slightly odd pop culture education: I've never seen an episode of Friends or Seinfeld, don't know anything about Buffy The Vampire Slayer except that there are witchy lesbians, and can barely name the members of The Simpsons family, but my mother and grandfather's obsession with the Golden Age of Hollywood comedy means I can tell a Cary Grant film from a William Powell joint at sixty paces. (This is a handicap that occasionally makes me seem as if I was raised in a convent, or on Mars.) Studio comedies are my favorite, particularly screwball variations with witty dialogue and a lot of confusion; and despite their archaic gender politics and frequently idiotic plots, I've actually learned a lot of relationship lessons from Old Hollywood movies.
Absorbing films of this period wholesale would mean that acceptable behavior could include chasing women down corridors, slinging them over your shoulder when they did something you didn't approve of, or lying to them perpetually in the hope that they'd fall in love with you anyway. We do not, thank heavens, live in Fred Astaire's universe anymore — not in the least because every single romantic couple shown by the films of the period is straight, able-bodied, and lily-white. It's a different world now, mercifully, but the madcap films of that period remain rather educational for people in pursuit of a very modern relationship — even despite themselves.