Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Study: Romantic Movies Harm Your Love Life

All of those who think that your love life will and should play out like a 1990s Meg Ryan flick raise your hands. If you've got a hand aloft, I've got a really great investment for you, a simply fabbbbulous opportunity where you just hand over your extra cash to a nice man named Bernie Madoff . . .

But seriously folks . . . there's a new study from an Edinburgh university -- Heriot Watt University -- which asserts that romantic comedies offer unrealistic portrayals of intimate relationships and that fans of the genre misapply those views to their own relationships, according to the BBC.

One of the authors of the study told the BBC:

"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."

The movies reviewed for the study -- for the full list, click here -- included: You've Got Mail, My Best Friend's Wedding, America's Sweethearts, While You Were Sleeping, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Two Weeks Notice.

So, as a public service to my readers, I'll take it upon myself to hereby declare that your romantic life will not be perpetually filled with happy endings (take that in whatever way you wish), romantic gestures, destiny-filled moments and kooky side-kick gal pals who are at your beck and call to over-analyze everything your loved one said and did. You are NOT Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts (circa the 1990s, that's important to note), nor are you Sandra Bullock, Kate Hudson or Hugh Grant, titans of romantic comedies over the past decade.

When I told The Spouse about the study, he likened it to the fanciful delusions men might develop after visiting strip clubs or leafing through a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (where the women are airbrushed within an inch of their lives). The women at whom the men are leering, he suggested, provide men with irrational expectations as to what a woman should look like and, by the argument advanced in the study, could damage the men's love life. Touche Spouse!

Image credit: DVD town.

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